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How to student: smart desk ideas for better storage and organisation

Get focused and desk-proud with these desk storage ideas. Read on for fun and wallet-friendly desk ideas for small spaces.


By Cleanipedia Team

smart desk ideas: messy desk with laptop, crumbs, and pens scattered across it

Key Steps

  1. Make room – use space-saving desk ideas to create storage, even if you’re short on space. If you're heading off to halls, only take what you need to avoid overcrowding your roon. Read our guide on what to take to university to help you.
  2. Keep tidy – take five minutes at the end of each day to throw away unused items and papers, and to tidy things away.
  3. Clean up – once your desk is tidy, make sure it’s clean too! Wipe surfaces and technology every couple of days to keep the area sparkling clean. Follow our other student cleaning tips to keep everything spick and span.
  4. Check out the other handy tips in our Student Hub!

Tidy desk, tidy mind – important when you have an essay deadline to meet and very little time to meet it! You don’t need to have lots of space or lots of money to spend on expensive desk storage to have an enviably organised workspace. Get creative with these fun do-it-yourself desk storage ideas and be the envy of your halls!

Keep a packet of anti-bacterial wipes, like Cif Power and Shine Multipurpose Wipes, in your desk drawer, so that they’re on hand to freshen up your workspace every couple of days. A microfiber cloth is also useful for dusting electronics.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

Desk Organisation Ideas

Your desk should now be looking beautiful and tidy, but keeping it that way is the next challenge! These desk ideas for keeping organised, clean and tidy will help you maintain your new workspace.

  • Eat away from your desk. It’s not only better for your mind to take a break from your computer screen, but it also means you won’t be tempted to clutter up your workspace with plates and empty packets.
  • Have everything that you need within reach – it’ll make it easier to grab when you need it, and easier to put back in the right place when you’re finished!
  • Empty your paper bin at the end of every day. You’ll be more reluctant to throw away paper that’s cluttering up your desk if there’s no bin to put it in.
  • Set aside five minutes at the end of every day simply to tidy or throw away anything that you don’t need anymore. Make sure you don’t have any unnecessary items on or around your desk.

Desk Ideas for Small Spaces

Are you struggling to keep on top of your messy desk? Don’t spend lots of money on desk storage just yet. These home office desk ideas, tips, and tricks are fun to put together and most importantly, they’re very wallet-friendly.

  • Clip fold-back binder clips to the edge of your desk, and feed USB or other charger cables through the metal part to stop them falling down from the desk or becoming tangled. Now your laptop charger will always be there when you need it!
  • Make the most of the space under your shelves by supergluing or nailing the top of a jam jar to the bottom of the shelf. Fill the jar with bits and bobs, like stationery, and screw it back onto its lid, for an easy-access storage device.
  • Organise your pens and pencils – they’re one of the main culprits when it comes to a messy desk! Paint the inside of a jar in your favourite colour, leave it to dry and use it as a pen holder.
  • Make your own desk divider. It’s not easy to find what you need quickly in a top drawer that has become a jumble of half-used stationary. Solve the problem by cutting the top off a selection of boxes (preferably of a variety of different sizes), so that they fit into your top drawer. Decorate them in wrapping paper or wallpaper and use them to organise stationery.
  • Make a file holder out of a cereal box by cutting off the top flaps, and cutting off one side of the top of the box at a diagonal angle so that files and papers are easy to grab. Get creative by decorating the box with some wrapping paper, wallpaper, or paint.

And there you have it! These bedroom desk ideas should have you feeling calm, organised and focused in no time.

Originally published