Organize Your Desk

by Vanessa Hayes

in Office Tech,Organizing

Recently on Lifehacker, one of its writer’s put out a blog titled: Workspace Organization Challenge:  How Would You Organize This Office? I was all over that challenge like sprinkles on a donut!!!  Ok, that was totally lame…I know…but it’s all I got. Anyhoos, below is  the picture of the office space and my reply.   Check it out and tell me what you would recommend to organize this desk and office space.  Do you see some areas for improvement?  Don’t see a need to change a thing?  Well, if you don’t see a need to change a thing you need to give me a call…we really need to talk!


“Ooo..this is right up my alley! Just from looking at the picture I would think that your father likes to work on a lot of things/projects at once. It also looks like those piles of paper are a result of not having defined “homes” for his office supplies and files. He just needs to create zones and establish homes for everything. Here is what I would recommend to your dad to organize his desk:

Work Zone/Desktop: The only things that he should have on his desk is are: his laptop, phone, in/out box, vertical files/action file and note taking supplies (1 notepad and a pen and pencil holder). He could totally take advantage of the vertical space on that empty wall by putting up a couple of hanging file folder boxes on the wall to serve as his in/out box and to hold project folders or frequently used items and documents.

Printer and Fax Zone: Move fax machine behind him on top of the lateral filing cabinets next to his printer (if that’s where the printer is). Keep a stack of printer paper next to the machines to easily refill.

Client/Personal/Project Files Zone: The lateral filing system behind his desk is great. I’d recommend purging the files and dedicating each drawer to each type of file. One drawer might even be able to be used as the printer and fax supply drawer since the printer and fax are on top.

Office Supply Zone: He may need to get an additional storage unit and store it under his desk. Maybe a rolling cabinet with 2-3 drawers to house his extra notepads, office supplies, folders, electronic gadgets; etc.

Landing Zone: He needs a place to store his personal items like his keys, wallet, cell phone and glasses that are currently randomly put on the desk. Umbra makes a really cool hanging wall unit that he can hold all of these items….and not misplace them! Oh, and the backback…that needs to come off of the filing cabinets and maybe stored under his desk ;o) he just needs to MAINTAIN his space. Once he’s established homes for all his stuff he simply needs to remember to put things back after he’s done with them. I’d also recommend he try to work on only one project at a time. And finally, I’d recommend creating a daily routine of taking 5-10 minutes to clear the desk, put everything away and do a quick review of his priorities and tasks for the next day. Nothing like starting the day with a clean desk and clear understanding of the day’s priorities! A long, long, long reply but hey…I couldn’t resist. Would love to actually organize the space with him!!!”


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kat Jacoby March 30, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Great tips and advice, Vanessa! Establishing zones defines his work areas. Clearing the clutter will help with any mental clutter, as well, so that he can focus on one task at a time. These are simple tips anyone can apply to their office.

Vanessa Hayes March 31, 2011 at 7:23 AM

You’re right, Kat! It’s rare that I meet or work with someone who likes all the clutter. They usually find it distracting…and one of the easiest ways to control the clutter is to create zones. Thanks so much for your comment!!!

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