Organising your desk for success

Wherever your desk happens to be, whether its in an office, at home or in a coworking space, keeping it tidy and organised will put you in the best frame of mind for productivity.

Even if you find yourself working with a small area, or can’t make any major changes to your workspace, there will always be a few things you can do to make your workspace a more inspiring and productive environment.

What to buy

Whenever you’re decorating or optimising a new area, the worry is there will be some large costs involved. The reality when organising your desk is that it is more about decluttering and layout than spending a lot of money on fancy gadgets.

That being said, there are a few things that it can be worth investing in if you don’t already have something suitable.


One of the most important (and probably the most expensive) items you can buy to improve your workspace is a comfortable office chair. Not only will this make it easier to sit at your desk for longer periods, it can also prevent long term back problems.

When working in an office or coworking space, you are likely to have a chair provided. At SO Fourteen, we felt it was important to provide all our members with high quality, ergonomic office chairs. If the chair in your office is not the most comfortable or supportive, it’s worth asking whether you can be provided with a more ergonomic chair or if not, bring in your own.

Desk Light

Having appropriate lighting at your desk is important for your eyesight and can also contribute to the atmosphere of the space. When it’s too dark you may struggle to keep your focus, so investing in a small desk lamp could be a good idea.

Monitor riser

If you find yourself stooping or slouching to maintain eye level with your monitor, there’s a good chance you need a riser. They come in a range of sizes so you can find one that sits your monitor perfectly at your eye level, and many also come with built in storage underneath to store your keyboard/ paperwork.

What to display

As a general rule, less is more when it comes to what you want to display on your desk, however there are a few items that are worth keeping out.


Plants look great no matter where you display them, but on your desk, they offer other benefits as well as being aesthetically pleasing.

Studies have shown that having plants in your workspace can help to reduce stress and increase productivity as they make you feel happier.

They also clean the air and help to reduce noise levels by absorbing sound, so work great in large offices as well.


A visible organiser or to do list can help to keep you focused. Being able to quickly check your tasks for the day makes it easier to work through them and means you spend less time procrastinating between tasks.

Personal items

While you do not want to go overboard, having a few personal items on your desk such as photos can help the space to feel more personal and familiar.

Its best to keep personal items like this to around 3 or 4, as otherwise your desk can quickly become overcrowded and distract you from focussing.

Mood board/ inspiration

If you work in a creative field, or are just the sort of person who benefits from visualisation, having a large mood board or display of items you find inspirational is a good idea, and can help to get you into the right ‘zone’ to work.

How to organise

Now that you have everything ready for your perfect workspace, its time to put it all together. Here are our tips for getting the location and layout of your workspace right.

Consider vertical storage

If you’re working with a small area, which can often be the case with a home office, one thing that can really help you organise your space is vertical storage, such as pegboards, shelves or picture ledges. This leaves your desk surface clear and uncluttered while still making the space feel more permanent and allowing you to add some character to it.

Sit near a window

If you do have any say in where your desk is positioned, sitting near a window means its easy to get more fresh air and natural light, which can be beneficial to your mental wellbeing if you spend long periods of time at your desk.

Keep clutter out of sight

If possible, store items you need close to hand but don’t use constantly out of sight. Some desks offer built in storage, or you could invest in some drawers or even just storage boxes to tidy clutter away.

Not only will this mean less distractions for you, but it will make the whole room look tidier and more appealing for your family or co-workers depending where you work.

Place your phone on your dominant side

Getting strategic about where you place certain items will help with your working flow. Having your desk phone closer to your dominant hand for example, will mean you don’t have to reach across the desk to answer it.

Use files or a paper tray

Nothing ruins a tidy desk faster than a large pile of unorganised paperwork. Use a paper tray or storage files to get paperwork off your desk, and keep a recycling bin handy so you can easily get rid of old papers.

Have you got a beautifully organised desk? Tag us on Instagram (@sofourteen) or Twitter (@so_fourteen) and show us some pictures of your workspace!

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