Lifestyle, Organizing

#OrganizeYourWorld – DIY Desk Makeover (+ Desk Hacks!)

Welcome to the first post of my #OrganizeYourWorld series!

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IM SO HOOPED YALL. SO. HOOPED.

I got lots of support from last post’s comments about this series so that made me extra extra excited to get going on this organizing stuff! To be perfectly honest, I’m also a little nervous – it’s my first series and it’s on a very wide topic aaahhhhh! – but your support is super encouraging so thank you so much ❤

To kick off the 4-part series, we’re going to be addressing what I feel is a pretty big topic when it comes to organizing – workspaces. AKA your desk, AKA the thing you probably use 20+ hours a week. And, at least at first sight, this is a pretty overwhelming project.

BUT WHY ELSE DO YOU THINK I HAVE THIS SERIES?? Let’s get started!!

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So you know those great pictures we see all the time with a clean desk, only a pretty flower and laptop on them? Man, I could look at those things all day. They’re so satisfying. Even if they’re not ours, it’s almost like life is easier to bare, because, oh my squirrels, a clean desk!!

Although it’s a lovely thought, we have to face the facts. In reality, our desks look a little more like this:

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This was my desk. I’m sorry if I hurt anybody’s eyes.

In my defense, this was immediately after finishing NaNoWriMo while doing school at the same time. Blame life.

After the torture ended, I just had to organize. I’m not a super-clean person – my desk usually gets piled up in less than a week – but that’s not the point of organizing.

Actually, while we’re here…

  • Being clean is not the point of organizing.
  • Having an empty desk is not the point of organizing.
  • Getting rid of stuff is not the point of organizing.

Let me put a thousand pounds of emphasis on this last one.

  • Getting rid of stuff is not the point of organizing.

The point of this whole kerfuffle is to make a space that you love! A space where you don’t feel overwhelmed. A place that works for you.

For me, I don’t have to have a Pintrest-perfect desk to be organized. I’ll still have stuff all over the place. But it takes less than two minutes to put everything back in its place and that’s how I’m organized.

Maybe that’s not your system. Maybe you like having everything in its place at all times. That’s alright. You will know when you’ve found something that works. In the meantime, just try out different ways. If they work, keep them. If they don’t, start again.

Organizing is very much trial-and-error. Don’t freak out if you don’t feel organized after a try or two. It just takes a bit of time and a spark of creativity. 🙂

So let’s really get started this time!

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First of all, you want a fresh slate. That means, TAKE EVERYTHING OFF THE DESK. Put it on the floor. REMOVE ANY CABLES, WIRES, PLUGS, EVERYTHING FROM UNDER THE DESK. Put them aside, too. Make sure everything is off and away from your desk.

The next part is pretty obvious; clean the desk.

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(sorry couldn’t help adding a harry potter gif)

When that’s all done, think about a few things for a minute.

  1. What really worked with the way your desk was set up?
  2. How could you implement those things into your new layout?
  3. What didn’t work?
  4. How could you change that to make it work for you (hint: think out of the box)
  5. What do you use this desk for? School? Work? Writing/Blogging? Crafting?
  6. How could you use the space to make what you do easier?

After you’ve answered those questions, you’ve got at least a little bit of a blueprint in your head. AWESOME. Now, it’s time to sort through that huge pile of stuff on the floor.

This is my favorite part of organizing. Abby likes to sort 🙂

I’d recommend making a few different piles (and if you’re a sortaphobic, just stick to the top three):

  • Keep
  • Trash
  • Belongs in another room
  • Donate
  • I don’t know if I want to keep or not

I think most of them are pretty obvious. You should know what to do. But that last one seems like it would be a little more tricky, even though it isn’t. If you can’t decide if you want to keep something or not, ask yourself how many times you’ve used it in the past month. And if you’re still not sure? Keep it.

HAH. DIDN’T THINK I WAS GONNA SAY THAT, DID YOU?

Record how much you do use those items, and at the end of the week or month, really decide if you’re going to keep or throw out.

Now for the fun-yet-complicated part: redesigning your desk.

design-29Ok so let’s state the obvious (again): You don’t want to have the same desk layout as you use to, because what’s the point? It’s only going to get messy like it was before. So now you need to take into account the things you use the most. That could be pens, sticky notes, devices, bullet journals or planners, etc., whatever you find yourself using every day. Keep that stuff closest, and assign spaces to put them.

What do you use the least? That could be a spare keyboard, extra chargers, planner stickers, school calendars… things you do use but not enough to keep on your desk and cause clutter. You’re going to want to keep those things near or in but not on your desk top.

And now we’re at probably the biggest issue I ever have with desks: PAPER WORK. It piles up and takes over space and gets everywhere and help I’m drowning in it!!

If you really really can’t finish the paperwork (because that’s the best solution to getting rid of it), use the wonder that is a BINDER and SHEET PROTECTOR. These things are clearly underestimated, and it’s so incredibly easy to keep track of! I mean, make one section for ‘work to be done,’ and one for ‘work to be submitted.’ LIKE ITS SO EASY.

Finally, décor. Don’t think that just because your desk is organized it can’t be pretty. Keep a candle, a picture, anything! The possibilities are virtually endless. Plus, there’s tons of stationary out there that is just so adorable eeeee!!

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corkboard (because yep I like the aesthetics)

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(note the envelope that says ‘Nov 31’. another example of how smart I am.)

note: you don’t need a corkboard to have a pretty & functional wall 🙂 if you have a whiteboard, chalkboard, or even just tape and paper, you can do it too!!

Anyway, my cute little corkboard used to be filled with NaNo stuff and school papers that I honestly didn’t use. I put the school stuff in my binder and just threw out the NaNoWriMo stuff.

There are were some math formula cards up there that I used a lot and needed a place to keep. In the end, I took a binder ring, a bunch of cards, a holepuncher, and my math book, and gave a good twenty minutes to writing out formulas. I MADE THEM PRETTY AND EVERYTHING. This has saved quite a bit of my sanity.

For my new setup, I took everything off but a letter from a friend and a YWW checklist. Then I started my new board!

I wanted a layout that I would not want to clutter, with it being so pretty, and put on it only things that would spark creativity. I also wanted a yellow-blue-white color scheme.

I ended up keeping a few objects with special memories to keep me writing:

  • mini-guitar (that my parents got as a white elephant gift that I fell in love with)
  • my verse for this year (John 14:37)
  • an envelope from my ‘sister’ H
  • notes from a few friends
  • tickets to a concert and *cough* The Lego Ninjago Movie
  • my nanowrimo finishing certificate!

To make your own kind of wall, take

  • art that means something to you
  • something that reminds you of your favorite thing in the world
  • an encouraging note or letter someone’s written to you
  • an achievement from your past
  • a plan to achievement in the future
  • something you want to pursue
  • a quote or verse

Make sure you love it, even if there are faults (ehem PERFECTIONISTS) because, trust me, it will have faults.

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desk hacks

1. cord control

Do you have tangled, hard-to-distinguish cords all over the floor around your desk? Are you sick and tired of having to detangle each wire just to find which one is for the computer? WELL DO WE HAVE A TRICK FOR YOU!

I got an extension chord with six outlets – just enough for my laptop, iPad, phone, and anything else I want to plug in. Then I put it in this little basket thing that keeps all my wires out of the way. It’s really easy to find everything, and the cords don’t get tangled together.

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2. stop kitties biting!

When we had Truman (our kitty cat aww), he would bite cords all the time – you can tell by the picture below! So I took a command hook and put it to the back of my desk. Now, instead of hanging off and being prime kitty food, it’s next to a wall, a little harder for an animal to bite on.

Besides, it’s better than just hanging down and ending up all over the floor.

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3. people who use their desk a lot…

Keep a box of Kleenex on your desk, or at least nearby, and a trashcan, too. I use paper a lot, and my trash can is usually filled up by the end of the week. Kleenex is good so you don’t sneeze and have to go wandering around the house to find a box and then end up using a toilet paper square. That stinks.

4. scuffed-up walls (or anything, really)

Got walls that have been scraped up by a chair, a table, or any thing that just happened to make a giant mark on the wall??? Use the age-old method of removing it – a Magic Eraser. This little sponge does wonders. Bonus, it gets scuff marks off of shoes and makes them look brand new.


If anybody’s curious, here’s what my desk looked like during a little photoshoot I had, even though most of the pictures didn’t end up in the post. You can see my brother’s shadow, my stepstool (i’m short), and the giant lamp I sometimes use as a photoshoot light…

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I cleaned it all up after I did this, I really did. Don’t judge my artistic style.

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OK PART THE FIRST IS COMPLETE! Congrats if you made it through (especially with my terrific scatter-brained thoughts). If you can’t tell I’m r-e-a-l-l-y n-e-r-v-o-u-s and totally out of my comfort zone today, but I’m still excited to see what yall do with it! Go on and tell me about your organizing in the comments 🙂

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What do you think?

Go organize something!!!

(and tell me about it duh)

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15 thoughts on “#OrganizeYourWorld – DIY Desk Makeover (+ Desk Hacks!)”

  1. Your desk looks AMAZING! And I personally dream of the day I can get a corkboard as well. 😂 I really want one. I’ll totally remember these tips! Thanks! 😄 I can’t wait to see the next post in the series!

    Like

  2. The thing that blew me away was the hook-on-back-of-desk trick!! I had never thought of that before. I have this problem where my charging cord just falls on the floor and it gets stepped on and crushed by my chair, so that tip is just pure genius! It’s really going to help me out. 😂 Thanks for posting! 😀 👍🏼

    Like

  3. Ahhh!! These tips are wonderful! I think this post has been so convincing that I’m getting this tingling sensation urging me to go clean my desk! (No kidding!)😂
    Can’t wait for part Two! Go Girl!🎊🎉😆

    Like

  4. This was a great way to kick start your series, Abby! I don’t have my own desk, so when I clean it up, someone else will dump a bunch of stuff on the empty spots and I’m like “……….” I like organisation but some days I’m just like, “Meh. I’ll clean it up later.”

    Like

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