A few weeks ago, I created a new little "office nook" for myself in the corner of our living room. I moved my Ikea Alex desk up from my little office in the basement and then treated myself to a gorgeous new wicker office chair. I couldn’t be happier about this new set-up, it has increased my productivity so much!
While the relocating of the desk happened really fast, it took me a bit longer to settle into the space and surround myself with the tools I need to be productive.
When I moved the contents of my desk upstairs, I just shoved everything into the drawers with no rhyme or reason, which was kinda driving me a little crazy!
Last week I finally took the time to put things away properly. I have been reading a new organizing book called “The Home Edit” and it has been very inspiring!
I have been following Joanna and Clea on instagram and reading their blog for awhile and I just love them. They don’t just organize a space, they make it beautiful and functional. They have organized the homes of A-listers like Reese Witherspoon and Gweneth Paltrow. Anyway, the book is filled with pretty pictures and great organizing tips – it really motivated me to tackle my desk drawers.
They pretty much recommend the same system I have always used when tackling a space- take everything out, purge, group things into categories and then label where possible. The book not only goes into great detail about how to do this, but the authors are really funny and have a common sense approach, especially with the tips they offer about purging, which is often the hardest part of the organizing process.
When I actually got busy organizing my desk drawers, it was amazing how quickly I finished the project and it looked so good when I was done! Several times this week I was like, “I need ___ gosh knows where that is” and then I was like “oh wait, I have ____ and I know exactly where it is in my desk!”… Such a good feeling! In today’s post I thought I would take you through my desk organizing process step by step.
When you are approaching a daunting organizing task, I find it helps to break things down step by step, so here we go!
Step 1- Take Everything Out
So just like they talk about in the Home Edit book, I started off by taking everything out of my drawers. As I always say, when you are tackling a project like this, things get worse before they get better!
I took everything out of the drawers and tried to put like items side by side. For example, I put office supplies in one area, personal items in another and then all of my photography equipment together.
Step 2 – what stays and what goes?
I didn’t need to purge too many things, as most of the stuff in my desk are things that I need and use, but I did get rid of a few dead markers, and recylced some papers and magazines.
With any organizing project, as I take things out of the space they are in I decide whether to keep, donate or trash/recycle each item. To help me stay organized, I like to use sticky notes to distinguish which pile is which.
Step 3 – shop for containers
The fun part, shopping! Once you have a sense for what you are keeping, you can get storage containers if you need them. For my desk, I wanted some new drawer organizers. Because my desk was from IKEA, I knew there were probably some that were made to fit and I was right- the “Grasidan” set of organizers fits perfectly. It comes as a set of 5 boxes, 2 small, 2 medium and one large.
One new tip I picked up from reading the Home Edit book is to buy more than you think you will need when it comes to containers. That way you don’t get halfway through a project and realize you are out of baskets and unable to complete the job.
Step 4 – group things into categories and put them back
Because I had grouped my items as I was pulling them out of the drawers, it was pretty easy to put everything away – and remember the cardinal rule of organizing…” a place for everything and everything in it’s place!” Luckily I have 10 drawers all to myself so I was easily able to find space for everything.
I have 2 drawers for office supplies:
2 drawers for crafty supplies:
I have a little “personal” drawer with handcream, lip balm and other personal things that really help to make this space all my own!
I have designated spots for my photography equipment, my laminating machine, my paint swatches, paper refills, and my clipboards.
Like I said, a place for everything and everything in it’s place!
So there you have it, my organized desk drawers! This was not too daunting a task and it’s having a hugely positive impact on my productivity. It’s so good to start with a small and manageable project like this one because you can set yourself up for a quick win, which gives you the motivation to keep going!