Organize desk drawers to help you get what you need quickly without searching for items because you have only one place to look for them. You may also be interested in reading my article on organize your desk.
If you have multiple drawers in your desk, it is better to organize them one drawer at a time. Otherwise it could be overwhelming. It may also discourage you when you see a huge pile of things.
First step when you organize desk drawers is to take everything out of the drawer.
Toss out anything that does not work (like pens, markers) into trash. Donate items that are in good condition but you don’t need or use. This will provide more space for the things you want to keep.
Now sort the items you decided to keep into group of like items such as pens, pencils, erasers, correction fluids, markers, highlighters, sticky notes, message pads, letter heads, thumb tacks, push pins, staples, stapler, tapes, scissors, paper clips, rubber bands and so on.
Installing drawer liners will prevent contents from moving around when you open and close the drawers.
Next step when you organize desk drawers is to put items back into the drawers. Only keep things that you will use while at the desk in the desk drawers. Items you'll frequently need should be in the front of the drawers so that you can easily grab them or put them away. Items you use less often can be in the back of the drawer or in a bottom drawer.
The best way to organize desk drawers is to designate drawers for related group of items. Sticky notes, message pads, letter heads, note books and other note-taking items can go in a drawer. Similarly put pens, pencils, erasers, correction fluids, markers, highlighters etc. in one drawer. Assign another drawer for thumb tacks, paper clips, tape, rubber bands etc. Designate a drawer for tools like stapler and staples, scissors, ruler, calculator etc.
If you don't have enough drawers to assign to each category of items, combine categories that can go together (like note-taking items and writing tools together). Do not overcrowd your desk drawers. Putting too many things inside the drawers will make it cluttered. It will also make it difficult to take what you need.
Use drawer dividers to optimize the available drawer space. Group related items into each section of the drawer dividers.
You could use a silverware tray as a drawer divider to organize office supplies such as pens, pencils, markers, scissors, rulers etc. They are available in a variety of designs and are very economical.
Another option is to use plastic food storage bags or containers to store like items. You can also reuse tissue boxes or cereal boxes. Cut the top off, use packing tape to reinforce the bottom and sides and use them inside the drawer to group like items. You can also reuse tofu containers, baby wipes tubs or similar containers for this purpose.
Cigar boxes can be used instead of plastic bins. They make interesting storage bins. You may be able to get empty cigar boxes for free from cigar shops.
If you have deep drawers, get shallow, stackable plastic trays. Put like items in these trays and stack them according to usage of items in each tray (most used one on top and less often used ones on the bottom).
You can label the trays, boxes and drawers based on contents for easy identification. This will also help you remember what goes where.
Designate a box or container to put all your little pieces of papers with information when you organize desk drawers. This will reduce the clutter in your drawers. I reuse a tofu container for this purpose. When the container is full, you can go through the contents and write the information you want to keep in appropriate files, phone/address books, notepads etc. and trash the pieces. Be sure to shred the ones with sensitive information.
Sort through your papers and group them into categories based on person/client, company, project, reference materials and so on and put them in manila folders or similar. If you have a file drawer in your desk, you can store them there. Otherwise you can get a vertical file holder that can fit inside a deep drawer of your desk. If space is limited, only keep the paperwork that you are currently working on in the drawer(s). Store the rest in a storage unit like a file cabinet or book case. Please see my home office organization page for more ideas.
Once you organize desk drawers, it is important that you maintain it. Otherwise you will be making more work for yourself in the future.
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