How to Organize the Desk Drawers in Your Home Office

If you look through the drawers in your desk, you may find a junk drawer or two. These are probably filled with things you didn’t know where to store, so you threw them into a drawer to deal with them later. Now is the time to sort through these items and separate the useful from the useless. The following steps will take you through this process quickly:

1. Go through one drawer at a time and take out any items you haven’t used in the last year. These don’t belong in your immediate work area. Try to make the decision right away either to throw an item out, give it away, or store it where you can find it when you need it. Because space is probably limited, you may have to be ruthless.

2. Get rid of anything that doesn’t work, including dead pens or battery-operated items that have no batteries.

3. Get a box for items you can’t bear to part with. Label this box Hold. If you still haven’t used the things in this box after six months, get rid of them.

4. Place all of the remaining items that you use often in a pile.

5. Measure a desk drawer to use as a place to put small things you use every day, such as pens, pencils, correction fluid, tape, scissors, and so on. (A lap drawer is best for this.) Then get dividers to fit this drawer. They will keep your supplies from rolling around every time the drawer is opened. You could also use a silverware tray or an office product designed specifically for this purpose.

6. Consider getting a drawer organizer for your stationery. These store let­terhead, second sheets, and envelopes neatly in a drawer without stacking them.

7. If you have a desk file drawer, use it to hold the papers you use often. Keep the papers you are currently working on in files instead of in piles. You’ll need this space for files when you start to sort through your papers.

Most desk drawers come with hanging file rods already in them. If your drawer doesn’t have a frame in it, you can buy a hanging frame that is easy to assemble, or a freestanding vertical file that fits inside the drawer. You can use either letter- or legal-size hanging folders in your drawer, but I recommend letter-size because they take up less room.

8. Now put the useful items back in your drawers, but this time organized logically. Group like items together, and store the things you use most often in closest reach. Items you use less often can be less accessible—for exam­ple, in the back of a drawer or in a bottom drawer. Items you seldom use shouldn’t be in your desk, but on shelves elsewhere.

Now that you’ve organized everything in your desk drawers, you’ll never have to waste time searching for lost items. You’ll have only one place to look for each item, and you’ll be able to see at a glance what you have.

Published by in How To, Tips, and Advice, on October 24th, 2010


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