7 cheap ways to organize your desk and elevate your workspace

Desk with computer and office supplies in home office
Desk with computer and office supplies in home office (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Whether you work remotely or use it for daily tasks, your desk is the centerpiece of any home office or workspace. But even if you’ve invested in one of the best desks to suit your needs, this can easily become the dumping ground for paperwork, stationary or ad hoc items — resulting in a cluttered mess. This is especially the case if you already have a compact space or lack of storage. 

In addition, having a messy desk can affect your focus and productivity, making it a less comfortable environment. And if working from home has become your norm, you'll need to ensure an organized space at all times.

Luckily, there are some simple, affordable solutions to keep your desk neat and in order. Best of all, these can instantly transform your desk in seconds, elevating your home office. Just be sure to avoid these 7 things that don’t belong in your home office.

So, if you want to create a more productive and energized workspace, check out these cheap ways to organize your desk in seconds.  

1. Desk organizer/tray holders 

Wooden filing tray with paperwork

Wooden filing tray with paperwork (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Desk organizers or tray holders are a great way to instantly organize all your paperwork, stationary or notepads. These usually have multiple compartments to keep things tidy and in order. And you can find some with sliding drawers, file dividers or pen holders, like this Simple Houseware Mesh Desk Organizer with Sliding Drawer, Double Tray and 5 Upright Sections, Black ($22, Amazon), that can maximize your desk space.

Since there are plenty of designs available, including wooden trays, you can easily find one to suit your office style, and look stylish.

If you prefer something more sturdy, you can also find wooden, desktop shelves like this Jerry & Maggie Desktop Organizer Office Storage Rack ($22, Amazon), that literally sits on top of your desk.  


TOPSKY Computer Desk with Bookshelf: was $179 now $152 @ Amazon
With its sturdy design, the TOPSKY desk has a large 23.6"D x 55"W surface with a reinforced steel frame. If you're after extra storage, it comes with a handy shelf that can hold books and office supplies, while a metal cable hole cover keeps computer wires out of sight. What's more, it's rustic surface, and attractive style will make it an eye-catching feature in any home office. It's no surprise that it was rated highly in our best desks buying guide.  

2. Wall organizer/grid 

White pegboard on wall in office

White pegboard on wall in office (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re tight for desk or workspace, you can opt for pegboard wall organizers instead. Pegboards are ideal for displaying paperwork, photos, artwork or notes to yourself — keeping clutter off the desk. 

Simply install it onto the wall behind your desk, and use metal hooks to hang your items. Some boards allow you to attach storage containers and various accessories like this Keepo Pegboard Combination Kit ($39, Amazon). These come in a set of four and you can set your pegboards up in a variety of ways to suit your needs. 

3. Cable management box 

Cable management box on floor

Cable management box on floor (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Between laptop, tablets and phone chargers, it’s easy to accumulate an unsightly nest of cables, or have a power strip on display. Especially if you've got one of the best standing desks, lifting up your work surface can reveal a host of unsightly cables. Luckily, you can conceal and reduce cable cutters with modern cable management boxes to suit your interior style. 

These come in different sizes and designs like this Cable Management Box 3 Pack ($31, Amazon), which ships with cable clips to stick to your console tables or desks. These also prevent trailing cables on the floor, and keep everything neat and tidy. Not only will these boxes look more sleek and visually appealing, but they'll also prevent children and pets from getting to the cables.

Check out one of the five cable management tricks our security and networking editor uses to keep his wires tidy. 

4. Desk drawer organizers 

Clear desk drawer organizers

Clear desk drawer organizers (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your desk drawers are often cluttered, making it impossible to find anything in a hurry, you’ll need to invest in drawer organizers. These are durable, plastic organizer trays of varying sizes, to fit inside your drawer space. These are ideal to divide your space into clear categories, making it easier to find and store items. 

Their non-slip pads keep them from shifting, and they vary from 4-piece to 25-piece sets, like this Vtopmart 25 PCS Clear Plastic Drawer Organizers Set ($17, Amazon), that can also be stacked into one another, and easy to clean. 

5. Under desk storage 

Under desk storage drawers

Under desk storage drawers (Image credit: Amazon)

If you want to keep clutter out of sight once and for all, under desk drawer organizers are ideal for hiding items. These simply clamp securely underneath your desk, and come with one or two sliding drawers. 

Generally, these are designed to fit any desk, and are sufficient enough to fit all of your paperwork, pads and supplies in one place. Organizers like this Under Desk Drawer Organizer ($32, Amazon), are practical and make a great space saver.  

6. Rolling storage cart 

Home office with wooden desk and black rolling cart next to it

Home office with wooden desk and black rolling cart next to it (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you have a small desk or want extra storage, a rolling cart can help you organize your desk, and be less cluttered. These multi-functional carts store all of your office essentials, making them easy to access and move around the room. These usually come with two lockable wheels with metal brakes so that it remains sturdy on all types of surfaces. 

You can even find carts with pegboards so you can hang items or attach storage baskets like this TOOLF 3-Tier, Metal Utility Rolling Cart with DIY Pegboards ($47, Amazon).  

7. Stylish storage baskets 

Storage crates and baskets

Storage crates and baskets (Image credit: Shutterstock)

From clear plastic and woven to wire baskets, these handy organizers will keep your desk tidy, and they can be placed anywhere. 

You can find various sizes and styles to accommodate your collection, like these Woven Storage Baskets For Organizing - set of 9 ($38, Amazon), which also make a nice addition to your home decor.  

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!