Exam season can be kind of chaotic and often times the end of finals can be a great time to reorganize the study space. Here are five great ways to clean up that desk area:
1) Less is more.
I know you bought the 100-pack of blue pens from Costco because you figured you’d need them, but that doesn’t mean you should cram all 100 pens into your pen holder. Things don’t need to get complicated. Grab a fun mug and fill it with no more than five pens. On that note, as soon as you notice that a pen is dying, toss it out. I guarantee that if you were to go through the pens on your desk right now, at least a third of them wouldn’t work. Save yourself the time and frustration and only keep what works.
2) Out of sight, out of mind.
If your desk is filled with all kinds of gadgets and their accompanying wires, consider running the wires along the back of your desk. If the wires are permanent, you can tape them along your desk with some electrical tape to save yourself some desk room. For items that don’t need to be plugged in constantly, clipping their wires with a bread clip or storing the wires in a toilet roll can help you avoid tangles.
3) Keep essentials within reach.
Post-it notes, pens, staplers, and lined paper will do you no good if you have to get up from your desk to grab them. We both know that as soon as you leave that desk you’ll suddenly want a snack, and then a drink, and then by the time you sit back down you’ll have no idea what you got up to get in the first place. Prioritize what deserves a spot on your actual desk surface, things like pens and lined paper, and what would be better off in a deskside drawer, like paper clips.
4) Maximize your corners.
You can create your own “corner office” by placing your desk into the corner of your room. This effectively enlarges your desk space to include the surrounding walls, where you can install extra shelving and organizational space. For example, on the wall that I face while seated at the desk in my room, I’ve hung a medium-sized corkboard. This is where I tack up important pieces of paper such as my class schedule, urgent mail, or assignment outlines. If someone ever asks me for something and it’s important, it’s always on the corkboard. You could even go one step further and attach different file folders to your walls to categorize papers.
Next, on the wall at my side I’ve hung a large wall calendar. It’s essential that you keep a calendar of some sort within reach so that you can easily stay on top of important dates and deadlines.
5) Let it be a desk.
The greatest organization tip I can give you is to use your desk for what it is, a space to do your work. Try to organize your desk in such a way as to maximize your workspace. Ideally, you’ll want enough space to comfortably fit your laptop and notebook or textbook. That being said, once you’ve organized your desk, don’t let that empty space tempt you. Your desk is not for laundry. Your desk is not for garbage. Your desk is a place of discovery. It is the thesis of your next great paper, it is the crazy hard test that you managed to ace. Treat it kindly, friends.