Organize your Office Desk Drawer

January 29, 2013 by  

Start Simple! Organize A Drawer

Organizing can become so over whelming to many of us, that it’s easier to look at an entire room and all of the mess, and say – “it’s too much, I can’t do it.”  But if you focus your efforts on something small to organize, like your desk drawer, it’s a start… it will motivate you to keep going.  The feeling of accomplishment you get from having an organized and cleaned out area is awesome!

organize office drawerOffice desk drawers can very quickly become a “catch all” for all kinds of things.  This is my desk drawer as I opened it to do this post.

There is some organization there, but I want to to show that organizing your drawer doesn’t have to be scary or “too big” to do.

organizeI used baskets and also just the plastic trays that the sharpies came in.  But it needs some freshening up.  You don’t have to go out and buy expensive supplies. The boxes your checks come in work great. These baskets are from the dollar store.

organizeLOL.. look at all the mini hand sanitizers!

office drawer before Then in this front built in tray…. there is a whole bunch of little “stuff”

So this is what you need to do

Take everything out of the drawer

cleaning out the desk drawerThen clean the drawer.

dirty drawerAnd this is a long narrow drawer, so I had to get it all the way out.

All the little crud and bits and pieces that get back in the corners.

Grab what ever products you use to clean with and a clean rag and clean well.

I’m use OdoBan for a lot of different cleaning projects. It is the smell of clean to me. I also just realized it was green. I had no idea, I’ve been using it for years.

Once you have cleaned…. then you sort the items.


1) Keep – You use it, love it and Need it
2) Donate – You don’t use it or need it and it is in good shape then donate it to others who can use it.
3) Move it – It doesn’t belong in the office. (for instance a child’s wallet – or that little hand held fan in my desk drawer)
4) Trash/Recycle – If you don’t use it, and it isn’t in good enough shape to donate – then trash or recycle it.

This is all the little stuff that came out of the front little tray

I mean really…. do I need all these hand sanitizer?  And what good are they doing in my desk drawer?  They are all half full.
hand sanitizerThen of course you always end up finding loose change anytime you clean don’t you?

changePicture hanging supplies

Tacks and paper clips

thumb tacksAnd doesn’t everyone have a couple of stray keys?


Lots of pens and markers


For the pens, pencils and markers go through the exercise that I described in this post I just posted yesterday on pens and pencils organizing.

Now go through and take the items and distribute them where they belong. Do you have a bank somewhere on the main floor of your home for loose change?  I have one on top of my refridg and another one in my laundry room.  Any change that goes in here goes towards the family vacation fund.


If you have things like hand sanitizers or hand lotions in your drawer. You don’t need as many as I have here. hand sanitizers

Consolidate them into 1 or 2 containers.

hand sanitizersI had 2 containers that had the rubber holders on them, so I poured the others into those and got it down to two containers.

hand sanitizerThen I put them where they would do some good. One went on my purse and the other went on my bookbag.

hand sanitizer

If there is a key that belongs in the office (for a safe, desk drawer or locked cabinet) make sure you label it.

labeled keys

Separate your pens from your pencils, from your sharpie markers, from your highlighters. Just be sure they all work properly.

sharpie markers

After you have gone through and sorted out what doesn’t belong in your desk drawer you can put your drawer back together.

I did not go out and buy anything for the drawer. I just used what I had in the drawer… I want you to realize that you don’t have to go out and buy a lot of things to organize.   We always find excuses not to do things, I want you to know that you can go in and clean out…. sort….clean…..put back  ANYTIME!  You don’t have to wait to go buy things!

Now… put things back in.

I did something a little interesting here.  This drawer goes back really far and I have problems with the baskets sliding back into the drawer.  I could go and buy a really cool fitted desk drawer organizer, and I could have ravaged around my house for more organizers… but I also want to show you… your organizing can take place in about 30 minutes.

So…..I used a ream of paper that I had stored underneath the desk to put in the very back of this drawer to help keep things from sliding around so much.

** Great tip from a reader Daren. Daren said to use pieces of velcro underneath the baskets or trays to hold them in place from sliding! I love that! Never even though of that. I’ll be trying that one for sure!

I had extra room in the drawer after I cleaned it out, so I moved a couple things over from another drawer that had too much in it. The tapes from a labeler, some extra staples and thumb tacks. I also put my nursing hemostats and tweezers in here. I do use the hemostats for things like taking out knots in cords etc…so I actually do use them in my office.

Here is the final product.30 minutes…. and a reorganized and clean desk drawer.

Now it is your turn!  Go take just a little bit of time and organize that drawer!


This post was revamped from it’s original post date of January 27, 2011.


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6 Responses to “Organize your Office Desk Drawer”
  1. Anne Marie says:

    Thank you for the post! It seems that that drawer becomes very cluttered very quickly. And I like the idea of just thinking about 1 drawer at a time. We’re moving into a new house this weekend and I will be on your blog a lot looking for ideas as I unpack and organize! Thanks!

  2. Sandy says:

    Thanks Anne Marie! Good luck with your move.

  3. Dad of Divas says:

    WOW, you are so much more organized than I! I am impressed! I love the ideas though and may just try and implement them at work (as I need the help)

  4. Where do you live again? I make a great pizza – serve beer or wine? Could USE YOUR HELP in my home office – the only room my wife will NOT enter! LOL…

    The funny thing is I used to be anal about organization … then I had kids!

  5. Sandy,

    WOW!! You are impressive! I love the ideas you give for organizing a desk drawer! OK…can you come and help me with my sons play room now??? I need someone with your skill set and expertise to make my life so much easier….

    Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders

  6. I need this kind of advice for my entire office! It’s a mess. I just hate to spend needed work time cleaning it.

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