Desk organization is not as simple and easy as it sounds. Of course, you can make your desk look as perfect as a Pinterest post for one minute, but by the end of the day, it is likely to be cluttered again with books, notes, gadgets, cables, accessories, and even unfinished cups of coffee.
But, what you don’t realize is that this uncluttered desk might be adversely affecting your ability to focus on your studies. A well-organized desk not only looks good but can also motivate you to get some work done.
So, in this article, we will let you in on a few tips and tricks that you can use to keep your desk organized – at all times.
1. Triage Your Stuff
Your desktop is prime real estate, and you need to make sure that you make the most of every inch of space available. So, the first step is to make sure that you only use the desk for necessary items.
Here is what you can do. Clear your desk out on Monday and put everything in a box. As the week progresses, take items you need from the box and put them back on your desk. At the end of the week, if you still have anything left in the box, find another place for it. It can be in the drawer of your desk, in another storage space, or even in the recycle bin.
2. Consider Your Workflow
Most people tend to ignore their work style when arranging their desks. For instance, when you reach out for a pen, do you prefer it on the left side or right side of your desk? For Kane, an engineering student, pens are not even a priority. According to him, ‘I rarely use my pen for work, unless it’s to edit my paper in print or to sign something. These days everything is done via computer.
On the other hand, a few other students we spoke to rely on pen and paper for taking notes. In the gist, the workflow of each student is different. And as such, the desk space should also be arranged based on how you operate. Try out various arrangements until you find one that’s streamlined to your preferences.
3. Hide Cables
Laptops and other gadgets have become standard features of workspaces these days. And needless to say, the cables can easily clutter up an otherwise organized space. Simply hiding or organizing the wires can make a huge difference in how your desk space looks. There are all kinds of cable organizers available these days that will get the job done effortlessly.
You might also find it handy to use a surge protector and keep all your cords connected to the same outlet. This means that you don’t have to deal with wires coming from different plug points. However, when hiding the wires, make sure that they are also easy to access when needed.
4. Try Floating Shelves for Storage
One of the main issues with student desks is the lack of storage space. It is not always possible to go for bulky desks that take up space. So, you will have to get creative instead.
If you don’t mind taking on a DIY project for your dorm or student apartment, you can try mounting wall shelves above your desk. Depending on their strength, these shelves might be able to hold the weight of your stationery supplies, books, and other office must-haves.
5. Use Hooks to Hang Supplies
Another creative way to find storage is to attach hooks above your desk. You can hang a metal bar or a basic tower bar and use S hooks to attach mugs or holders to them. You can use this to keep items such as pens, pencils, scissors, and such.
This will keep your necessary items easy to reach but free your desk space for other stuff. To keep things more interesting, you can even hang plants from these hooks.
6. Go for Whiteboards
If you have the habit of using a whiteboard for pinning sticky notes or for studying, this can also go above your desk. You need not always find whiteboards, but you can try different patterns, materials, and colors that would make the desk space more vibrant and suited to your taste.
You can even transform the entire wall behind your desk into a pegboard wall, so you can mix in art and storage as needed. However, be sure to arrange stuff in a way that doesn’t lead to visual clutter.
A glass whiteboard can be a better alternative, which can make the space look more organized. Moreover, glass whiteboards won’t be distracting from the room’s aesthetic.
7. Transfer the Clutter
If there are supplies that you use not only while working but also during other activities – such as your tablet, you can find rolling carts or caddies for them. This way, you can move them around and use them wherever you want.
Aspiring interior designers might also suggest using baskets and boxes to store items that you don’t always use.
8. Use Drawer Dividers
When trying to keep the surface of your desk clean, you might be tempted to put everything in your ‘junk drawer. Of course, this might not be the best take from an organizational perspective.
So, you should also pay attention to the insides of your desk drawers. These days, there are several kinds of desk dividers that can help you organize items within a small space. Let it be pens, flash drivers, sticky notes, or other quirky items; make sure they all go in their respective compartments.
Although this is not technically an organization hack, it can indeed help keep your desk clean. One of the main causes of cluttered desks is papers – in the form of bills, sticky notes, receipts, class notes, printouts, and more.
If you haven’t done so already, digitizing your notes, calendar, and to-do lists can make things easier. They can be accessed across multiple devices, and you will be able to use them from anywhere and anytime. Furthermore, it can also be good for the environment. So, unless it is necessary, try to reduce the amount of paper you use and recycle the ones that you no longer use.
10. Clean Regularly
Unfortunately, cleaning out your desk once is not going to help you stay organized. Instead, you must make a habit of organizing your deskspace regularly – so that it does not go back to a cluttered mess. We recommend clearing the visual clutter from your desk space at the end of each work day, so you can start fresh the next morning. This will hardly take 15 minutes every day. Coming to a clean desk to work can indeed help boost productivity for students.
In addition to this, you should also be sure to deep clean the drawers and the desk at least once a month. This is when you throw out unwanted items, recycle papers, and wipe down the surfaces.
At the end of the day, it takes discipline to keep your desk space organized at all times. However, if you make desk organization a habit, it can help you focus and study better.
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