Here's something you may not know about me: I. Love. Organizing. Growing up my room was always the messiest in the house until one day I couldn't take it anymore and I reorganized it the way I wanted it to be, not the way my parents liked it; and that is when I became obsessed. Now don't get me wrong, not everything I own is always in precise order, but I do feel much more relaxed and productive when I take the time to straighten up my desk, organize my closet, or even update my calendar.
Having an organized desk space is not an exact science. Each person has different needs in a desk space and uses different tools at their desk. The first thing you have to do when you want to create an orderly desk space is to sit down and work at your desk. While you're doing that figure out what it is you actually use at your desk. Do you prefer pens or pencils? Loose paper or notebooks? Have you gone completely paperless or do you use a combination of both technology and paper?
Once you figure out what you use when you're working at your desk, you can de-clutter: remove anything you don't use while you're working. If you only like to handwrite at your desk move all your chargers and devices to another area. If you only use technology at your desk clear the space of any extraneous pens, pencils or highlighters that you wouldn't be using.
I prefer a combination of paper and tech, so space saving is my goal. Magazine holders like mine (picture below) are great for filing papers without taking up too much space. Last year, when I was applying to colleges, I used one just for all of the documents for applications and the other for all of the mailings I received from schools.
My passion for writing in little notebooks is accompanied by a large collection of pens, pencils and markers. To accommodate my collection I swapped bookends for a multi-slot pencil contour and a vase that I use for markers, saving space and serving a dual purpose.
Flashcards, paperclips, rubberbands, Post-it notes and any other study aids like highlighters or candy, (I prefer candy) need a place too right? Well in-drawer desk organizers like mine (picture below) ,available at Target, HomeGoods, etc., are perfect for these little treasures. If you don't have a drawer in your desk, they sell on-desk organizers with covers (so you don't have to see everything) are also perfect for organizing all the little things you'll need.
Once you find out what works for you, creating a simple and organized workplace is easy.