A Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Best Desk Organizer

If you’re anything like me, keeping your desk organized is a challenge. It’s inevitable that miscellaneous items end up on your desk throughout the day. Documents pile up, new office supplies arrive, but the old ones end up in a drawer or corner of a desk, and the cycle begins.

A Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Best Desk Organizer

Where you work affects how you work. Whether you’re working from your home office, or in a cubicle at your 9 to 5, there are interruptions and distractions that cause you to forget to put things away.

In your office, the desk is your control center. How well it’s organized can set the tone and productivity of your day. Even with the best desk organizer around, we recommend various organizational strategies to defend against distractions.

Why It's Important 

Research shows that we spend nearly 40% of the year sitting at our desk. Determining how to organize your desk is crucial to living a productive and stress free life. Trust me, I understand how daunting the process seems, but once you’ve invested the time and resources the benefits are endless.
Your desk is an essential part of your work, which means figuring out how to keep your desk organized is essential to your professional success. If you still aren’t convinced, learn more about why it’s important to organize your workspace and the benefits of a tidy desk. 
 desk organizer

How To Find the Ultimate Desk Organizer

Before you invest any time or money into organizing your desk, ask yourself the following questions:
  • What kind of supplies do you need to get work done?
  • How much open space is on top of your desk?
  • How much weight can your desk support?
  • Where is the best place to store these items on your desk?
  • Should they be stored on your desk at all?
  • What is the current style of your desk or office?
  • What’s your budget?
Consider how visible you want your supplies to be. Cube storage is open so you can see and easily access supplies, while drawer storage lets you hide items that may not be required on a daily basis.
desk organizer on table
Check out our in-depth guide that  provides category-specific  purchasing advice to ensure you only purchase reliable office supplies and equipment. 

 

Features and Benefits to Consider

We all have different lifestyles and limitations that are typically dictated by the kind of work we do.  Similarly, your desk should support the various day-to-day tasks we do and the supplies needed to complete each task.  

There is not one individual desk organizer that rules them all.  To find the best desk organizer that fits your unique needs, consider the following key elements before you buy anything.

Design

Size

Weight

Compartments

  • Items being stored can help determine desk organizer design 
  • Consider how much desktop space you have and need to work
  • Size and material affects the weight
  • This is a good place to start assessing what is currently on your desk
  • Books and files may require upright storage design
  • Organizers should not monopolize the precious workspace
  • Plastic is easier to move around
  • Small compartments are ideal for little items
  • Smaller items can fit in other storage spaces such as shelves, drawers, and compartments
  • Small organizers may not meet your storage needs
  • Metal and wood  support heavier objects like books
  • Shelves store books and larger items better

 

An organized desk allows you to find what you need, when you need it, without adding unnecessary stress into the mix. Spend too much time searching for misplaced things or missing information? Here are some of the best desk organizers in the market that will help transform your desk by getting rid of the desk, along with the stress. 

Types of Desk Organizers 

Looking at your desk, do you think some items need to be out in the open or stocked away in a drawer? Unnecessary items on your desk can easily distract you and take up too much surface space. 

Piles of sticky notes, personal items, documents you no longer need or read, all need to be regularly evaluated based on their relevance. Get rid of Put away anything that doesn’t have an immediate use. Office supplies are an essential part of most people’s workday. Find the best desk organizer that offers proper storage and has a designated space for each item. 

1. On Desk Organizers

Keep all your supplies within reach with these organizers that are designed specifically for a desktop. These organizers are made of lightweight, affordable material which offers the most for your money and versatility in how you can use them on your desktop. 
Most on-desk organizers come with multiple compartments that offer various storage options that you can use to maximize the small, desk space it takes up. Do you need somewhere to put your paperwork, files and notebooks? What about the smaller stuff, like paper clips and bulletin board pins? 
This type of organizer is a tried-and-true way to declutter your desk which means there are many to choose from. Be sure to evaluate the supplies you use everyday to determine which organizer best fits your needs.
 
mesh metal desk organizer
Pros:
  • Sturdy
  • Space saver, small footprint
  • Comes fully assembled
  • 4 rubber grips to protect desktop surface
  • Lifetime warranty available
  • Lightweight
  • 6 compartments
  • Affordable
Cons:
  • Can’t hold standard size papers/file folders (8.5 x 11)
  • No phone holder 
Keep all the supplies you need within reach with this classic, black steel mesh organizer that offers multiple storage options with a total of nine compartments. The top tray can be moved around which allows you to stack your items to save space or move it to a more convenient spot. 
black steel mesh organizer
Pros:
  • Somewhat customizable (top tray is not attached)
  • Sturdy
  • Affordable
  • 9 compartments
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons:
  • Difficult assembly
  • Plastic hardware not as durable 
 
best desk organizer
Pros:
  • Versatile (magnetic base, rearrangeable compartments)
  • Universal Phone holder 
  • Simple design
  • Easy “assembly” (remove trays from packing and snap-on)
  • Supports most office supplies 
  • Minimalist style (small footprint and simple design)
  • Quality material
  • Easy to clean
Cons:
  • Only holds office supplies (no paper/folder space)
  • Individual compartments not sold separately
  • No phone charging feature
 
3-tier bamboo shelf organizer
 
Pros:
  • 3 tiers, 4 compartments
  • Small footprint
  • Solid drawers  hide items
Cons:
  • Can’t hold standard size papers/file folders (8.5 x 11)
  • No grips to prevent sliding
  • Drawer insert/thread issues

2. Desk Drawer Organizers

You likely have office supplies that you don’t use on a daily basis. If you don’t use an item everyday then it doesn’t need to be stored on the sacred surface of your desktop. Desk drawer organizers are ideal for infrequently used items like staples, extra post it notes, binder clips, or writing tools used on special occasions like signing documents. 
It’s crucial to keep an open area on your desk for getting things done that require an adequate chunk of your working real estate. So embrace the white space by utilizing your drawers to organize the supplies you don’t need day-to-day. 
 
bamboo drawer organizer
Pros: 
  • Versatile 
  • Durable
  • 5 compartments
  • Easy to clean
  • Water-resistant coating
  • Eco-friendly
Cons:
  • Not 100% bamboo wood
  • No grips on bottom
 
custom metal drawer organizer
Pros:
  • Adjustable tray dividers
  • Easy to clean
  • No assembly required
Cons:
  • Limited to drawer

    3. DIY Desk Organizers

    If your creativity is calling or you're on a budget, try these DIY desk organizer ideas. Most of what you need can be found around the house with little to no financial investment. Keeping your desk organized doesn’t have to be expensive and can actually be fun. 
     

    4. Multifunctional Organizers - think beyond the desk

    The surface area of your desk is precious so if something needs to be there, then as the saying goes, kill two birds with one stone. Declutter the visual environment of your desk by getting rid of hanging cords by hiding them under your desk while reducing stress caused by tangled wires/trying to figure out what plugs into where.
    Take advantage of vertical space with hanging organizers to make sure everything stays in place and can be easily accessed. Use a monitor stand to support your computer screens, printers and laptops while storing things in the space underneath, that would normally go to waste. 
     

    Best Desktop Organizer Overall 

    An organized workspace doesn’t magically create more time in the day, but it helps you get more done because you know where everything is, aren’t overwhelmed by visual distractions, and can focus on the task at hand. Plus, when your desk is organized it gives you a positive mindset that can enhance your enthusiasm throughout the workday. 

    The Modern Magnetic Bamboo Desk Organizer ranks as the best overall desk organizer for me. It comes with different compartments that make sense for the items that need to be on your desk. I am constantly rearranging my desk layout based on what I need to get things done. 

    This versatile organizer comes with a universal phone holder, and yes that includes your pop socket and/or card holder that’s attached to your phone case. The magnetic compartments can be easily switched around to ensure close access to supplies of the highest priority. This organizer provides storage for most office items worth storing on your desk. 

    best desk organizer

    This minimalist design has a small footprint and blends well with most modern office styles. It may not be the cheapest desk organizer, but it’s a worthy investment made of high quality bamboo wood material with a lifetime warranty.

    This organizer checks all of my boxes meaning it suits every office one of my personal office needs. Carefully consider what your needs are, what supplies are needed to complete each task, both in relation to the physical space available. 

    The Office Oasis

    Written by The Office Oasis