We’re in the home stretch, One Room Challenge fans! We’re so close to finishing some beautiful spaces. This week I finally tackled something I’ve been putting off for a long time… My desk. And you know what? It wasn’t nearly as bad as I had worked it up to be in my head! Without further ado, here’s a fast way to tackle your desk organization.
First, the good news: all you really need to start is a messy desk, a piece of paper, and a box! Here’s the messy desk we started with.
Yeesh. Every time I looked at the desk, I felt overwhelmed with all the stuff sitting on it. Sometimes I would try to organize it, moving an item around here or there, but I always walked away from the desk feeling stressed and no more satisfied than before.
Today I decided to try a new tactic. Today was the day I would stop half-assing my attempts at desk organization!
My method is an adaptation of the visualization strategy this guy uses to clean his desk (thanks for the inspiration). It works especially well for those times that you need a clean, productive workspace, and you need it now.
Step One: Visualize Your Desk as Organized
This isn’t one of those “attract the life you want!” pitches. It’s just way easier to implement a plan or design if you know what you want your final product to look like!
Take a moment to list and/or sketch out the elements that you want to have on your desk. Try to strike the right balance of aesthetics and practicality. For example, you might like the look of an empty desk, but if you use your pens and notepad all the time, you might want to keep them out on the desk for easy access.
I sketched out what I wanted to have on my desk for easy access, then wrote out what I did and didn’t want to see on my desk.
- computer monitor
- Google WiFi repeater
- pen cup
- “tools at hand” like currently used books and sketching materials
- panther deco
- random papers
- books not in use
- extra decor items
Step Two: Remove All Extraneous Items
Simple. If it’s not in your sketch, it doesn’t belong on your desk. Some of the stuff on your desk might be easy to get rid of because you can find a home for it somewhere else:
Paper memories? Those live in an envelope downstairs.
Books I’m not currently reading? There are shelves for those.
Cords and coasters, in the drawer.
Garbage? In the damn garbage!
Anything that doesn’t have an obvious home goes into that box I mentioned earlier. Make an appointment to find logical homes for all this stuff later in your week.
Step Three: Desk Organization Blisssss
That’s pretty much it! Arrange the remaining elements on the desk then throw up some curtains to soften the whole thing up. So! Much! Better!
I finally feel like this is a place I can actually work without my brain being distracted by the urge to clear clutter. And except for the plant (which I still have to buy), my desk organization actually looks a lot like my drawing.
The beauty of this technique is that it’s really fast and simple to implement, maybe even obvious to intermediate and advanced-level organizers. But to anyone who struggles with desk organization like I always have, here’s a new, simple way to approach it!
Don’t forget to visit the other One Room Challenge participants here! I can’t wait to share the room reveal with you next week!
See the rest of the study / studio / studdio project!
- Study? Studio? Studdio Design (before photos) – ORC Week 1
- Editing: The Unglamorous Side of Design – ORC Week 2
- DIY Removable Wallpaper in the Studdio – ORC Week 3
- Hanging String Lights Without Damage – ORC Week 4
- Fast Desk Organization – ORC Week 5