Get Organized! Make Your Home Workspace More Productive

Is your productivity dropping while working from home? You probably need some desk organization ideas. Disorganization is the biggest productivity killer. It has been reported full-time office employees waste 76 hours per year looking for files in their office or on their computer. Now imagine all the home offices in use right now, especially the ones that were quickly thrown together out of necessity. When the shutdown occurred, many of us needed to keep working any way we could, likely giving little consideration to creating a well-organized space. Now, nearly 18 months later, office desk organization should be at the top of your to-do list.

When looking for work desk organization ideas, consider how to organize both your physical and digital spaces. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average person checks their email 74 times and spends six hours on email accounts each day—and we check our smartphones an amazing 2,617 times a day. With so many digital distractions, it can be hard to get everything done.

How to Organize Your Office Desk


A cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind. You can’t focus on the task at hand if you’re digging through stuff every time you need something. Decluttering is one of the most effective desk organization ideas because it decreases what you have to organize.

Go through each area of your desk and look for things you rarely use. If something’s broken, toss it—and think objectively about whether you need to replace it. This clutter can include desktop messes, outdated files, furniture, equipment, supplies, and plain old junk. And while tchotchkes and knickknacks make a workplace more personable, try to reduce the amount on your desk by at least half. 

Look at your desktop and see which files, apps and programs can be removed or trashed. Keeping your desktop clear will help you quickly find the programs and files you need to access.

Set-Up Work Zones

Think about how you work, breaking down your day into individual tasks and where you accomplish those tasks. Each of the individual areas are called work zones. You likely have a main workspace like your desk, that’s zone 1. A reference area with files and binders is probably zone 2. And a supply area in a closet or drawer could be zone 3. Put the things you need for particular work tasks in specific places, so you can work quickly and efficiently.

  • Zone 1 should be a space that is well-lit, uncluttered and close to a window if possible. This zone should include things you use daily: files, folders, books, calendars, and other office staples. Include a place to store your favorite snacks and other personal items.
  • Zone 2 should be out of the way, but easily accessible. This is where you will keep books, files, folders, and other reference items you only need occasionally.
  • Zone 3 can be drawers, closets, shelves, or other out-of-the-way areas. This is where you’ll store your office supplies, bottled water, snacks, and other items you have to replenish regularly.

Use Labels

Labels help you find the things you need without wasting valuable time. Go through each of your work zones and start labeling shelves, drawers, cabinets, bins, baskets, and anything else you can think of. Don’t worry about overdoing it—your goal is to organize for increased productivity.

Streamline Your Filing System

Get friendly with your paper shredder and do a purge of old or unnecessary documents. Sort your file cabinet into client categories, by project, or whatever works best for your type of work. Scan any paper documents and instead store them digitally on your computer. 

Go through your digital filing system as well. Delete any old folders you don’t use or need anymore and archive outdated work. Set up a filing system that works for your business. Cloud-based services, like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, allow you to access and store files across multiple devices. 

Clear Your Desk Each Day

Making the bed each morning is the perfect start to a productive day. Clearing away everything but the essentials from your work desk each night is the perfect end to a productive day, giving you a sense of accomplishment and a clean slate to work with the next day.

For your computer, close all windows and documents at the end of the day. Put your computer into sleep mode to reduce its energy use.

Office Desk Organization Ideas to Expand Your Workspace

Even if you declutter and organize your office desk, you may still find you need a larger area to be at your most productive. Small spaces don’t give you much room to set up work zones, but with some planning, a little ingenuity, and these helpful tips, you can expand your workspace and your storage.

  • Nearby cubbies, hooks, shelves, and baskets can keep the clutter off your desk and your supplies and tools close by.
  • Use a rolling cart for storing pens, paper, toner, and other office supplies. The goal is to make your workspace bigger, so you’ll want a cart that is approximately the same height as your desk.
  • Hang a shelf over your desk to store extra binders, tech items, books or artwork. 
  • Store your printer on the bottom shelf of your desk or on a shelf nearby.
  • Use magnetic knife strips on the sides of your desk, inside drawers, or anywhere else you need quick access to metal rulers, staplers, scissors, binder clips, and other metal office supplies.
  • Maximize the space under your desk by adding a small bookshelf or storage cabinet to the side or toward the back of your desk.
  • Add wall pockets to the sides of your desk and nearby walls for papers and notebooks you use frequently.
  • Use a laptop or desktop monitor riser for extra storage and desktop surface area. Getting your computer monitor at eye level will also help your neck and back.

Ready to get started compiling your home office desk organization ideas? Start by letting The Maids get your workspace healthy and clean. Then use the tips above to organize your desk and office and enjoy a great place to work!

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