Monday, November 1, 2010

Desk Organization

Finally! I have DONE it!! I have struggled for so long on how to master my desk! I think I've done it this time!! This took several days and much pondering, but I have a system that finally works for me. Here's my before picture: Not great, huh? And believe me, that's not even as bad as it could have been. There is some organization to it. Like I said, I've tried several different things that weren't working well enough.

Now, here's the after picture:Much better, huh? Okay, so there's two things that are key to this desk. First are the magazine holders above the computer screen. Before, I was using them as storage for cardstock, folders, laminating pouches, etc. Now, they are not being used as storage. They are used for a "filing" system of categorized items that I use everyday. That is prime real estate on my desk, and I wanted that to be actionable space, not storage.
Here are my categories:

  1. Jefferson's Papers-whatever school items that need to be referenced during the week, or a place to hold his homework, reading logs, spelling lists, etc. (This is not long-term storage, see this post for that)
  2. Papers to Recycle- so often as I'm cleaning things off my desk, or mail comes in, or whatever, I have papers I want to recycle, but I don't want to walk to the garage every time to dump it. So, I'll hold it until I'm ready to go to the garage.
  3. Talmage's Papers-same concept as "Jefferson's Papers" for my 2nd son
  4. Magazines & Papers to Read-this would be for, yes, magazines, and maybe some articles, or stories that I've printed out that I want to read, or some lists of books to read.
  5. To Be Put Away-things that have landed on my desk that need to be put somewhere else. Just a holding spot until I can put them all away at once.
  6. Scrap Paper-paper I can use to jot a list down on, or something I can use when I'm trying to explain a math problem to my son. Or, art paper for my children.
  7. Primary- I teach the children's singing time in church every week. Whatever activity I'm preparing for the week, I can put in there as the week goes on.
  8. Coupons/Receipts- Pretty self-explanatory. I keep receipts for a few days in case I have to return something. And of course whatever coupons I clip out that haven't made it to my little coupon wallet yet.

As you've noticed, these spots mostly are NOT for storage. They are for items that are in transit for one reason or another. Items to be used, thrown away, or in a holding spot.

Then in this spot, I have my Family Organization Book (see here for that post), my E-mealz menus (I love can check it out here), book my son is reading for school, and my pocket calendar.And then, the next spot is here:
The top left basket is for my husband. Yeah, he needs a little spot. The right top basket is full of discs that I'd need for the computer. The bottom left basket holds my label maker, my camera, and my date stamper (for my kids school papers; see this post). Then there's my ipod, our pencil pot, and my kids' money banks.

And if you'll remember, I said that there were two keys to this desk. The first was the magazine holders, and the second are my letter trays. The top is for Incoming anything. Whether it be mail, or something my husband needs to give me, or whatever. This needs to be looked at daily. The second tray is my "hot" To Do tray. Things that need to be taken care of fairly soon.

So, that's my desk! It's been working great. I may have to tweak as some things come in that I didn't expect, but I'm so excited!! Thanks for reading!


  1. WOW! I am really impressed. I love that you have spots for things that seem temporary enough that most people (myself included) just kind of stack it on the desk, anticipating that they'll get to it later that day. No matter what, you can have an organized, clean desk. Very very good ideas! Oh, and I think your recipe books are great too. Also, I used your wipes container idea for grocery bags, and I love it. And you know those little bitty wipes containers made for diaper bags? I use that to hold the little produce bags from the grocery store that sometimes come in handy (especially with tossing diapers). Thanks for the great ideas!

  2. Good idea KB! I think I'll use the little containers for those produce bags. Great for throwing out diapers.

  3. I don't know nothing about wipe containers or grocery bags, but I do appreciate the organization! Someday when I have a home again I'll have to go to your blog to get ideas for organizing. What was KB talking about your idea for recipe books? I'd like to hear...

  4. looks great! I need to get more organized. Just maybe you have inspired me to do better.

  5. Love your desk, Anne Marie. So organized! I really like your blue phone, too. Cute!

  6. Ok... you so have to link this up on my link party so my readers can see what a great job you did!

  7. Thanks Sandy! I will definitely do that! And thanks for letting me know where you got your back door shelves. Very helpful!