Before and After: How to Style and Organize your Desk in 6 Simple Steps

By: Brittni mehlhoff Aug 26, 2014

Does your desk look anything like this one? Disorganized, a little messy, and just kind of boring? If so, I have some tips to help get your desk organized and looking good, in a flash. Click through to see the after photos and my 6 tips for styling and organizing your desk space.    

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Here are 6 simple steps to keep your desk well-styled and organized...

1. Remove the clutter. To keep things inspiring and mess-free, the first thing you'll want to do when reorganizing and styling your desk is get rid of the clutter. In this case, I removed the Post-It notes from the monitor and made notes inside a planner instead, which is now kept in a small tray to the left of the monitor.

Unnecessary cords and tech items (like the iPad, which isn't used that often at the desk), have been moved to a nearby office cabinet as well. So, they are still easily accessible, but not taking up space on the desk.

2. Add storage. If you have a desk without drawers, storage is even more important. So, look for smart solutions like monitor stand that allow you to store books, notepads, and electronics underneath your monitor, without taking up additional space.

3. Add a little light. Task lighting is an essential for your desk, especially if you work at night. I like options with a small base and swing arm, so that you can direct the light wherever it's needed. Plus, it takes up a lot less space than a regular lamp.

4. Hang it up. Getting things off of your desk and onto the wall is a smart way to keep your desk clean. In this case, I hung a piece of artwork, but a wall calendar or cork board would be a perfect addition as well.

5. Create a mini landing zone. Something as simple as a single tray on your desk, for paperwork, a planner, etc is great. You'll have a tidy place to store loose papers and you can go through everything at the end of each day to make sure there aren't any pressing invoices or other deadlines to take care of.

6. Less is more. There are tons and tons of desk accessories out there for storing smaller items, like pens, paperclips, etc. In reality, you really don't need more than two containers for these types of things. Here, I've used one concrete cylinder for pens, pencils, and scissors. And then a second ceramic container for larger items, like string, mints, etc.

Have some additional tips for organizing and styling your desk? Share them in the comments below.

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The first photo is messy???  Oh well!!

Another idea that I do is use recycled cardboard cut down to size them decorate it with card stock paper, gift wrapping wallpaper etc, and attach to all sides of desk for catchall pens anything. Works well and doesn't hurt the checkbook.

Matthew - The orange tray is from West Elm. I believe they have several different colors and sizes available as well.

I love the letter tray! Where's it from?

Hi Kim. In that case, I would recommend hanging a cork board on the wall, for pinning up notes and things. Or you can make a decorative version of a dry erase board (that is also functional) super easily too. Here's a link to a quick tutorial: http://www.papernstitchblog.com/2010/06/02/tutorial-double-duty-dry-erase-board/

Hi Lauren. The monitor stand is by Grovemade. Here's the link: http://grovemade.com/product/walnut-monitor-stand/

Need some ideas for those of us who are visual. If I put notes in a planner I forget about them.

Where can I find this monitor stand? I need one just like this!

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