4 Expert Tips To Choose Desktop Organization

Desktop organization is necessary for an uncluttered and productive workspace. Getting the right fit for your office and desk can be challenging, especially with so many options on the market. We've put together this brief guide to help you make the best choice for you.

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What type of desktop organization is best for me?

The most important part of choosing a desktop organizer is knowing exactly what you'll be organizing. To get started with this, you should conduct an initial survey of your working space and sort items into three piles according to the frequency of use:

  • Daily use
  • Weekly use
  • Monthly use

Things that are used on a weekly and monthly basis, should be stored externally in a filing cabinet or other appropriate form of storage.

Once you have your list of daily items, start searching for desk organizers that suit your needs. Below are the main types of desk organization systems:

  • File Organizers: go for this type, if you have a lot of papers that need organization. This category includes organizers with multiple shelves or vertical file sorters. Depending on your preference, choose the type that suits you best. An interesting solution is vertical compartment organizers. They come in attractive designs and are great for storing stationery, documents, forms, etc.
Black Steel Mesh File Organizer
3 Tier File Organizer in Black
Brown Fabric File Desk Organizer
Wood And Metal File Organizer
Wood File Organizer with Drawer
Hanging File Organizer in Silver
  • Desk Organizers: this type of organizer is best for you if you have a lot of miscellaneous items that show up on your desk. These organizers have compartments for stationery, loose papers, business cards and often come with drawers suitable for storing phone chargers and headphones.
Brown Desk Organizer with Drawers
Small Plastic Desk Organizer
Light Wood Desk Organizer
Storage Supplies Desk Organizer in Aqua Blue
Black Plastic Desk Organizers for Notes
Modern Desk Organizer in White Wood
  • A cup or holder for pens and other stationery is a must-have in every workstation; regardless of how digital we become in the operation of our businesses, having adequate storage for pens is a must. Sticky notes, calendars, and business journals alike all require a pen- and rightly so. Sometimes making notes by hand simply works better than digital reminders!
Pink Desktop Storage Organizer Holder for Pens
Pencil Cup and Note Holder
Metal Pencil Cup with Cell Stand
Wood and Leather Pencil Cup in Black
Horizontal Display Stand Pen Holder
Square Cup for Pen in White
  • Monitor Stand: an often-overlooked source of extra desk real estate is the space our monitors take up. Most modern office spaces come equipped with 20-25" monitors, which can actually deny the use of a significant portion of your desk. In most cases, the surface area underneath a monitor goes completely unused since there's no practical way to do so.

By having a desktop organizer that doubles as a monitor stand, you can put this space to use and create even more space on your desk than you had before.

  • Charging Stations: If you're a dedicated cell phone, tablet, or laptop user, then having a built-in charging station is a useful feature in your desktop organization. Charging stations preserve working space and save you the inconvenience of needing to bring a charger for each device with you to work. 

  • Magazine Holders: if you work in fashion or design or have space in your office dedicated to entertaining clients while they wait for meetings, magazine holders are an essential pick up for you. Magazine holders are a stylish way to keep your catalogs, brochures, letters or loose papers organized.

Adjustable Dual Monitor Stand in White
Clear Acrylic Monitor Stand
Brown Bamboo Charging Station
Wooden Multiple Charging Station
White Metal Magazine File Organizer
White Plastic Magazine Holder

What materials should my desktop organization be made from?

Generally, your material choices largely determine the lifespan of your items of choice. When it comes to load-bearing furniture like chairs and beds, high-quality woods are suitable choices. While desktop organizers are not load-bearing, the material choice can still matter for a variety of reasons.

Metal and Plastic

Metal and plastic desktop organizers are simple to clean and usually last a long time. They are naturally resistant to decay, liquids, and the range of temperatures found in the typical office. Overfilling plastic desktop organizers can warp or crack them, however, so be careful not to overburden your organizer.


Mesh desktop organizers are typically made from metal and fit well into most office spaces. Mesh organizers are typically a neutral color, and while they are resistant to water, temperature, and decay- they can be a challenge to keep clean since dust can build up in spaces, which can be difficult to clean efficiently.


Glass desktop organizers work well in most modern decors and actually fit into a variety of color schemes. They are easy to keep clean and are easy to maintain- seldom requiring more than the occasional splash of glass cleaner and a bit of elbow grease.


While technically a grass, bamboo's fibrous nature shares a number of characteristics with wooden desktop organization. Bamboo is vulnerable to water and can become the victim of natural decay. Bamboo is a naturally aesthetic material that can add a touch of Feng Shui to any office space. If you're a fan of koi ponds, bonsai trees or zen pebble gardens then bamboo organizers can be an appealing aesthetic for you.

Metal Document File Desk Organizer
Copper Metal Desk Organizer Set
Mesh Pencil Cup Organizer in Black
4 Tier Mesh Paper Tray Desk Organizer
Big Bamboo Desk Organizer in Brown
Clear Glass Desk Organizer Set

What features should I look for in desktop organization?

We suggest you consider the following features when shopping for your desktop organization.

  • Waste bin

If you're setting up a fresh office space, it can be easy to overlook having a waste bin. If you've recently been hired, its reasonable to assume that a waste bin will be provided with your office or cubicle, but it's wise to double-check regardless.

If your office happens to not have a waste bin already available, choosing an organization set that comes with one is a no brainer. If your office does come with one, a waste bin upgrade isn't entirely useless. The boring, plastic waste bin provided by your company is likely a wasted opportunity for a uniform theme.

Purchasing one that's part of a desktop organization theme, can add a little bit of Feng shui to your space that you didn't know you needed.

  • Adjustable configuration

One thing you can count on when it comes to desktop organization is that there is no true "one size fits all" solution. Default configurations are always convenient to start with and help get your desktop in shape quickly. However, as time goes by and your process becomes more optimized, you can find that default setups don't help you as much as they once did.

At this point, your organizer is probably already well-stocked, so removing every item, organizing, and then storing them in a new organizer can take the time you're not willing to give up. If you find yourself in this situation, having an adjustable desktop organizer can save you the stress of repeating the entire selection and set up process once more.

  • Magnetic

Magnetic desktop organizers are a very clever way to increase your available desk space. These organizers can be stored on metal cabinets, fridges, or any other magnetic surfaces, freeing up your desk for additional workspace.

White Wood Adjustable Desk Organizer
Black Wood Adjustable Desk Organizer
Black Sheep Magnetic Paper Clip Holder
Magnetic A-Frame File Holder in Black
Mesh Desk Organizer Set with Waste Bin
Adjustable Desk Organizer in Natural Wood

What style of desktop organization fits my workspace or office best?

The first step in choosing the best style of organizer for your desk is identifying the major themes in your office. Identifying a theme in your office isn't always 100% straightforward. When designing large spaces, it's easy to begin with one theme in mind and then make variations to keep things fresh, or account for differences in lighting or space.

Remember, you're not trying to pin a specific name onto your office design, you just want to identify:

  • Primary tones
  • Frequently used materials
  • Accent pieces or colors

Stacked box organizers are a brilliant way to keep your files organized, especially when you have a large volume of in-going or out-going files at once. These organizers often come with two or more shelves and have a streamlined design that lends itself well to modern minimalist styles.

If your office space has a mostly neutral theme i.e. a few bright or accent colors with mostly beige or grays, consider getting a stacked box organizer with a natural wood grain finish. Natural wood grains fit well into neutral spaces and with linear designs - which make them ideal for most office spaces.

If your office has been designed with aesthetics in mind and features mood-setting pieces, like water fixtures, koi ponds, and pebble gardens, a bamboo finished organizer might suit you well. Bamboo organizers act as a mild accent piece that adds a bit of elegance to your desk without stealing attention away from your work.

Finally, if you really cannot make heads or tails of your general office theme, a black, multi-slot organizer is a safe bet for blending into most styles. Black is an extremely neutral tone in most environments and can fit appropriately even into very colorful décor without seeming out of place.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.