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How to Organize a Family Desk | Kitchen Command Station

These simple ideas will help you organize a family desk area and create a pretty space for your family command center or drop zone.

Did you know there is a National Clean Off Your Desk Day? 

Neither did I…but there is and it was this week. 

While Anne & I were researching Instagram & blog post ideas we came across the National Day Calendar

So. Much. Fun! 

There’s a day to honor practically everything.

As I looked over at our family desk in our kitchen I knew what had to be done! 

It was a mess! 

It’s great to have a desk area in our kitchen as part of our family command center but unfortunately, it becomes a dumping ground for everything and anything we don’t know what to do with. 

I shared the other part of our command center in this post.

Why Do I Need to Organize a Desk?

unorganized top of kitchen desk with paper clutter and laptop

Do you drown in paper clutter? 

It’s okay…don’t feel bad…we do too!

I thought that cute gray paper sorter you can see in the photo above was the solution. 

Unfortunately, it wasn’t! 

Turns out it was just another place to stick more paper we didn’t know what to do with. 

And it was so full I couldn’t shove even one more piece of paper in it. 

Then, we resorted to piling even more stuff on the side. 

Every few months this desk area really starts driving me crazy…and only me…no one else in the family seems to care. lol

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wood organizers filled with papers and other items on desk in kitchen

I do love the white charging station that I’ve had for well over 10 years.

My sister has the same one and it always looks so pretty in her kitchen because she has it styled and not as a junk collector! 

My mission was to clear the paper clutter and make the desk pretty but more useful. 

I’ve been working at the kitchen table because there wasn’t much space to spread out at the desk.

Let’s take a look at it before I organized this area…

Before Organizing Kitchen Desk

open cabinets above kitchen desk

If you take a peek inside the cabinets above the desk, they weren’t so bad. 

Using cardboard storage boxes and magazine file holders to store items helped keep them organized. 

Just like the cabinets the inside of the desk drawers wasn’t terrible either…I have small plastic bins in the drawers to organize our family desk supplies.

I won’t bore you with the before pictures of each drawer (you’re welcome!). 

The cabinets and drawers just need to be cleaned up and create a bit more functionality.

How Do I Organize Paper Clutter?

piles of papers spread out on kitchen table

The first step was to take all the papers (and I mean every single piece) from the top of the desk and sort them into manageable piles.  

Honestly, most of the paper went straight into the recycle bin. 

When you have paper clutter that starts to pile up as I did often times the stuff you’re holding onto doesn’t need to be kept.

However, there were several items that I wanted to keep like school awards the kids received or ticket stubs.

Things I wanted to hold onto were moved to a box that holds all of our sentimental paper items.  

Other papers I need to keep them easily accessible so they’re organized and placed inside folders.

The folders are then labeled to go back into the cabinets to be able to locate them when needed.

After Organizing Kitchen Desk

desk with cabinets above in kitchen after cleaning and organizing

Isn’t it lovely? 

So neat, organized, and pretty. 

I’m going to work really hard to keep it this way.

Fingers crossed! 

On my to-do list, will be to find something to cover that ugly cord and phone outlet.

Why do builders add outlets to areas like this right in the middle of the wall rather than to the side?

How to Organize Kitchen Desk Cabinets

open cabinet doors showing storage accessories for household and office products

Just straightening up the contents of the cabinets using the storage pieces I already had made a big difference. 

You don’t always need to spend money to get a space organized.

Sometimes you just need to clean out and shift things around to allow a space to become more functional.

Let’s take a closer look at how I organized the contents of our desk cabinets.

upper cabinet shelfs storing office supplies

How to Organize Paper & Desk Supplies

The top two shelves in the left cabinet store books, envelopes, a label maker, and a few extra school supplies. 

Looks like I need to use that label maker to replace the handmade scotch tape label on that green plastic basket.  You can find plastic baskets similar to ours here.

Having matching storage organizers would make the cabinets more aesthetically pleasing but using baskets, bins, and boxes you already have is more economical.

And remember no one sees the inside of your cabinets!

magazine holders storing papers in kitchen cabinet

The bottom two shelves store the all-important paper that I need to have access to frequently. 

We keep a plain large binder filled with all our instructional manuals that come with appliances or fixtures in our home. 

Clear plastic sheet protectors allow me to slide each instruction manual inside so that they can be found easily when needed.

The bottom shelf isn’t super pretty but it’s functional and organized for our needs. 

We store a folder for each of our kids with papers we may need to access for them such as sports schedules, school information, etc. 

The white cardboard magazine holders contain coupons, notebooks, and other important documents.

paper storage boxes organized in kitchen cabinet above desk

How to Manage Household Items

The top two shelves of the double cabinet store light bulbs (looks like I may need another basket for those loose packages). 

The lidded cardboard boxes hold greeting cards & writing paper, banking supplies, and a memory box where I can quickly stash random pictures or cards.  Similar paper storage boxes can be found here.

small storage bins on shelves in cabinet storing household items

Finally, the bottom two shelves store our video camera, GoPro, and accessories.

A few household tools like a screwdriver, small hammer, and tape measure are kept in this cabinet since I use them often, and saves me a trip to dig through the garage workbench.

Small plastic tubs with lids hold batteries & chargers. 

And that battery bin is opened quite often by my boys for the Xbox. 

I could store the batteries up in our bonus room where they play Xbox but then I may never see my 17-year-old. 

Just kidding…he’d still have to come downstairs for food.

I’ve used these plastic bins for years.

When the kids were little they were perfect to store small cars, dolls, or collections of all sorts. 

They loved to carry around their stuff to play with anywhere they went. 

In the past several years we’ve been storing all our random chargers for electronics in these bins. 

This way when we need to charge our Kindles, cameras, or the kids graphing calculators for school we always know where to find the charger. 

How I Organized Kitchen Desk Drawers

desk drawer open in kitchen showing organized office supplies
school and household essentials organized in open drawer in desk
school supplies, notebooks and markers stacked in kitchen desk drawer

All three drawers on the left side of our kitchen desk store household and school supplies. 

These are the drawers that get the messiest over time with all five of us digging through to find what we need.

Or throwing things in the drawers that may not belong in them but it’s the closest place.

Tell me we’re not the only family that does that!? 

So every once in a while I just need to clean out and reorganize the desk drawers.

plastic green organizers in desk drawer sorting pens, pencils and other supplies

My family doesn’t seem to share my love of keeping pencils and pens separate from each other!

I’m not sure why?

I mean doesn’t everyone like to keep pens and pencils in their own compartments?

Those bins are even labeled on the bottom with what goes in each one, however, when they’re full they apparently can’t see the label so the pens and pencils get mixed together.

But kinda like reorganizing the dishwasher after my family loads it…I may just move pens that are thrown in the wrong bin into the correct one!

These are the bins I use to organize my desk drawers

And if you’re looking for the absolute best pencils ever…the Dixon Ticonderoga is my favorite!

I think it’s kinda funny that I’m so neat in some areas like the inside of my desk drawer (that no one ever sees) but the top of the desk was a wreck!

Go figure!

How to Style a Kitchen Desk

organized kitchen desk after cleaning

Now that the top of our desk is finally cleared off, I was able to style it with a few items I had already here. 

I moved our Alexa off the window sill over the kitchen sink (which I hated in that spot because the cord hung from the windowsill down to the outlet where it was plugged in).

Now the unsightly cord is hidden in the charging station on top of the desk. 

A faux plant, candle, and family photo add a few more pretty decorative items to the area.

I just need to find something to hide that charging station cord & telephone outlet and this space will be perfect!

completed kitchen desk with cabinets above

Just a few hours of work to get all of my paper clutter under control and our family desk area more organized.  

Now I have a pretty space that makes me smile every time I look at it! 

I call that time well spent!

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collage of product images to organize a desk
Photo Box with Lid | 3 Cardboard Boxes with Lids | Interlocking Drawer Organizer Bins | 2″ Binder | Sheet Protectors | Paper Magazine Holders
Set of 4 Plastic Baskets | Set of 4 Plastic Storage Bins with Handled Lids

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