Dazzling Desks

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved offices. When I was a little girl, I remember going with my dad to his office on Sunday mornings. I looked forward to it all week. My sister and I sat at the secretary’s desks (in those days, they were still called secretaries) and did our homework.  I loved the typewriters, the pens, the stacks of stationary, the organization…basically everything.

My love of desks (& organization!) has stayed with me.  On the early days of this blog, I admitted to alphabetizing my library…and now, I feel compelled to disclose the fact that I organize the files in my office not only alphabetically, but also by color. It’s just how I roll….

When I was sick as a dog with FBC, my organization skills went out the window, which was NOT good for my psyche!  I am so much more focused and productive when I’m organized. FBC didn’t care though.

The HOTY knew when I was feeling better because I started cleaning…and organizing.  My putzing around the house, including spending time at my desk made him very, very happy (Silver Lining).

Here are some steps I use to keep my home office organized:

  1. Proximity based on frequency of use. I think that this is the key organization tip for any type of organizing (e.g., kitchen, closet, car trunk – seriously). If you use something every day, it should be closer than something you use only a few times each week. DUH, right? This helps you keep an organized desk because items are located closer to you based on the probability that you will use them so fewer items need to be moved around where they can become disorganized.
  2. Get rid of pens and pencils you don’t need. I have one type of pen I like to use, but every month or my pencil holder gets filled up with other random writing instruments. If you aren’t going to use it, don’t feel bad about giving it away. It is just clutter.  The less clutter you have, the closer you are to having an organized desk.
  3. Organize as you go. It is more efficient to stay organized as you work instead of trying to do it all at the end. You should be constantly working on keeping your desk neat. If it gets disorganized in the middle of a big project, take small steps. Clear a 1 foot by 1 foot area before you leave for the day. Making a small effort toward organization may not seem like much, but if you do it everyday, it will keep things headed in the right direction for you.
  4. Move electronics out of sight. Keep your cable modem, wireless router, firewall, battery backup, etc. off your desk. Even if you have enough room they introduce visual clutter. By cutting down on clutter you reduce the amount of work between a messy desk and an organized desk. This organizational tip can go a long way toward making your desk and office a much nicer place to work.
  5. Make filing a habit. I keep unused manila folders and a label maker in my desk drawer so that when I have something to file, I can do so quickly and easily. Easy filing is one of the most important organization tips. The more effort it requires the more difficult it will be.
  6. Create extra drawer space. To compensate for my lack of drawer space, I use bookshelves with a bunch of (cute) boxes with lids to help give me some more drawer like storage.
  7. Lighting. Make sure you have enough light on your desk. Maybe it is just me, but a bright work area is easier to keep clean than a dark one.
  8. Take ten minutes at the end of each day to keep your desk organized. Place tomorrow’s top priority project in the center of your desk.

Though I tend to be a traditionalist, I am loving some of these desks with the leopard print and more contemporary vibe.  I believe that a person’s office (or work space) is a wonderful self reflection.


Aerin Lauder


Oscar de la Renta


Anette de la Renta




Anna Wintour



Peter Som



Diane von Furstenberg



Carolina Herrera







Have a time and place for everything, and do everything in its time and place, and you will not only accomplish more, but have far more leisure than those who are always hurrying.

-Tryon Edwards


Photo Credit: Anders Overgaard, Elle Decor, SF Girl By the Bay, This is Glamorous, ZsaZsa Bellagio, Architectural Digest

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  1. Susan says

    I didn't KNOW this about you. I have two desks in Los Angeles and one desk in Monterey. In my bedroom closet I converted a sweater shelf to a desk shelf and use the sweater cubbies for files. When we lived in Washington DC on four floors, I had four desks. I love them. My favorite store in the Monterey area is Spencer's Stationery Store where they have the most amazing collection of pretty and jazzy file folders. Right now I am using the ones with alphabet designs for my Cleveland Zoo files, the striped folders for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs; for Saint Mary's, the blue folders (Natch!). My favorite store in Century City is the Container Store. Every time I visit I can't wait to get home to measure how I could make more organizing improvements. How about magnetic strips across a counter so that I can use magnets to hold up pictures? I could go on and on. Loved this post, Hollye!

  2. Kim says

    I liked your tips for organization. They make a lot of sense – those things we use a lot should be at our fingertips. I think I do this – but never thought about it. Now I will.

    This is a very comprehensive collection of desks!! I lean toward the more traditional feminine ones. Aerin Lauder is lovely!
    I recently bought several new frames (in bags on my living room floor) with the hope of filling them with pictures of family and friends to add to and replace the somewhat neglected pile that exists there now. I got sooo behind with FC. I particularly liked Carolina Herrara's desk full of photos where all the photos aren't in full view but the faces are. Great idea!

    Now I'm feeling the 'buzz' to get at this task! Thanks Hollye!

  3. Patty Pian says

    This entry has me laughing out loud!! ,…..considering that I just finished organizing my hotel room in Sevilla!…LOL…!!! I drive my family CRAZY with boxes and files for everything …Thanks again for making me smile!
    Take care….