How To Organize Your Office In 5 Easy Steps

organize your office, office hacks, office organization, clean office
Thank you to Samsill for sponsoring this post. All thoughts & opinions are my own. This post may also include affiliate links*

ICYMI, this year my guiding word is “organized”. I DIY’ed and created a custom planner for all my needs, I’ve been purging my stuff non-stop since the move, and now I am tackling my desk and office clutter!

My desk was an awesome find from Homegoods, it could also work as a console table or kitchen table, but I needed it as a desk at the time and haven’t gotten a new one. It doesn’t have any drawers and is basically just a hub for collecting junk.

Do you know how frustrating it is to not have a single drawer to put your hole punch or scissors in?!? Legit, this is what a chaotic mess my desk looks like on the reg:


But NO MORE! I am putting an end to it and using Samsill’s pop up document boxes!

how to organize your office space to get more done with samsill

Legit these things are so cool! They come folded up, and you just “pop” them open and lay the base to keep the structure. They are much sturdier than I thought they would be and come in a bunch of colors. Since I am not positive what direction my new home office is going in yet, I stuck with white.

These boxes are intended for storing documents, but I am using them for storage too as part of my organization efforts!

Here are 5 steps to organize your home office:

Step 1: Purge.

Legit toss everything that you can. Recycle old paper, shred outdated documents, donate things,  throw out broken or no longer useful items.  Really dump everything you no longer need.

Step 2: Create piles of like items.

Create a pile for mail, one for loose papers, one for writing utensils, one for traditional office supplies like tape and paper clips, and whatever else you may have going on.  I like to make sure that everything is off my desk or shelves and organized into piles on the floor. Something about visually seeing it all laid out really helps me figure out where it will fit when finding it a home (future step).

Step 3: Dust and wipe!

Now that everything is finally off the shelves and desk, make sure you use this opportunity to dust everything and wipe it all down (from your desk to the items on the floor! Seriously ask yourself when was the last time you wipes your hole punch clean?)

Step 4: Get your papers in check.

I don’t know about you, but paper is the biggest culprit of clutter in my office. Organize your papers by usefulness. For instance, if it’s something you need to hold onto for 7-10 years in case you get audited, file those away either in a traditional filing cabinet or e-filer. If it’s receipts you need to keep track of get an envelope or use a small document box. Personally, I am using small document boxes for filing incoming mail that’s piled up (and credit cards/gift cards – basically financial related items) and one for receipts since I already have legal stuff organized in my binder filing system.

Step 5: Find things a home.

Now that things are organized by likeness and the paper is put away, you need to find each of the remaining items a home. Since I don’t have drawers, I am using the medium document box from Samsill for my “office supplies” like my tape, hole punch, post its, and so on:

In my closet I have a big bin of photo props and back drops. The key here is to put things in a logical place (rather than throw it around haphazardly). If you were looking for a scissor, you may also look for tape so you want them next to each other. I know that may sound kind of obvious, but I have a tendency to put the tape in the fridge and my cell phone in the laundry basket #SMH.

how to organize your office space to get more done with samsill



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  • Crystal Coffee D
    April 12, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Fantastic, simple tips! Now to get a desk, lol.

  • ashortblonde
    April 12, 2017 at 10:57 am

    What cool boxes! I need to buy a few more file boxes. I’ve kind of maxed out what I currently have in our office.

  • Live The Prep Life
    April 12, 2017 at 11:20 am

    My desk is such a mess – I really need to clean it out! These tips were very helpful!

    xo, brooke

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Glad they were helpful!!

  • Sheila
    April 12, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Decluttering and getting rid of old papers is huge for me! When I moved last year I did a huuuge purge of old college notes and papers that I clearly did not need anymore. It not only created less stuff to move, but made my life feel so much lighter!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Lol those college notes! I hung on to them for years! haha

  • Bella B @ xoxoBella
    April 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    My desk is usually super messy but right now its super clean for once!!

  • Candy Kage
    April 12, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    You just have a table not a desk. I do all your steps and I can find stuff and it looks better afterwards.

  • Style Domination
    April 12, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Ha! That’s awesome! Love that they are collapsible!

  • Lauren Roberts
    April 12, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    These are great tips, and love the collapsible boxes!!

  • Brooke Bumgardner
    April 12, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    Oh, my office needs organizing so badly. Thank you for the tips!

  • Samantha
    April 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I love that feeling of going from a cluttered messy desk to a clean and organized space. It makes me want to sit at my desk and work! And those boxes look so neat! Thanks for the tips!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Totally! I have gotten SO much more done now!

  • Katie
    April 12, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Awesome tips! I love cleaning up and organizing my desk at work. It’s so helpful just knowing where everything is. Those pop up boxes would be so handy.

  • melissa
    April 12, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    I love this! We are about to move and I am SOOOOO looking forward to setting up and organizing my new desk at a new house! Great tips!

  • kiki
    April 12, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Do you do house calls?! LOL but Seriously great and easy ideas – my office is bananas but I think I can follow these steps! Thanks!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Haha You’re welcome! I hate cleaning and organizing, so if I can do it, anyone can! I really feel like a new person this week now that it’s clean!

  • Neely
    April 12, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    A cluttered office is the worst. I love your tips!

  • Ginger Marie
    April 12, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Finding a home for things is my specialty! If it doesn’t have a home, and I can’t hang it, it gets throw away!

  • Kristin Cook
    April 12, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    I have got to go through papers and weed out what I don’t need. My paper-stash is beyond ridiculous!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 12, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      Do it ASAP! You know there are paper bugs (I’m not sure what they are really called, and it could just be in FL since paper collect humidity and there are humidity bugs) — but yeah when I went through them all these little guys ran out!

      • Kristin Cook
        April 14, 2017 at 7:40 am

        Ewww, really. It may be humid enough here for the same? Not as humid as the coast though.

  • Lettuceliv
    April 12, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    This is great! I am not very organized at all when it comes to my home office space! I will need to use this to help organize myself!!

  • Alix Maza
    April 12, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    I feel like I’m always dusting haha. Dust NEVER goes away here!

    Alix |

  • Dia
    April 12, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    I am an organization freak lol As someone who shares my office space with my sleeping space these would be great. I’ve been living my life with my files in a printer paper box lol it’s horrible. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:25 am

      haha I’ve been there!

  • Robin
    April 12, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    I read yesterday that to really pare things down, you should find things to keep rather than things to throw away! I really need to implement that in our office – it’s chronically messy!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Lol that’s the same thing for me. It’s either keep or toss haha

  • Bri DePauw
    April 12, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    I love boxes like this!! They make everything so much easier to organize.

  • Rachel @ STCL
    April 12, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Organization is key! It’s tough to work when all the clutter is piled up around you!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:24 am

      It really is! I feel like a new person this week now that things are cleaned up

  • Kimberly Cox
    April 12, 2017 at 10:21 pm

    Such great steps!!! I need to start working on my desk…and bedroom…and living room…and… lol

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:23 am

      haha and my life!! haha

  • Elizabeth Johnson
    April 12, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    These tips are perfect! I sometimes have a hard time with purging. I set post-its aside with random things on them and think “I will need this info one day.” Haha that rarely happens. I have a three drawer filing cabinet under my desk and it is the best! Not the prettiest thing but it gets the job done.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:23 am

      haha i do that too! I’ve been getting better about dumping it if I haven’t used it in a week! I do use one of the boxes as my “junk drawer” for all those kinds of papers!

  • Anna Hubbard
    April 12, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Oh gosh, I need to organize my desk space. It’s becoming a mess! I might have to try these tips out!
    -Anna |

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:23 am

      haha hope you got it cleaned up!

  • Jenny
    April 12, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    These look great! I need some to organize my office.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:22 am

      They will definitely get your space feeling good!

  • Alex Carreno
    April 12, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    I function so much better when my office and desk is clean. I need to get a nice looking file cabinet and then I’ll really be organized!

  • Miss ALK
    April 12, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    I’ve never heard of pop up document boxes! How handy!! My desk is a lot like yours in that it doesn’t have drawers.

    xoxo A

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:22 am

      I am so surprised by how many people don’t have drawers in their desks either!

  • Britt K
    April 12, 2017 at 11:51 pm

    Great suggestions! I am at the stage of unpacking boxes from my previous house, but I didn’t sort then, I just threw them all in a box to sort here hahaha – so it’s come to be that time now!

    Britt |

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:21 am

      haha i’ve SO done that!

  • Erica
    April 13, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Cleaning my office the first time was the most REFRESHING thing – I was a new woman! I agree – everything should have its place. It really makes a difference.

    Coming Up Roses

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Haha that’s how I feel this week! It really is like I am a new person with my productivity!

  • Tiffany Campbell
    April 13, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I feel like I purge constantly and always tell my boyfriend “where is this things home”. I need a better organizational system for everything. love the boxes

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Thank you! They really help keep things organized by genre to give each item a home!

  • thesofieyahdiaries
    April 13, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Love the tips!!! Wish you showed a before and after of your desk xD But the tips still seem useful!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Haha truth: I have a strict posting schedule & I didn’t finish (or start) organizing until this post was live! I wrote it Tuesday as more of a “this is what I am going to do” and on Wednesday finally did it! haha I was crying like every day from the stress of the clutter and now feel like a new person!

  • Lori Hawkins Jackson
    April 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    So many great uses for these boxes! I love how you’ve used them to bring order to your desk/work area! It makes a world of difference for me to be able to think, work and function when I have order around me. Great ideas!

  • mckenna bleu
    April 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    I love the idea of these document boxes! So convenient!

  • Lecy | A Simpler Grace
    April 13, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    I absolutely cannot be productive if I have a messy office. Thanks for sharing these tips!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:18 am

      You’re welcome! Same! I was like crying every day from the stress the clutter was causing!

  • Ayanna
    April 13, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Pop up boxes are so great for organization. My hubby is in the process of cleaning out his office and these would be great for him.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:18 am

      For sure! Hope he finds it helpful!

  • Summer @ Coffee With Summer
    April 13, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    I love organizing my office space – love finding cool compartments and places for everything!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Love the gallery wall in your office!

  • Oksana |
    April 13, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    We’re in the process of converting my office into our first-ever nursery, so I need organization tips more than ever!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Your nursery closet looks super organized!

  • Danielle Fairhurst
    April 13, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Getting my papers in check is definitely something I need to do! Although I don’t tend to keep things for too long, I do hold on to EVERYTHING for a while “just in case”

    Great post 🙂

    Dani x |

  • Elly Leavitt
    April 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    such a good idea! I also don’t have drawers (not ideal) so it’s a struggle organizing all my shit on the reg. Especially since things accumulate so easily!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Yup! I am really surprised by how many people in this thread don’t have drawers either lol

  • Meileilan
    April 13, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    These are such a good idea. love it 🙂

  • Kristen @ TheSophisticatedGal
    April 13, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I love all of these tips! I really need to go through all my papers too, they seem to add up SO quickly!

    – Kristen

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:17 am

      They add up so quick! the reminds me, I have some shredding to do today!

  • Nicole Booz
    April 13, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    I also don’t have drawers haha. It seems like that is pretty common. I’ve been using letter sorters/organizers to hold notebooks and devices – it’s such a space saver!!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Haha why are all the cutest desks drawer free?! SO many people in this thread don’t have drawers! thats a good idea!

  • Chasing My Halo
    April 14, 2017 at 12:54 am

    I bet you felt so good when everything was done and organized! We moved into a very small space and I’m still trying to figure out where to set up my “office”. I’m sure these would come in handy!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Haha it really does! I’ve been SO much more productive this week and happier! Like no joke, I feel like a new person! The boxes help with stack in a small space!

  • Ilka Bermann
    April 14, 2017 at 4:20 am

    Love the tip’s in my whole house everything has a home and if it doesn’t have one, it has to go!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:16 am

      That’s the way to do it!

  • Joy
    April 14, 2017 at 7:15 am

    This is exactly what I need! Thanks for the tips and inspiration to get organized! 🙂

  • Rachel at RKCSouthern blog
    April 14, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I LIKE those boxes! Ordering NOW! Thank you for sharing!

  • Julie Estrella
    April 14, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I needed this motivation. I feel so much better when my space is clean and organized. It’s like the physical clutter starts to clutter your mind after a while!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Exactly! That’s exactly where I was at when I wrote this! I was crying like every day from the clutter!

  • fairyprincessjord
    April 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    I’m at the point where my entire apartment needs organizing not just my office BUT document boxes are s cute storage solution. First office, then tackle the rest of my place!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Haha I am so right there with you!

  • Sydney Power
    April 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I find things in an office get so dusty, I love going to dust everything and get it all clean

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

      SO DUSTY! It amazes me!

  • G&D Blog
    April 14, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    These are great tips for office organizing. Our desk (in our bedroom) looks fine so far, we do have a cabinet of papers, yes, a cabinet. Lol! My husband have it ever since. I love having a neat office desk.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

      lol a cabinet is better than a pile!

      • G&D Blog
        April 21, 2017 at 11:01 am

        Haha so true.

  • Rachel @ It's A Hero
    April 14, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    You just motiviated me to go through my office stuff and rearrange and PURGE! 🙂

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

      haha there was no after picture for this because the purge took SO much longer than expected! but it feels SO good now that it’s done!

  • Erin of Very Erin
    April 14, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Great tips – these look perfect for organizing!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:14 am

      Thanks! they’ve been a huge help!

  • Cameron
    April 14, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    I definitely need to go through my desk soon and clean some stuff out! I don’t have a designated office, just a small desk in our bedroom. Like yours, it doesn’t have and drawers and it drives me crazy haha. These storage boxes look really cute, I’ll have to look into getting a few – they would work great with my setup!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:13 am

      Yup! You can just stack them in the corner or underneath!

  • Sara @ College Compass
    April 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I love how boxes and organizers really clean up a space and just make it look and feel cleaner! These look great and I’m really glad that you’re finding them so helpful!

    Sara @ College Compass

  • Adriana
    April 15, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I love this!! I’m currently trying to organize my desk/office space and these will definitely help! xo

  • hzajac13
    April 16, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    I don’t currently have an office. I have a desk in the corner of a room. I really need to get it organized and make it a more functional working space.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:13 am

      That’s what I used to have! I kept the boxes stacked underneath it in the corner!

  • Kristine Circenis
    April 17, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    I freaking love organizing and office supplies is right up there with my loves. I also freaking love these boxes. We’re moving soon and I definitely could see using these boxes to organize old papers that are super unattractive to have lying around.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:12 am

      haha I love boxes too! My husband is always like “what’s in all of these?!?” and I know what each one has! haha

  • Victoria Stacey
    April 18, 2017 at 11:27 am

    I’m in the same situation when it comes to a desk with no drawers! Thanks for the tips 😀

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 21, 2017 at 10:12 am

      You’re welcome! Boxes have been my bread and better!

  • [email protected]
    April 23, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Firstly, I love the fact that you have a guiding word for the year. I started doing that in 2015… That year my word was discipline (because I felt like I was all over the place), 2016 was about compassion (because in my discipline, I took it a little too seriously and 2017 is all about massive action.

    Secondly, I feel like we’re soul sisters because of the whole piles concept! I wrote an entire article about making four piles when you’re dealing with clutter and it’s the best thing ever. Thank you so much for your insight! <3

    • Rachel Ritlop
      April 28, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Oh no way!! Haha I need piles! I have to pull EVERYTHING out in order to organize it. I need to see it all to imagine where it will fit. My husband thinks I am crazy since I make a bigger mess in the process but it works!

      • [email protected]
        April 28, 2017 at 11:49 am

        Omg yes!!!!! I’m the exact same way hahahahahah.

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