I’ve been in something of an ongoing war with my office ever since I redid it (which was, um, three years ago). Naturally I kept putting off organizing it, but then something snapped a few weeks ago and I went on a major cleaning spree. I’m hoping it’ll stay like this because it feels so nice to have a clean, tidy place to do work. I thought I’d share a few photos and tips in case any of you are in need of cleaning inspiration.
I think it’s imperative to have a clear desk top. You can spread out with all the stuff you need, and piles of paper and books and junk feels sort of claustrophobic (plus it’s just not nice to look at). For the things that need to get moved somewhere else, or would normally be perched somewhere on my desk, I use a cheery West Elm tray to corral them, and I sort through later. I always keep my agenda open and visible (so I remember to look at it!) as well as a pen cup, for obvious reasons, and a notepad to jot down the random things that pop into my head (find that blouse, take pictures for that post, pack that book on vacation).
Organizing my drawers and cabinet were probably my biggest source of apprehension, but I ended up tackling it head-on with a garbage can. My system was to throw away or relocate anything that I hadn’t used in recent memory, and that got the junk level down pretty fast. Then it was just a matter of reorganizing and stacking and sorting what remained. Luckily my desk drawers are really long – even so, I have two drawers full of office supplies, which I’m starting to get organizers for (I love these). Then I have a drawer for money and wallets and financial things, then one of random miscellaneous things (mostly a lot of pouches) and then one for tech, computer stuff and manuals (shown above). My cabinet was a little easier – I just reassessed what was in the bottom shelf, then cleared out most of what was in my letter tray.
Personally, I’ve become a big proponent of the idea that you should throw out or give away things you don’t use and/or don’t make you happy (and I’m loving the results).
And, of course, some accessories from IKEA to liven up the space…I don’t think I’ll ever tire of that poster. (I’m still working on the magazine rack – it’s about a third magazines, a third papers and a third empty right now.)
A few months ago I realized that my book collection was starting to spiral out of control, so I ran to IKEA for a thin bookshelf (and within a week the shelves were filled, of course). It’s become a place for me to shelve new books as well as ones I’ve yet to read, and the top is the perfect place to stash whatever may be cluttering my desk.
IKEA desk (tabletop + Alex cabinet and drawers)
West Elm tray
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