Container Stories

Setting Up A Home Office Desk

Plus tips to keep it organized

by Jessica Litman

As a professional organizer, I've learned a ton of tips and tricks for creating an organized home office. That's why I was so excited to partner with The Container Store when it came time for me to revamp my setup!

Getting Started

First, I had to assess my space and determine what I actually needed. After measuring and taking an inventory of all of my supplies, I decided on a long desk with room for three separate work stations: one for my computer equipment, another area to create my vinyl labels, and another work space for my kiddos.

Choosing The Right Desk

After determining what size desk I needed, and looking at the supplies I wanted to store, I knew right away that an Elfa Component Desk would be perfect. And I knew exactly what desk combination to go with. Elfa and Bisley. For this project, we used three White Elfa Melamine Desk Tops and four Bisley Oxford Blue 2- & 3-Drawer Locking Filing Cabinets. The file cabinets act as desk legs - plus they have two drawers for office supplies, and one drawer for file storage. The desk tops came with Scotch Recloseable Fasteners to secure the desk top to the cabinets.

Pro Tip: If you don't want to use filing cabinets as the base, you can substitute Elfa Mesh Desk Drawers or Desk Legs. There are so many possibilities for creating a custom Elfa Desk. In fact, you can click here to design your own custom solution.

Desktop Storage

Next, it was time for me to figure out where to place things. I sorted items based on how frequently I use them. Then, I placed the items I use multiple times a day, such as pens and notepads, on the desktop so they're easily within reach.

Then, it was time to organize my planners, envelopes, stamps and notepads. In order to avoid having too many accessories on my desk, I chose to use only one organizer to hold everything. The 6-Section Acrylic Organizer worked perfectly, giving me more room to work.  

Organizing Office Supplies

I knew I wanted to store office supplies I don't use as frequently in the cabinet drawers, but I didn't want to end up with a junk drawer. So I first created a system of organization. I measured the inside of each drawer to determine which organizers would fit. I discovered the InterDesign Linus Shallow Drawer Organizers were absolutely perfect for my space.

Next, I sorted and grouped all of my paper clips, binder clips, extra tape, and staples, etc. After that, I put the supplies inside their designated organizers, and placed the organizers back inside each drawer.

Pro Tip: Secure organizers to the drawer using 3M Command Mounting Strips to prevent them from sliding around.

 Create A Filing System

For document and file storage, I created a filing system in order to protect the documents and also keep paper clutter to a minimum. To get started, I created categories for the different types of files I have. Each category was assigned its own folder. For example, things like taxes have their own folder for each year, receipts are stored in a separate file based on month, etc. Some of the additional categories I created include medical, school, business, workshops, taxes, and bills.

It was really important for me to be able to quickly access projects I'm currently working on. I used Bigso Magazine Holders to organize that paperwork. This helps keep things I need right at my fingertips, but also limits the paper clutter that can pile up on my desk.


Setting Up A Command Center

 A key part of my home office is my command center. I used several different types of organizers to create my own personalized command center. For example, I use a file pocket to store documents I need to access easily. This includes contact information for school, project check list, and catalogs I reference for inspiration. I use a calendar to keep track of important dates, Post-Its for project ideas, and a white board to keep track of all my ongoing projects.

All of these organizers are mounted to the wall directly above my desk. This has helped limit clutter on my desk top as well!

For even more tips and inspiration, head to my Blog or follow me on Instagram!