Thrifty

How I Organized My Office Space for Free

I have a confession. I am not known for my organizational skills. In fact organization is something I often have to force myself to do. The weird thing about me (well one of the many..lol) is that I do like things to be put in order, I just struggle with keeping it that way.

If you come over you definitely won’t find an immaculately clean and organized home. In fact, if you were to walk in at this very moment you would find dishes in the sink and on the counter that need to be washed and laundry from two days ago that I have yet to put away. So even though I do my best to keep things clean and in some semblance of order, I can’t guarantee it will always be that way.

The Dreaded Office Space

One area of my home that has been really bothering me lately is the office space, also known as the corner of my dining area where the desk sits because that’s the only place it will fit. There is just enough room for the chair between the dining table and the desk so it’s a tight space.

What has made it worse is the serious lack of organization going on. Papers were piling up and it was starting to feel even more cramped. So I finally decided to do something about it!

Before I get to how I made it work for me, let’s take a look at the before situation of my desk. Below you will see the various components of what made up my messy desk.

The Components of My Messy Desk

  1. File folder crate with random stuff piled on top.
  2.  Old calendar that has not been changed since September 2013.
  3. Letter about scheduled maintenance that took place last July.
  4. Other random notes including old appointment reminders and two year old Christmas cards.
  5. Plastic storage bins mostly used as junk drawers.
  6. Cups filled with too many writing utensils, many of which don’t even work plus other random things like old lip gloss.
  7. Mail organizer with old mail that should be filed or thrown out.
  8. Empty wrapper (at least it was from that day).
  9. Is that a cat toy? Yep!
  10.  My planner that I bought last Fall and still haven’t used much.
  11. Random notepads.
  12. Old printer cartridge and other random things stuffed behind the computer monitor.
  13. Hanging file bin with notepads, mail and other random noted stuffed in there.
  14. Daily flip calendar that hasn’t been changed for almost a month.
  15. More random things on top of the printer.
  16. The dusty printer. That dust is everywhere! 
  17. Stack of mail and receipts that should be filed and organized instead of just sitting on the desk.

The Organizing Process

Now that you have an idea of what I was working with we can move on to how I got it organized. First, I needed to assess the situation and why the current set up wasn’t working for me.

The main thing I needed to change was the fact that most of the desk was taken up by the printer so I had to figure out a way to fix that. The other main issue is that it had become a drab space that I did not enjoy sitting it and when it is the place that I spend most of my daytime hours I needed a change.

There was also a lot of clutter and dust that needed to be taken care of so I could start with a mostly clean slate. My first task was to get everything cleaned and dusted and sorted through what was junk or what needed to be put in a specific place.

Making it Functional

I spent some time brainstorming what I need to make the desk functional for me. I knew the printer needed to be somehow elevated and that I needed dedicated spaces to store specific things. It would have been easy to go to Target and pick out a bunch of organizing supplies and believe me that desk has seen much better days but I really wanted to figure out a way to work with what I had.

First, I went through my home to decide what things I already had that I could use. I found two crates, a small blue one and a larger white one. They both had things in them but I was able to relocate the contents so I could use them. These were very helpful in getting the desk organized and useful. The other things like the calendar and some decorative items, I already had around the house.

Components of My Organized Desk

  1. Cleaned out and mostly organized drawers.
  2. File folder crate unburied.
  3. Fabric covered cork board cleaned of cluttered papers and notes.
  4. Encouraging scriptures displayed on board.
  5. Easy access to my verse cards.
  6. Cleaned and organized office supplies using an organizer that was hiding behind the desk before.
  7. Small crate used to prop up container on top and as a small storage space.
  8. Gotta have the coffee!
  9. Dry erase calendar that was not currently being used.
  10. Hanging file cleared out and used to hold accordion folders with receipts and other important papers. These I already had, they just were not as neatly placed.
  11. Mail sorter cleaned out and left with address labels, stamps and a few other papers for easy access.
  12. A few pretty accents found around the house and placed on the desk to give it some fun. My favorite is my willow tree figure that my husband bought me on our first anniversary trip.
  13. Daily flip calendar actually on the right day!
  14. Crate used to prop up printer and house binders, notebooks, planner and books I am using.

Not Perfect But Better

I love this new setup so much better than before! I also love that it cost me absolutely nothing to do. All I had to do was take some things I already had and make it work for what I needed. Now when I sit here I feel much more productive. My favorite thing about it is probably the added decorative accents and encouraging scriptures that help brighten my day.

Of course there are plenty of ways I could make it prettier or more useful. It isn’t perfect and I will probably still change some things but it’s a huge improvement from what it was. It seems I am learning the reality that trying to get something perfect  the first time usually halts any sort of progress. It’s better to make small steps toward a goal and, if needed, make changes along the way.

Is there a space in your home that you need to organize? 

What’s your favorite organizational tip? 

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