With the right tools and strategies in place, your workspace will go from utter disarray to total harmony.

By Stephanie Sisco
Updated December 20, 2017

Rule number one is to keep your desk space relatively neutral, not distracting. Opt for one kind of pen (eliminating the interruption of deciding which one to use), soothing colors, and a clear work surface. Start by taking everything off of the desktop and out of the drawers, then categorize the items you want to keep: files, books, writing instruments, etc. Next, introduce organizers for each category: magazine files and bookends, file folders and sorters, a pen cup, and a small storage spot for those miscellaneous items. Pro tip: If you’re right-handed, you’ll pay more attention to what you store on the right side of your space—arrange projects and papers there, and put desk supplies and books on the opposite end.

Corral cord clutter by hanging headphones from a stand and securing your computer’s cable or phone charger with stick-on cable clips.

For your drawers, line the empty space with acrylic dividers in assorted shapes, playing a game of Tetris to figure out the best arrangement. Fill each with one type of item to keep everything tidy.

Lastly, hang a memo board above your work surface and tack up the items you need to see at a glance: a calendar, to-do lists, and a few personal items that will make you happy to look at. Finish off the desk space with a task lamp to keep your focus and prevent eye strain and—voila!—your new streamlined workspace is complete.

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