Just a few days ago, I came into my dorm to find my suitemate doing her homework on the floor of her room (love you the most, Katie). I was pretty confused until I took a look at her desk; it was in absolute shambles, with books, papers, clothes, and random Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup wrappers strewn about.
Now, this is not a roast of my suitemate, because I feel like 90% of the dorm rooms desks I see are in the exact same shape. When I ask people why this is, the answer most often has to do with how boring and bland dorm room desks are. And, if you’re not creatively inclined, or don’t have any clue as to how to decorate and organize a desk, you’re at an even greater disadvantage. It seems that when a desk isn’t “homey” or conducive to productivity, people are less likely to work there.
Conversely, I do a majority of my work at my desk, but that’s only because I’ve made it an environment that I want to work at. While I keep my desk strictly organized, I have also added some little knick-knack things that remind me of home and that make me smile whenever I look at them. I’m here today to give you a sneak-peek as to how you too can make your desk a space that you actually want to work at.
My drawer of desk-supplies
I know, easier said than done. But organization is the first step to making your desk a productive place to work. If you sit down at your desk and can’t even find a pen that works, Houston—we have a problem. First off, get yourself a nice writing utensil cup/holder. This way, you’ll have easy access to whatever you need to get your work done. Secondly, you have to organize the drawers of your desk. That’s right—don’t think you can just get away with shoving all of your problems and miscellaneous paper clips into a drawer and call it a day. Get yourself some drawer trays to place all of your other supplies in. I also suggest designating your supplies to specific drawers. For example, I keep my desk supplies, all of my tech stuff, and my notebooks in separate drawers. Intermingling supplies can lead to confusion and chaos!
Check out these organizers:
- Target Mesh Drawer Organizers: $9.99 at Target
- DecoBros Desk Supplies Organizer Caddy: $9.87 on Amazon
Hang-up cork board and whiteboards
Blending whiteboards and cork board gives you lots of options
Don’t forget about vertical space! I have triangles of foam and cork board above my desk that I simply attached with command strips. Here, I typically tack up info sheets that my teachers give me regarding upcoming projects, papers, and tests. I’ll also hang up my daily to-do list, as well some other important information I need to remember in my daily life. This “reminder station,” as I call it, helps me to not forget what’s coming up in regards to school, work, and my personal life. I also have a “creative station” next to my desk, attached to the side of my dresser. I have a whiteboard hung there, with a few cork board tiles below it. This is where I do the majority of my brainstorming for academic essays, blog posts, and my stories (check out how I brainstorm my stories in How I Stay Inspired as a Writer). Make a few of these stations of your own to suit whatever work needs you have.
Check out these cork board tiles and whiteboards:
- Ubrands Cork Board Unframed Tile: $6.99 at Target
- UBrands Reversible Cork Hex Tiles: $7.99 at Target
- Ubrands Comtempo White Frame Magnetic Dry Erase Board: $7.49 at Target
- Ubrands Pin it Cork Frame Magnetic Dry Erase Board: $14.99 at Target
Get yourself a Bluetooth speaker or a clock radio
Listening to music and podcasts helps boost my creativity
I have both on my desk, just for good measure. This might seem like a strange tip, but I promise, it actually helps to increase your productivity. Why? Because with these on hand, you won’t have to use your phone! When I sit at my desk, I always try to do everything but use my phone so I can get the maximum amount of work done. But, I do love to listen to music or podcasts while I’m working, especially when I’m brainstorming something. A Bluetooth speaker solves this problem; I can just put on a playlist on my phone, and then use the speaker itself to control the music or the podcast. By having a clock radio, I no longer need my phone to tell the time, or to listen to my favorite radio stations. If you don’t like to listen to Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” on repeat while you’re doing your homework, feel free to skip this step.
Check out my Bluetooth speaker and my clock radio:
- Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker: $133 on Amazon
- iHome iBT29BC Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock FM Radio with USB Charging and Speakerphone: $50.41 on Amazon
Make your chair comfortable
Peep my goldfish Squee in the background of this photo
Lack of comfortable seating also contributes to why people don’t sit at their desk. Who wants to sit on an uncomfortable, cold slab of wood for a few hours on end? Talk about pancake butt. There are a few different ways to solve this problem. I’ve seen some people use pillows as cushions, and that’s definitely an option if you want some extra support. I have a fuzzy blanket draped over my chair to not only make it more comfortable but also add some warmth on those cold Boston nights.
Check out these cushion options:
Decorate your desk
Decoration means something different to everyone– express yourself!
This is the fun part! With whatever space you have on the surface of your desk, you get to place any sort of knick-knacks and decorations you want on there. My desk lamp is actually shaped like a French bulldog. You can find a lot of decorative lamps like it at Target. I have a bunch of decorative figurines on my desk that are from movies, shows, and video games I love. I also have some inspirational quotes on my desk, as well as a piece of inspirational quote wall-art hanging above my desk. They might be corny, but I’m a sucker for a good quote; for me, they serve as reminders of what’s at stake when it comes to my work. I also have a fake succulent planter on my desk, just to add some greenery. If you’re willing to try your hand at taking care of some real plants, succulents and cacti are compact and relatively low-maintenance. Whatever you want to decorate with, go for it. Just don’t go overboard with the décor—you still have to do work at your desk!
Check out Dormify’s selection of desk accessories and décor here