How to Organize a Desk Without Drawers

Everyone deserves a well-organized workspace. Even if you don’t have too much space, or even drawers or cabinets, you should still be able to enjoy a clutter-free, neat workstation. It doesn’t only help you focus better but also motivates you and gets you in the mood to work.

You may be asking, “what if I can’t afford to be organized?”. Well, if you’re working at a small desk that doesn’t feature drawers, you can still reap the benefits of a neatly organized workspace. In this article, we’ll discuss how to organize a small desk without drawers and share our best tips to free up some space on your office desk.

How to Organize Desks Without Drawers

You probably heard before that all of the great thinkers, scientists, and inventors of history had messy workspaces and thrived in chaotic work environments. However, this may not be the best approach anymore. Even if you convince yourself that you work better in an “organized chaos,” science says this may not be true.

Visual clutter is closely related to the clutter of thoughts in our minds. If you have an unorganized mess of random objects in the background, there’s less room in your brain for thoughts. In contrast, if you’re looking at a neat space with a few essential objects, your mind will be clearer, and you will be able to focus more easily.


If you feel that your desk is overcrowded or too small to keep it neat, here are our best tips that can solve your problem.

Use Organizers

One of the first things you can do is also the easiest, which is to get organizers. You’ve probably seen these before in some shape or form, but desk organizers usually feature small drawers or compartments for you to keep your stationery items and papers organized.

A desk organizer lets you use your free space efficiently and allows you to utilize your space vertically. An organizer can be as simple as three trays stacked on top of each other, which are probably the ones that are the most popular. However, a wide variety of different organizers include more features such as a pen holder, tiny cabinets with locks, and even a phone holder!

If you have multiple small free spaces on your desk instead of one big one, you can also get modular desk organizers that come together like a box when put together. This way, you’ll be able to place the compartments inside the organizer on your desk however you like.

Put Your Monitor on a Stand

If you’re working at a desk, your computer probably occupies most of your desk. Sure, your computer needs to be in the center of your desk, but that shouldn’t leave you with no room to place a file or a book.

To save some space, you can use a monitor stand. A monitor stand can come in the form of a small platform on top of your desk, but you can also get a mounting stand attached to the side of your desk. This will create a free space for a variety of useful things. You can place small decorations under and keep everything personal limited to that space.

If you’re not using a laptop, you can also use a desk raiser or a laptop stand. These platforms come in various shapes and features, and they can open up some horizontal space where you can store files or papers you want to keep within reach. Sure, it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing!

When putting your monitor on a stand, make sure to set it at a height that fits your and your desk’s height. Ideally, your eyes should look directly at the upper third of your screen when sitting in an upright position. To learn more about how to set your monitor at the correct height, you can head over to our post, where we explained how tall a monitor should be.

Install a Keyboard Tray

What if putting your monitor on a stand didn’t really do the trick? After all, you probably still have a mouse and a keyboard taking up the precious free space on your desk, and this isn’t an ideal scenario when you don’t even have drawers to put stuff away. What you need to do here is simply install a keyboard tray!

You’re probably familiar with desks that feature a drawer-like tray on which you can place your keyboard, but did you know that you can turn your desk into one? We’re aware that it’s not exactly the easiest DIY project you can take on, but it’s perfectly doable! Everything you’ll need, such as a drill, a board, and rails, can be found at most hardware stores.

If you make the tray big enough, you can place your mouse on it. A large keyboard tray along with a monitor stand will instantly make your desk look more organized, and it’ll also open up some space on your desk.

However, if you’re working with a dual monitor setup, you might need more than a monitor stand and a keyboard tray. If that’s the case, you can check out our post, where we shared tips on how to create the most efficient setup with dual monitors.

Utilize Hooks

Another good way to keep your desk organized without the help of drawers is to install hooks on your desk. A simple hook can help you keep things out of sight and create free space for you to store items you want to keep within reach.

You can use one of those hooks with a sticker on the back, which are stronger than they look. They are usually pretty cheap and can be found at any hardware or home improvement store.

Desk hooks can be used to hold your bag or jacket, but you can also get small pouches and hang them on these hooks, which should be effective in creating small storage spaces where you can keep things out of sight.

Organize Your Cables

One of the most overlooked things when it comes to organizing a desk is cable management. No matter how much you try to keep the number of visible cables limited, you’re bound to end up with a bunch more in no time. A good cable management system can give your desk a slick look, while opening up some extra space on your desk.

Cable management usually involves velcro ties to tie your cables together and cable boxes and covers to conceal the cables. If you have some zip ties lying around the house, assuming you already have a cable hole on your desk as most desks do, you can also use these to tie your cables together for an instant improvement.

If you don’t know where to start, you can get a cable management kit that includes all these items and accessories. They are usually pretty affordable and can be easily found online.

Another good tip for organizing desk space and managing your cables is using a phone stand with a built-in charger. These can add a professional touch to your desk, offer a designated space on your desk to place your phone, and help you out with your cable mess.

If your cable management problem is worse than you initially thought, we have a guide that explains how to conceal the cords on your desk in detail.

Make Room for Lighting

Even if you’re running low on space and want to keep as little stuff on your desk as possible, you still need a good light source. Good lighting affects your mood, productivity, and motivation at work. Science suggests that lighting changes our perception of space. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to prioritize good lighting.

However, you may not be able to place a desk lamp on your desk if you don’t have enough space. If this is the case, don’t worry.

In the olden days, people had huge lamps on their desks to have a good light source. Nowadays, we solve this issue with tiny magical devices called LED lights, which can easily make your desk as bright as day. You can even get LEDs that come with a clamp and attach them to the side of your desk or monitor so it doesn’t take up space on your desk!


In today’s post, we shared some of our best tips on how to organize a desk without drawers. Even if you have a small desk, you can use desk organizers or trays to utilize your space vertically. Additionally, you can use a monitor stand to free up even more space, and installing a tray for your keyboard and mouse is also a great solution.

Moreover, you can achieve a neat look by installing hooks and storing items under your desk. If you’re still unsatisfied, you can get a cable management kit to optimize your space even more.

Lastly, while a good light source isn’t going to keep your desk organized, it’s known to improve focus and motivation. You can get small LED desk lights attached to your monitor so that it doesn’t take up any space.

If you want to learn more about how to organize your office space in general, you can head over to our post, where we shared 51 creative ideas to organize your office space.

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