10 Tips for Organizing Your Desk, Office or Cubicle at Work
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated August 23, 2021 | Published April 17, 2020
Updated August 23, 2021
Published April 17, 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Whether your desk is in an office or a cubicle, there are steps you can take to arrange your workspace effectively. This can have a big impact on your overall performance in the office—an organized workspace can help you feel more focused and creative at work. Learning steps you can take for organizing a desk, whether you have an office or a cubicle, can help you decide what you need to do to set up your own space.
In this article, we discuss why it's important to maintain an orderly workspace, and share 10 ideas for how to organize your desk.
Related: Best Home Office Organization Ideas
How to organize your desk, office or cubicle at work
Here are 10 steps you can take to organize your desk, office or cubicle at work:
1. Empty drawers and cabinets
While organizing a desk, empty your cabinets and drawers of everything so that you can evaluate what you've been storing. Throw away anything that doesn't have a functional or aesthetic purpose. Reorganize the items that you choose to keep so you can more easily display them on your desk or store them in drawers.
2. Be selective with displayed items
A plant, one or two framed photos and a paperweight are often sufficient for making your cubicle or office feel like your own. Be highly selective with the number of items that you display in your office or on your desk—too many items can become distracting. Remember, your workspace is a visual representation of your level of professionalism. It tells others that you have a strong work ethic and that success is important to you.
3. Make use of implements to declutter
One of the easiest ways to keep your items tidy is to separate them into different categories while organizing a desk. For example, you may want to purchase drawer trays, filing cabinet dividers, an inbox sorter or a cup to hold pens and pencils.
4. Get a bookshelf or filing cabinet
If you have a lot of paperwork that needs to be stored for your job, consider adding a small bookshelf or filing cabinet to your cubicle or office. If you choose to add a bookshelf to your space, divide your paperwork into different categories and then use hard-cover three-ring binders to separate your paperwork. This will make it easy to find the information you need quickly.
5. Designate spaces while organizing a desk
Once you have all of your items organized, identify the ones that need to be on top of your desk. Limit this collection to as few items as possible and then designate specific locations for each item. Take the same approach with the other items in your cubicle or office.
As you designate spaces for different items, keep the demands of your work in mind. Items that you use often should be within easy reach. The less often you use items, the further they should be from your computer and chair.
Just as you designate spaces for paperwork and filing, you should also designate spaces for writing while organizing a desk. If you often have to review paperwork or write as part of your job, you should have an open space next to your computer where you can complete those tasks without having to shift items on your desk.
6. Create a space for personal items
Designate a space right next to the office door or cubicle entrance to collect personal items and trash. The area should have a shelf to place a tray for documents (more on this below), a hook for a jacket, a box to place your personal items (like an umbrella or extra pair of shoes) and a trash can.
7. Utilize inboxes and outboxes
While organizing your desk, be sure to clean out your inboxes and outboxes and utilize them for their intended purpose: separating incoming and outgoing mail and materials. Place these boxes next to the entrance of your office or cubicle so it's easy for anyone to drop off or pick up materials as necessary.
8. Purchase a labeler
A hand-held labeler can make it easier to maintain your organization efforts. By labeling binders, dividers, cabinet doors and even desk drawers, you can locate items you need quickly and easily return items to their designated locations when you're done with them.
9. Organize your cables
Keep your cables untangled by using a cable holder or a binder clip to keep them gathered and neat at your desk. You may also want to consider labeling your cords and chargers to make them easy to keep track of.
10. Keep reference documents nearby
If there are certain documents that you use often as reference materials, find a suitable location for them so they are always available to grab quickly. If you are in a cubicle, consider pinning them to the wall. If you have an office, you may want to consider adding a corkboard to the wall so you can hang these items within sight.
More tips for staying organized on the job
Explore more articles
- How To Plan an Event in 10 Steps (With Tips)
- FAQ: What Is an Advertising Campaign? (Plus Definition)
- A Guide to Disciplined Agile: Definition, Uses and Advantages
- MBA vs. HRM: What's the Difference? (Plus Tips for Choosing)
- 6 Common Branch Circuit Types and Why They're Important
- How To Build Street Teams (And When To Consider Using Them)
- How To Resize an Image (With Reasons and Tips)
- What Is an Engineering Ladder? (Key Features and Benefits)
- Q&A: Is the Fear of Losing My Job Hurting My Career?
- What Is Skyscraper Content? (With 6 Steps To Complete the Technique)
- 10 Ways To Celebrate Administrative Professional Day
- How To Measure PR Success: Definition and Importance