10 Easy Ways to Organize Your Desk for Maximum Productivity

Ways to organize your desk

Cleaning and organizing is a practice, not a project. – Meagan Francis

Have you ever wondered how much time we actually spend working? According to Huffpost Australia’s research, over the course of a lifetime, an average person spends 4,821 days at the workplace, which equals to 13 years and 2 months or 24% of your life. Big time, isn’t it? And I think you would definitely prefer to spend a considerable amount of that time in maximum comfort, peace of mind and productivity. That’s why it is vital to keep your workspace organized, as it really enhances your level of motivation, makes you feel a lot more inspired, helps you get more things done and makes your desk visually appealing as well.

Below are 10 simple tips on how to organize your desk:

1. Clear off your space like you mean it

As Brian Tracy said: “The hardest part of any important task is getting started”, and in our case, organizing desk space begins with a complete decluttering and purging process. Remove everything from your desk, clean it forty ways to Sunday and the most important part – put back only those things you need on a daily basis.  I know, I know, it could be difficult, but keeping things “just in case” is not an option if you want to keep your workplace organized. Be brave to let go of the things that won’t come in handy anymore.

2. Organize your workstation

You have a lot of small objects and accidentally there’s a drawer in your desk? – Get some office drawer organizers which divide your drawers into multiple slots for keeping post-it notes, business cards, paperclips, batteries, flash drives and so on.

Just so you know, minimizing your office supplies will help you to reduce visual clutter at your desk.  To keep all that’s left after the purge in one place within easy reach, use transparent acrylic boxes for writing utensils, a monitor stand to widen the space, vertical desk trays, simple desk organizers with as many compartments as you can find.

If you are lucky to have an office drawer unit, don’t waste this opportunity and fill the space with personal things, your bags/purses or anything to your taste.

3. Arrange your computer desktop

You may have an absolutely flawless, minimalist desk to be proud of.  However, if your home screen is a total mess of unsorted array of folders, files and images, it urgently has to be dealt with. Such a bunch of files left unattended can lead to accidental distraction while working. Try to find at least 8 minutes a day and sort the accumulated files wisely into folders. Delete the unnecessary ones from your desktop, clean up your bookmarks and empty your trash.

4. Untwist your cords

If there are lots of plugs, cords and wires you use almost all the time, then this tip is for you.  The problem with tangling wires and hastily finding the right cord causing distraction can be solved through bundling your strands with cable ties, grouping your cords together with binder clips or buying a cable holder and attaching it to your desk.

Organizing your desk

You can even take it to the next level and label your plugs, wires and chargers with coloured tapes, to avoid confusion with your co-workers.

5. Reconsider your system of grouping things

As to the sorting manner, you can categorize your stuff either alphabetically or by importance, or in any other way that resonates with you. Thus, each item will have its proper place and you will know exactly where everything is, just in case you need it.

6. Personalize your workplace

Striking a work-life balance is a challenge, especially on your desk. Family photos, vacation mementos, your favorite figurine, a plant or even an amusing coffee cup can brighten up your space, make you feel more like home and bring you some inspiration. But don’t get too personal. In order to avoid distractions, a couple of personal items should be enough to keep on the desk. You can also arrange some visual borders so that no one disturbs you, using personalized door hangers that gently claim your special zone.

7. Comfort is above all

Everybody’s got their own understanding of the word “comfort” at the workspace. However, in general, you should:

– have a comfortable chair at the computer height in order not to curve your spine,

– wear indoor shoes or slippers to keep your feet from excessive sweating

– use natural lighting whenever possible as it gives your body vitamin D and also dopamine, which improves your eyesight and really increases productivity

– use a humidifier to keep the air moist and a diffuser filled with essential oils to create scents you like that will boost your efficiency.

– if you enjoy listening to music, create a playlist of your favourite songs which surely will bring you energy, inspire and motivate you while working, as we do at Chanty.

8. Keep your to-do list, calendar or planner nearby

Without further ado, not everything can go digital, so keep your to-do list close at hand for outstanding work tasks. Also keep with yourself a week overview planner or a calendar to plan like a boss and a notebook to make some notes like reminders, necessary emails or useful phrases.

To do list

9. Use the space around you

“Do you always feel like you’re running out of desk room?” If yes, then a good solution at your fingertips would be a so-called under-desk basket, which will provide you with an opportunity of valuable space and place for all your digital accessories.

Have a vacant windowsill beside you? Feel free to put a pen holder there, or a painted picture you are fond of. See that nobody claims an open space on the wall? Don’t hesitate to hang a neat shelf or a memo pin cork board for your trip photos or weekly planner sheets.

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10. Wipe it down before you go

Nope, you don’t need to deep clean your desk with a wet cloth every single day —I’m not crazy. My advice is to neaten up your workplace in the last 5 minutes of your working day. Throw yourself a 21-day challenge and declutter your desk daily, either from used-up coffee cups or from the disorganized pile of papers. The result will surprise you, and besides, it would be a pleasure to fresh start your morning at the clean desk.

Final thoughts

Use one tip or try them all – it’s up to you. But bear in mind that organizing your workplace is a major asset to your productivity and efficiency during the day, as it saves time and minimizes your distraction at work. So, go for it and check weekly to see that every piece is still worth keeping at your workplace.

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Daria Serdiuk is a part of the marketing team at Chanty – a simple team chat. This powerful and free Slack alternative is aimed to increase team productivity and improve communication at work. Daria is a healthy-lifestyle keener and a big fan of french bulldogs. She loves joking and dancing. In her free time Daria is daydreaming about travelling around the world.


  • Very good advices in this post. I would recommend trying to use a wall for sticky notes so that important information is in a prominent place. You can also try digitizing some documents to make future searches easier.

  • This is a great list of tips for getting your desk organized for maximum productivity. I definitely think that having a clean and organized workspace can help to increase productivity and efficiency. Some of my favorite tips from this list include using a desk calendar to keep track of important dates and using a desk drawer to store frequently used items. Thanks for sharing!


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