What a Wirecutter Home Office Expert Uses to Organize Her Desk

I’ve spent years scouring the web to discover inspiring workspaces and home offices—each as a interest and as a part of my job writing about home-office subjects for Wirecutter and, beforehand, Lifehacker. I’ve lurked for hours on websites like Apartment Therapy and the battlestations subreddit. And I’ve searched by means of Flickr members’ desk images, geeking out on any setup that had a vibe—whether or not it was a minimalist workspace, a conventional one, or one thing fully over-the-top tech-wise (like this DIY desk with a computer built into it).

Within the 20 years that I’ve been working remotely—writing about productiveness and distant work—my own residence workplace has continually developed as I’ve pursued that “just right” workspace dream. I’ll in all probability by no means cease revamping my desk, however I’m lastly proud of its present format as a result of it helps my workflow (for now) and retains litter to a minimal.

Right here’s what I take advantage of to preserve an organized workspace. These aren’t all Wirecutter picks, however they’re the objects I would like to preserve order at my desk.

Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Easel

The Quartet Glass Dry-Erase Desktop Easel on the author's desk.
Picture: Melanie Pinola

Loads of my each day notes embody issues like what my household needs to order for takeout or a reference quantity for a cellphone name I would like to make. As an alternative of losing paper, I take advantage of a glass whiteboard for these impermanent bits of information. I like which you could stand it up to use as a clipboard, however more often than not, it lies flat on the suitable facet of my desk. It’s nearly cathartic to purge random notes and have a clear slate on the finish of the day.

Velcro One-Wrap Thin Ties

Velcro one-wrap thin tie securing the cable of the author's microphone.
Picture: Melanie Pinola

Messy cables and an abundance of pc equipment are a distracting eyesore. The simplest method to preserve cables beneath management is to collect them collectively utilizing ties or straps. I take advantage of the hook-and-loop variety—particularly, these thin Velcro straps—as a result of, not like zip ties, they’re adjustable and reusable, which makes including or eradicating cables straightforward. I additionally use these ties to shorten a wire that’s too lengthy: Merely wrap the cable in a couple of loops and tie (this works for managing cables whenever you’re on the go, too).

Cocoon Grid-It Organizer

Several of the author's items held securely by the Cocoon GRID-IT organizer.
Picture: Melanie Pinola

My desk sadly lacks drawers, so for different odds and ends (together with pc equipment that don’t want to be on my desk), I take advantage of wall area. I’m a massive fan of the Cocoon Grid-It Organizer for holding and organizing small objects in my purse, backpack, or journey case. However I really like this organizer finest when it’s hanging by my desk on a strong, stick-on hook. It retains objects—like a USB flash drive, hand moisturizer, and microfiber material—inside attain however doesn’t take up desk actual property. Bonus: The organizer is straightforward to seize and go.

Acco Large Binder Clips

A large Acco binder clip prevents cables from falling to the floor.
Picture: Melanie Pinola

Cables will be unruly, even once they’re not in use: After I would unplug my laptop computer to go work elsewhere, for instance, the ability wire and the opposite cables would typically fall off the desk. To the rescue: the common-or-garden, ever-versatile binder clip. I’ve the binder clip connected to the sting of my desk on the again, with the ability wire and cable for my USB hub working by means of the opening. It retains these cables in place and off the bottom after I’m not utilizing my laptop computer on the desk.

Veelink Bamboo Wireless Charger with Organizer

A bamboo pen cup and wireless charger on the author's desk.
Picture: Melanie Pinola

One cable I don’t fear about is the one for my cellphone charger. As an alternative, I take advantage of a wi-fi charger that doubles as a cellphone stand and pen holder. The Veelink Bamboo Wireless Charger with Organizer is solidly constructed, and I particularly like the way it blends in completely with my Jarvis bamboo standing desk. A wi-fi charger is a type of issues I didn’t understand I wanted till I purchased it, and this is likely one of the nicest-looking desk equipment I’ve come throughout.

Traveler’s Notebook

A weekly planner page inside the author's Traveler's Notebook.
Picture: Melanie Pinola

I’m an ardent fan of the Traveler’s Notebook for planning duties, journaling, and note-taking. It’s slim sufficient to have a everlasting spot on my desk or to carry in my purse, and the leather-based cowl feels luxurious. And this pocket book is infinitely customizable due to the numerous refillable inserts which are accessible. I take advantage of the dominated insert for notes, the month-to-month insert for broad undertaking planning, and the weekly insert for managing my to-dos and recording progress on habits I’m engaged on.

Sooner or later I hope to attain next-level journaling and planner artistry like different Traveler’s Notebook owners. However for now, that is in all probability the one factor on my desk, moreover my cellphone, that I’d seize if my home caught on fireplace.

A chunk of wooden + IKEA Capita legs

Closeup of IKEA Capita legs holding up a piece of wood on the author's desk.
Picture: Melanie Pinola

I’ve two exterior screens at my desk as a result of then I can do analysis on one display whereas I write on the opposite. Though there are monitor stands accessible for buy, to avoid wasting cash I went the DIY route: I drilled six IKEA legs to a dining-table leaf that I wasn’t utilizing. The monitor stand raises the screens in order that they’re at a extra ergonomic eye degree for me, and it additionally makes my desk area extra environment friendly as a result of I can tuck my laptop computer and a small desk organizer beneath the screens.

Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100i

The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100i scanner
Picture: Fujitsu

I used to have a full-size paper scanner that might deal with a number of sheets at a time, however I gave it away after shopping for this mobile scanner. This one is straightforward to use for my occasional scanning wants (decreasing paper litter), and it doesn’t take up a lot desk area, as a result of I’ve connected it to the underside of my desk with heavy-duty fasteners. I can detach the scanner after I want it, however, surprisingly, scanning the wrong way up works.

AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder

The AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder on the author's office floor.
Picture: Melanie Pinola

A paper shredder is on my quick checklist of must-haves for a dwelling workplace, as a result of so many papers might comprise delicate, private info—every little thing out of your cellphone quantity to your social safety quantity. After testing eight shredders, I made a decision on the AmazonBasics 6-Sheet Micro-Cut Shredder for my dwelling workplace due to its budget-friendly worth, excessive safety, and compact design. It’s concerning the measurement of a typical small wastebasket, so it additionally matches in properly beneath my desk.

Wayber Dual-Sided Desk Pad

The Wayber Dual-Sided Desk Pad in light blue with a Macbook and mouse on top of it.
Picture: WAYBER

The newest buy I made for my desk was this leather-like desk pad. I beforehand thought a desk pad (or mat) was pointless for most individuals—when you’ve got a handsome desk, why cowl it? However after seeing certainly one of my buddy’s desks, I spotted how purposeful and delightful this low cost desk accent was. It protects my desk from spills and lets me put down sweaty water glasses wherever, slightly than having to exactly place cups on a coaster. My mouse strikes extra easily on it. And, maybe most significantly, the mat creates a nice visible that makes me at the least really feel extra organized and tidy.

In the event you spend a lot of hours at your desk, it’s price taking the time to rethink the way it’s organized, to transfer issues round, and to get the objects that can preserve you organized and feeling good all day lengthy.

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