We all have that one friend: The one who’s constantly rearranging and moving things on their desk or in their kitchen so everything is just so. The one who looks at your messy desk and has an overwhelming urge to clean it. The one with twenty folders for each aspect of life.
Confession: I am that friend. I go to people’s houses and help them clean. I change the layout of my desk every other week. My gift to my wife one year for her birthday was cleaning and organizing her desk, complete with drawers and a pencil holder. I spend a lot of time on Amazon daydreaming about all the silly office items I could own. So you can rest assured that these recommendations come from a fellow organizer who knows what they’re talking about.
Note: These are also good for the aspiring organizer who just doesn’t know where to start.
Paperclips. The simultaneous friend and enemy of the organizer. So convenient to use, but so easy to lose. “Where is that gosh darn paperclip?” you hear your friend mutter for the umpteenth time that day as they shuffle around their desk, trying to find the clearly sentient paperclip that knows how to camouflage itself with its surroundings.
Why not introduce your friend to Sheepi? This magnet, disguised as a cute farm animal, is perfect for all your paperclip-finding needs. Take a clip off something? Stick it to Sheepi immediately to keep track of it. Lost a clip somewhere on your desk? Use Sheepi as a metal detector by hovering him over the desk until the magnet picks the clip up. And he’s not just for paperclips! Bobbi pins you pull out of your hair mid-day or even tacks for that lovely corkboard — if it’s metal, Sheepi will hold it for you so you can find it again. He even comes with thirty paperclips to get you started! (As if thirty is enough…)
Side-eying the price? Just imagine how much time you’ll save looking around your desk for that elusive paperclip, or how much money you’ll save buying new paperclips.
Your time is precious; there are only so many hours in a work-day, after all. Tasks must be prioritized, and sometimes it can be hard to remember what’s important and what can just wait until tomorrow…or the next day…or Friday…or Monday.
But how do you remember what’s important and what can be put off? These unique notepads might be able to help! You can make a mental note and mark it as remember, eventually forget, ignore, do something about, contemplate, or stick somewhere. Or, you can make a to do list of things you’ll get done today, maybe tomorrow, or eventually. With seventeen different types of notes to choose from (including Deal With This, Please?, and SOS), not only will you never forget something (unless it says you can), you can also correspond with your office mates without ever talking to them. It’s the gift that gives to everyone.
Every office has that one person who loves cats a little too much. My office has several (myself included). But why, you may ask yourself, would you want a cat tape dispenser when you can have an ordinary one?
Well, I say in response to your theoretical thoughts: “why not?” You spend hours a day sitting at your desk, be it in cubicles, new-fangled open office designs, or even at home. Your desk is your second home. Sure, you could have a regular tape dispenser, or you could have a cute little cat to make you smile every time you need a piece of tape. And maybe give it a little scratch. It’s a good cat, after all.
And if you’re going to get a cat tape dispenser, why not give him a post-it note friend? Post-it notes are every organizer’s best friend, but much like paperclips, they go missing at the most inconvenient times. You can trust this little cat friend to keep them in place for you when you need them most, though.
Wait, where’s my pen? Oh, it’s next to my laptop. Wait, where are the scissors? Oh right, I put them in the desk to keep them out of the way. Wait, where’s my phone? Oh, I’m holding it. Wait, where’s my pen again?
We’ve all played ‘find the thing’ with our office supplies. Even when everything has its own dedicated “Place”, it still moves without you looking and ends up somewhere else. Of course, the easiest way to fix that is to just buy one of those functional but boring metal mesh pen holders that are a staple in every office. Or, you can help your little organizer spice up their work space a bit by gifting them with this adorable elephant pencil holder that even has a place for your cell phone! Where’s my phone? Oh right, I gave it to the elephant. Now where’s that pen again?
Paperclips are great. But you know what’s better? Smiling binder clips. Look at these happy little guys. They’re almost as happy about organization as you are! Not to mention binder clips are far more durable and can hold more than paperclips. One or two pieces of paper? Sure, grab that paperclip. But do you want to trust something so flimsy with, say, a forty-page printout you spent two weeks working on? You want something strong and with a little added flare. And a smiling binder clip will certainly make someone else’s day.
Even better? They’re metal, and you can use your little magnetic sheep friend (first on the list) to hold them! Or even if you opted against the sheep, they’re brightly colored and stand out amongst all your other office supplies so either way, you’re probably not going to lose them, unless you have a thieving organizer in your midst.
Messy wires are the bane of every organizer’s existence. They’re just there, teasing you with their presence. They’re the chaos in your otherwise perfect workspace. They haunt your nightmares, or they’re the reason you lay awake at night, staring at the dark ceiling, remembering those darned wires.
Or maybe they’re just a mild inconvenience. Either way, there’s a colorful solution! These magnetic ties will clip hold your messy wires in one bunch and help keep them out of the way. Imagine all the time you’ll save not staring at the wires and wishing they would go away, or rearranging your desk for tenth time that day trying to hide them.
And as magnets, they have multiple uses. You can clip your keys to them, use them to to keep notes on the fridge, or organize your drawer of cables and old phone chargers that you know you have to keep for some reason. The possibilities are endless! Surely worth the price.
I know there are a lot of animal-themed items on the list, but you have to make organizing fun somehow, and who doesn’t like a cute little animal sticky note? They’re perfect for easily marking sections in large stacks of papers or notebooks, and like all post-it notes, they’re great for leaving notes. Proofing something for a colleague and want to point out something on a page? Make a note about it and put that sticky on the page. Critique is always better received when it’s delivered by a little fox or owl. Do you keep a journal of daily activities? These are the perfect way to mark what page you’re on — certainly a step up from the paper clip I’m using for my journal. And they’ll surely brighten your day. Look at those hedgehogs and try not to smile. I dare you.
Do you now, or have you ever, worked in a cubicle? There just isn’t enough space for everything. Print outs, memos and notes from your manager drop on your desk every other minute, further burying all the things you already couldn’t find — your paper clips, your pen, your post-it notes. It’s enough to drive anyone under the desk to hide. And in my experience, papers are the hardest thing to keep organized. Especially when they’re single pieces of paper that seem to breed and multiply when you’re not looking.
What’s the answer? Hanging folders, of course! Even better, colored hanging folders, for the color coder inside all of us. Just hang it up next to your desk, decide what each folder is for, and you’ll have an organized desk in no time. Even better? You can take them off the wall and fold them like an accordian when you’re finally ready to move on from that cubicle… and hang it on the wall at your next job.
“Another sticky-note organizer?”, I hear you say. But sticky notes are essential to staying organized. This one doesn’t have animals, but what it does have is a nice, simple, elegant design, pre-made boxes for lists, and helps you prioritize — a very important part of getting and staying organized. Its structure is also the perfect starting point for journaling — another simple way of keeping your life organized.
Hey, not everything is about keeping your physical space clean and organized. You need to remember to clean up your brain every now and again, and one of these little sandboxes is the perfect way to do it. Just rake the sand, play with it, bury the shells and find them again. It’s a beautiful little escape to that beach vacation you’re definitely going to take some day.
Or, if beach dreams won’t do it, try a small punching bag for your desk. Take your stress out on something in a healthy way that isn’t directed at your coworkers. No judgment — sometimes you just need something; even a small punching bag with two boxing gloves on your fingers.