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The battle for more desk space

Some of us need a well organized desk to maintain focus. Others are happy to let chaos reigns supreme. But many of us would agree that some extra desk space would be helpful, if only to separate the coffee mug from important paperwork before the inevitable accident happens.

So, in the spirit of making your working day at bit less stressful, we’ve compiled a list of 9 straightforward yet creative ways to eke out more desktop real estate. Simple solutions to help you put some order back in your workspace.

Expand your desk space outwards 

One of the simplest solutions for a shortage of desk space is to utilize the ‘dead air’ around your desk. And there are a few options that can help, especially for those who don’t have spare drawers.

#1

The DIY hack: Suspended Storage Jars

Required:

Clean Jars with tightly fitting lids

 

Strong glue

Method:

  1. Glue the lids firmly to the underside of your desk
  2. Fill (freshly cleaned) jars with everything from paperclips to sneaky office snacks
  3. Attach jars to lids
  4. Sit back and marvel at the simplicity
Under-desk Jar storage

#2

A cheap and cheerful solution: Clever Clips

Required: Giant plastic clips

  1. Giant desk clip organizerCheck your desk has a lip/edge suitable for a giant clip
  2. Buy 1 or more clips for just a few bucks each
  3. Fill with everything from, er, paperclips to M&Ms
  4. Find a solid one with good reviews and you could even use it to relocate drinks out of elbow-reach. No more sticky keyboards/ruined paperwork!

#3

A crafty idea: Hanging Organizers

Organize desk space with expanding filesOption A: Quick, easy & virtually free- Hanging Concertina/expanding folder

First, raid the stationery cupboard.

Take 1 expanding file. And some sticky tape (or other suitably sticky stuff). Fasten the file to the side of your desk.

Voila, a rudimentary but perfectly functional way to expand your desk storage.

Option B: Creative, but a bit of effort required Fabric hanging organizers (sewing skills helpful)

For anyone with a taste for crafts and looking for something more attractive and practical than a plain old concertina folder, a fabric organizer offers could be for you.

Sure, you could buy one. But why not get your creative juices flowing and make one yourself. You’ll find a ton of videos on-line, but you’ll find this one a good starting point.

#4

Grow your desk: Keyboard trays and desk extenders

Keyboard tray desk extenderThis is an easy way to boost your desk space. It will get the keyboard off your desk and can even provide you a little more legroom.

In the same spirit, you could add an extension to the side of your desk. Literally growing your desk space.

Happily, no carpentry experience is required as you can find desk extenders that are ‘tool-free’ (translation: a damn sight easier to install).

If you can’t build out, build up

Manhattan SkylineIf your desk if packed tighter than a proverbial sardine, then expanding your desk outwards may not be an option.
A more conventional way to save space is through the use of desktop organizers.
This can encompass everything from a classic pencil holder through to more spacious storage.

#5

Give your toilet roll holders aglamourous second life: Home-made desk organizers

Now, if you want to keep things personal, nothing beats making your own desk organizer.

But you don’t need to tap into your inner child by gluing a few glittery loo roll inserts together is no. The wonders of the web means there are oodles of online videos to help you out. In amongst them are some genuinely cool and original creations.

Here’s a pick of our favourites. And all of them come with easy-to-follow instructions, ideal for novices and craft experts alike.

Recycled solidity

It’s a bureau, not a desk

Origami organized

#6

What’s up Doc?: Desk Hutches/shelves/monitor stands

Take your desktop organization to another level, literally.

Desk Hutch Example

Desktop shelving is another straightforward route to create more desk space, with the added bonus of extra slots for next-level organising. Desktop shelves range in size. From small free-standing storage systems right through to hulking ‘hutches’ that will require a bit of work to fix up.

 

Bonus reason: Monitor stands or raised shelves can give you much need desk space and ensure your monitor is being viewed at the recommended eye level height.

Deal with the tech clutter

Computers were supposed to usher in a more efficient, clutter free way of working [not to mention paper-free]. And while the paper does not seem to have gone away, modern desks are now also over-loaded with electronic devices. All of which need charging. A soup of inter-connecting cables.

Annoying as cables are, there are a few handy solutions that will make the problem more manageable.

#7

Clear tangled cables: Cable tidy solutions

Computers were supposed to usher in a more efficient, clutter free way of working [not to mention paper-free]. And while the paper does not seem to have gone away, modern desks are now also over-loaded with electronic devices. All of which need charging. A soup of inter-connecting cables.

While a future of wi-fi and wireless charging offers some respite from the cable soup. But for the cables that remain, more lo-fi solutions are required.

Cable tidies are cheap and practical.

Velcro cable organizer

Power cables and other rarely touched cables can be bound together and banished from sight. Velcro and zip fastener cable sleeves make this super easy, while removing the need for fiddly and unattractive plastic ‘trunking’ options.

colorful cute cable clips

Binder clips holding electronic cablesFor the cables you need daily access to, like your phone charger, desk cable organizers are quick and easy. They range from the virtually-free [binder clips make good DIY cable organizers] to only-slightly-more-expensive cute and colorful tidies that can be stuck to the side of your desk.

White USB hubFor those with USB cable overload, USB hubs are a smart way to get on top of your cable jungle.

#8

Light up more space: Clever desk lamps

Clip on lamp to free up desk spaceDesk lamps are great for reducing eye strain. But they can take up valuable desktop real-estate.

But lamps have moved with the times. LED lights in particular offer quality, cost-effective lighting. And what’s more, they come in all sorts of slimline options.

Tip: Avoid LED lights with too much on the blue spectrum, they’re not good for your eyes. Full spectrum LED lights that mimic natural light are now more commonplace and a may help you through gloomy winter days.

Extra Space-Saving: Clip-on lamps are cheap with a whole range of designs and styles. These super-flexible lamps are a great way to clear a corner of your desk.

Super Space-Saving: Get even more out of your desk lamp. Multi-purpose lamps are growing in popularity. These nifty office gadgets cram more than one function into one device.

You can easily find slimline LED lamps with the following additional features:

  • USB and power outlets
  • Stationery Organizers
  • Clocks
  • Bladeless fans
  • Speakers
  • Kitchen sink
  • Combinations of all the above!
Bladeless fan and desk lamp combined
Desk Lamp & Organizer

#9

Move with the times: Space-saving tech

As technology is one of the causes and solutions to desktop clutter, it seems fitting to end with a pick of smart space-saving gadgets. Everyday office tools, with a twist:

  • Clip-on fans – In fact, anything clip-on immediately frees up desk space!
  • Staple-free staplers – no more hunting around for the last strip of staples
  • Manual shredders – if you’re still using a lot of paper and handling sensitive documents, get rid of the bulky shredder and replace it with what is basically a multi-blade pair of scissors
  • Magic scanners – Magic in the sense they look like a wand, are waved like a wand and take up as much space as a wand (I presume…)

The list goes on….

Check out our guide to 10 indispensable offices gadgets for more inspiration.

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