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Productivity experts recommend taking 10 minutes at the end of every workday to organize your desk, because an organized desk improves productivity and reduces stress. But it can be a challenge to keep a small office organized, and a small desk quickly gets cluttered.
Fortunately, there are lots of great ways to keep a small office organized, and here are some DIY desk organizers to help you get the job done.
How to Make a DIY Desk Organizer: The Basics
To make almost any DIY desk organizer, you will need a few basic crafting supplies. In many cases, you can craft with things you already have at home, so your new organization system can cost just pennies. Here are some basic supplies you will need:
Many of our favorite DIY desk organizers call for wood. When working with wood, you need the wood itself, and typically a saw, drill, screws, and other tools to shape and attach it. In almost any instance, you can substitute foam board or corrugated cardboard for wood.
Simply glue the foam or cardboard in layers into thick, strong “boards,” weighing them down with a book while they dry to keep them flat. Pay attention to the direction of the corrugation in your cardboard and alternate the direction layers for more strength.
For most of these projects, you can use an all-purpose craft glue. If you don’t already have one, you may want to consider getting a glue gun. Hot glue bonds a wide range of materials quickly and securely, so you don’t have to wait for glue to dry.
If you don’t have a glue gun, the Gorilla Dual Temp Mini is a great choice for crafts. It is lightweight and easy to use, with enhanced safety features and fins that let you set it down during use.
The dual temperature settings let you work at low temperatures with delicate fabrics and foams, or high temperature for wood, plastic, glass, and other materials. Gorilla is famous for their powerful, reliable glues and adhesives, and it’s a durable, reliable glue gun.
You will need a good pair of craft scissors and will probably want a good craft knife and/or box cutter. You may also want a paper cutter, hole punch, and the like.
To get and stay organized, you may want corkboard, chalkboard paint, magnetic tape, and other supplies to keep clutter in its place.
You can make a DIY organizer out of old water bottles, tin cans, cereal boxes, food containers, shoe boxes, and all kinds of other materials you may have around the house.
You may also want to visit a thrift store or dollar store and find common items like picture frames, cups or bowls, shallow trays, and the like. DIY projects are a great way to recycle items in the home and make the most of what you already have.
To create an attractive, organized, cohesive workspace, you will want to decorate your desk organizer and work area. To complete a DIY desk organizer, you may want paint, decorative paper, washi tape, ribbon, stickers, sequins, and more.
In a small space, stripes are a great design theme, because they extend the eye horizontally or vertically, but this is a great opportunity to play with color and pattern and express yourself.
DIY Small Office Organization Tip #1: Go Vertical
In a small space, the best option is to leverage vertical space, so making a wall-hanging DIY desk organizer is a great project.
This desk organizer from Poppytalk.com, is simple and attractive, with plenty of storage to keep you organized. Adding picture hooks on the back would help you hang it and give you even more space on your desk.
The hanging organizer from Burkatron is a beautiful way to keep notes, dates, and other important information right at hand, and is a versatile storage option.
Another quick and easy way to keep your important notes and favorite photos visible is to make a DIY wireframe office organizer.
To Make a Wire Frame Office Organizer, You Will Need:
A Picture Frame
You can pick one up at a thrift store or dollar store, and you may want to paint or decorate it.
You may want to use chicken wire, woven wire mesh, or get fancy with decorative radiator grate like this one. If you want your organizer to be magnetic, choose a wire mesh made of steel.
If your frame doesn’t already have them, you will need picture hooks for the frame.
Staple Gun and Staples
The fastest, most reliable way to attach the wire mesh to the frame will be with staples and a staple gun, but you can use a small, craft-sized tacker like this one. You may also use small wood staples and a hammer.
If your frame is old and used, or if you plan on hanging heavier objects from your organizer, you may want to add strength with some flat corner brackets.
To Make a DIY Wire Frame Office Organizer
- Remove any backing, glass, or other attachments from the frame, so it is just an empty square. Inspect the frame carefully, making sure that the corners meet well, and the joints are strong. If they aren’t, consider using brackets to reinforce the joints.
- Cut your wire mesh to fit the frame. Cut the mesh larger than the frame opening, so you have room to attach them together.
- Attach the wire to the frame. Lay the frame face down, and the wire mesh over the top. Attach it securely with staples all around the back of the frame.
- Attach picture hook(s) to the frame. If your frame doesn’t have picture hooks, add them now.
- Hang and use!
Some Ways to Use a Wire Frame Organizer Include:
- Hang your items from paper clips or small hooks like these
- Pin items with binder clips or small clothespins like these.
- If your wire is magnetic, you can use magnets or magnetic clips like these.
DIY Small Office Organization Tip #2: Take It To The Edge
All too often we feel that our office is limited by the size of our desktops, but there are a ton of ways to use the sides, edges, and even bottoms of the desk surface to pack more organization into a small office.
Use the Legs And sides of the Desk for Cord Management
Self-adhesive cord clips like these can be used to keep cords and cables off your desktop and neatly organized.
Add Some Drawers
These self-adhesive pencil drawers can be added to desks, tables, or anywhere else you need a little more storage, to help you stay organized without taking up any space.
Use the Edge of the Desk
You can also hang supplies from the edge of your desk, by clipping cups, trays, and small compartments to the edge.
To Make a DIY Organizer That Clips to the Edge of Your Desk, You Will Need:
- Grip clips. These flexible clips can hold right to the edge of your desk
- Washers, nuts, and bolts
- You will also need a drill and a screwdriver to attach them (you could try this craft with hot glue, but it may not be very durable, depending on how much weight you place in the container)
- For this craft, old coffee cans, soup cans, or even an old loaf pan will do well.
- Felt furniture pads. You can choose a color that matches your desk, but pads like these will work well.
- Spray paint — any color you like
Optional: Decorative paper and Mod Podge, washi tape, cardboard to make dividers inside your containers, etc.
To Make a Single Edge-Of-Desk Organizer, Follow These Steps
- Clean your container thoroughly.
- Place the grip clip on the edge of your desk and line up the screw holes in the clip with where you would like them on your container. Mark the hole with a pen.
- Holding your container securely, drill pilot holes at the marked places for the screws you will attach later.
- Optional: Using cardboard or foam board and hot glue to keep it in place, add any internal dividers you want to your containers to keep them more organized.
- Spray paint your container(s) and your grip clips.
- Optional: Once the spray paint is dry, add any other decoration you want to your container.
- Attach the grip clips to your container with screws and washers.
- Attach the felt pads to the inside of the grip clips, to keep them from damaging your desk surface.
- Attach your containers to the side of your desk.
Making the most of a small office space is a question of creativity. Making a DIY desk organizer is a great way to explore your creative side, express your own style, and keep your work area neat and tidy all at the same time.