How to tidy your desk (and keep it tidy)

Whether you use your desk for studying or for work, keeping it tidy can make it easier to focus when you sit down to work which should make you more productive (leaving you with more time to do other non-school/ work things which is always nice…). In this blog post we will consider how you can tidy your desk, as well as how to keep it tidy (after all, there is no point in making it perfectly tidy only for the system to fall apart two days later and your desk to be covered in paper again…).

Have a big sort out

The first thing to do when you are tiding your desk is to get rid of anything you don’t need (the less things you have to keep tidy and organised the better!). I have written more about how to have a clear out here so read that post if you need a bit more help but basically just try and get rid of anything you don’t need/ move things that belong elsewhere. This includes the top of the desk and any drawers etc. (it might be best to do this in stages if you have a lot of stuff…).

Put everything back tidily

Once you have got rid of everything you don’t need, don’t just put it all back at random because that is never going to keep it tidy for long. It might be best to focus first on what you actually need on the top of your desk. For example you might not need to keep all your school notes or bank statements on your desk. Be creative with this, for example, I store folders with my university notes on the floor under my desk so that I can reach them easily but they aren’t in my way. Also, as I discovered a few years ago, if you have a pencil case you don’t really also need a massive pen pot on your desk. Instead I keep my pencil case in a drawer and just have a black pen, blue pen, and a pencil in a small holder on my desk which saves a lot of space and then I just get my pencil case out when I need it. Basically, as long as you can reach everything you need easily without getting up and risking getting distracted you will probably be fine.

If you have desk drawers, try to keep a system to what goes in each drawer. For example I have a drawer of notebooks and dictionaries etc., one of stationary (I have a lot of random stationary!), one of university related things, and one with hanging folders with things like scrap paper etc. in which is also where I keep accordion files with important documents etc. in.. Just try to develop a system where your desk is largely clear but you can still find things quickly and easily when you need them.

Develop a system to keep your desk tidy

Now that you have a lovely tidy desk, try to develop a system to keep it at least vaguely tidy most of the time. You could decide that at the end of each day you are going to put everything that doesn’t belong on the top of it away so you start each day with a nice tidy desk. Or you might instead decide to tidy up after each individual task/ study session is done. I personally like to do a quick tidy up at the end of each study session and just put everything neatly if I know I will be coming back to it later and then I do a proper tidy up at the end of each day.

Dealing with paperwork etc. straight away also helps, for example file bank statements as soon as they arrive and try not to let other post build up. If you do get a lot of admin stuff to do that normally just builds up it might be a good idea to find somewhere specific to keep it such as an in-tray or a drawer to keep it out of the way and then decide on a time to go through it all at once each week, for example.


I hope this post as helped you to keep your desk more tidy – leave a comment to let me know how you normally organise your desk/ keep it tidy 🙂

Ellen Allsop

Hello! I'm Ellen Allsop, the creator of EAsy :)

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