How To Organize A Desk Without Drawers

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I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest pet peeves is a messy desk. If my desk isn’t neat, then I just can’t concentrate.

Drawers are a great way to organize your things. They keep clutter out of sight and out of mind, and they help you keep loose items safe and together.

How To Organize A Desk Without Drawers

However, the desk I fell in love with came without drawers.I’m sure there are plenty of people in a similar situation.

Constrained by budgets, space, or aesthetics it can sometimes seem impossible to find the perfect desk with drawers.

Instead of settling for a different desk, I got creative with my organization and storage. If I’m honest, I’ve found these storage and organization hacks better than drawers!

So, to help you all out, I’ve curated a list of my top organization tips for desks without drawers!

1. Use the wall space

My best tip for organizing your desk is to take advantage of the wall space behind your desk. Now, obviously, this doesn’t work if your desk is in front of a window or not against a wall.

In those cases, my advice would be to move your desk against a wall. Not only does it up your storage and organization space, but it also stops things from falling off your desk!

So, assuming you have your desk against a wall, here are some things you can do to organize your desk.

Hang a pegboard

Pegboards are awesome for holding those annoying items that clutter up your desk. I’m talking about headphones, charging leads, or connection wires. 

You can also stick pegs to the back of cups or holders to keep your stationery organized.

The best thing about pegboards is the fact that you can rearrange the pegs to suit your needs. Your equipment and desk layout is always changing depending on what you’re using your desk for, pegboards can keep up with that change.


Shelving – If you can, add some shelves to the wall above your desk. This gives you room to store your files, books, or trinkets.

You can even add under-shelf storage baskets for loose items that you’d normally keep in drawers.

One thing to remember about using the wall space is to keep your possessions within reach. You don’t want to place a shelf high above your desk where you can’t access it if you need it.

The general rule for organizing your desk is to keep the things you use most often within arm’s reach. If you want to use a shelf or pegboard, make sure the stuff you use frequently is to hand.

2. Add levels

The problem with desks is that you just have that one surface to store things. This leads to papers, books, and wires piling up on top of each other.

To give yourself more space and to keep things organized, you need to create different levels for your desk.

Get a monitor riser  

A monitor stand or riser increases the height of your computer monitor which means that you don’t need to slouch so much. It does wonders for your back and neck, but it also helps keep you organized.

Most risers will have space below them that can be used to tuck away items like headphones, or planners. Some stands have even more storage solutions built into the frame.

Get a desktop bookshelf 

The best thing I ever bought for my desk was this desktop bookshelf set. You can position it a few different ways to give you storage options.

It has given me plenty of room for the books and notepads I use frequently, as well as providing handy little nooks for my stationery and trinkets. I even use it as a monitor stand!

These shelves are ideal for people who can’t or don’t want to drill into walls. They are easy to assemble and don’t even need to be fixed to your desk.

Although, if your desk is not against a wall, I recommend fixing the shelves to your desk to be safe.

Use trays for loose objects 

In trays are ideal for keeping your papers, pads, and planners meticulously organized. They add about 3 different layers to your desk which means that you can maximize the vertical space.

3. Use the ends of your desk

Unless your desk is wedged in a tight corner, you should have access to the ends. These ends can be used to store everything from power cables to paintbrushes.

Some people don’t like to have things hanging off the side of their desk. That’s fair enough, but I’m of the opinion that every inch of this desk needs to work for me.

Here are my top tips for using the ends of your desk.

Add hooks  

I love doing this because it’s super simple. Nail or glue some small hooks to the end of your desk and you’ve got a place for your charging cables, your headphones or earphones, and any other wires you might need.

This can make your desk look so much neater because often, it’s the trailing wires that make it look messy in the first place.

Tension bars 

Tension bars or rails are another great way of expanding your storage. Once you’ve screwed or glued the bar in place, you can hang pots or holders off the bar. This gives you a place to store your pens, pencils, paintbrushes, or whatever you like.

I find these pots are super handy for creative activities as you can clearly see what you’re reaching for. I use them to store my fine liners and acrylic pens.


Under-shelf trays can fit on the ends of your desk. These are great for storing things you need less frequently like printer paper or reference books.

If you do put these trays under your desk, just make sure your knees aren’t going to be pressed up against them when you sit at the desk.

Final Thoughts

You’ll probably notice that I’ve not talked a lot about desk tidies or pen holders and the like. These are also great for organizing your desk but they’re not really a unique solution for desks without drawers.

I’ve tried to give you some ideas that will enhance the space around your desk so that you’re not simply relying on the surface of the desk.

Hopefully, these tips will come in useful and you’ll be able to sort and organize your desk to your heart’s content.
Let me know how they work out for you!