Organizing the "Desk of Disaster"


Hubby and I own 3 businesses between us, and we share this desk...which is a total disaster! With the help of Maeve Richmond and Good Housekeeping, we tackled the disaster and organized everything for less than $10.
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
BEFORE.
We each have tons of paperwork, calendars, schedules, notes, reminders, bills, and the papers just keep piling up. Since it's a corner desk, there's lots of unused space behind the monitor. Pens and papers are stored in shoeboxes/coffee cups/etc with no organization. What a mess!
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
My side of the desk has tons of papers from my blog and direct sales business. I have multiple "to do" lists working at any given time, plus I contact people daily for product training, volunteer work, etc. There is way too much paper and no logic to the piles.
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
Hubby's side of the desk has the printer, some office supplies, and a bunch of labels. There's no room for him to work or spread out.
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
The first step was to clear everything off the desk. We found pictures from 1974, CDs from 1992, and receipts from 2012!
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
Following Maeve's suggestion, we moved the printer off the desk and onto the neighboring bookshelf. This gave Hubby lots of space to organize his bill box and spread out papers if needed.
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
We also got a thrift store basket for $1.00 to store his envelopes and stamps, so they wouldn't get lost on the desk (like they have in the past).
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
I color-coded my project folders and eliminated LOTS of piles from my side of the desk. Whenever I had an idea, I'd grab a new notepad--which resulted in multiple to-do lists. Now ideas and projects with deadlines go in the appropriate folder for weekly review.
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
I also got a thrift store basket for $2.99 to store the business cards I receive from the Meetup groups that I run and the networking events I attend.
organizing the desk of disaster, cleaning tips, home office, organizing
AFTER.
Can you believe this is the same desk?!? It's amazing what a few hours of cleaning and organizing can do. We're ready to tackle the busy time of year for our businesses!
BrownThumbMama

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Go

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Kimberley Hosmer
    on Apr 2, 2016

    Can Maeve Richmond and Good Housekeeping please, please, pretty please come to my office and help us get organized?

  • Karen
    on Apr 3, 2016

    You did an excellent job. I like your desk, could you tell me where you got it???

  • Judy Stetler
    on Jan 12, 2017

    Could you suggest how to best utilize the cabinet that's on the lower left side of the desk? My husband and I have similar desks and it's like one big black hole - mines stacked and his needs some sort of shelving that's useful. Thanks

    • Shawna Bailey
      on Jan 15, 2017

      took the door off mine and used it as the front for a sliding drawer and made holes in the back so it holds my printer.

Join the conversation

16 of 16 comments
  • Excellent cleanup and organizing job

  • Don Yealy
    on May 16, 2016

    One suggestion from a real computer tech, get the desktop PC off the floor to reduce the dust build up over time inside the box. It has fans to keep it running cool which suck in the dust off the floor and coat the sensitive connections inside with dust that eventually can corrode these contacts and overheat some circuit areas. I have had way too many clients with computer problems related to this simple solution. A simple sturdy riser of at least 4 in. height will solve the problem. Using a wireless mouse and keyboard eliminates wire clutter on the desk surface.

Your comment...