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Spring cleaning: Desk makeover + organization tips

By Gabrielle Hester Photos by Gabrielle Hester

The warm weather has finally arrived, and we all know that means it’s time for some spring cleaning. I don’t know about you, but I love getting everything organized; however, during the semester, my cleanliness is often put on hold.

Too often I get home from school, empty my bag and toss all of my books on the desk. I will admit, I have let my desk go, to say the least. It is cluttered, disorganized and not aesthetically pleasing by any means.

Spring Cleaning Picture 1

To ring in the spring cleaning season, I thought I would tackle my desk and fill you guys in on all the tips and tricks I use to stay organized. Let’s get started.

Here’s the before picture of my desk. I know, it’s pretty bad. But shout out to the people who have the same problem as me and throw clothes all over their desk chair.

Anyway, first things first, I took everything off my desk. Once it was cleared, I went ahead and dusted it off. Then, I went through each of my papers and threw away the things that were no longer important. My next step was to figure out how I was going to organize it.

Luckily, my desk has built in silver dividers on the top, so I put my notebooks and textbooks on there. I also already had a clear organizer with a rose gold, metallic bottom. I threw my Post-it notes, index cards, calculator and nail polish inside of it.

Spring Cleaning Picture 2

I know nail polish seems odd, but sometimes when I need a break from school work, I paint my nails as a way to destress. Next, I put my pencils and pens inside a little terra-cotta pot that I made in my previous article for DIY room décor.

Spring Cleaning Picture 4

At this point, I managed to declutter and organize my desk. The next step is to personalize your space. I put a picture frame with a photo of my friends and me, and some personal items on the top shelf. I then added my favorite candle, Peach Bellini from Bath and Body Works, and my DIY succulent.

Quick little tip: Get a mason jar and unscrew the lid. Take out the middle part so you have the lid, but with a hole in the middle of it. Use the empty jar to store extra change, almost like a piggy bank. It looks cute and helps you save money.

Spring Cleaning Picture 3

Since I am a candle lover, I put another candle on the lowest shelf, along with a book all about selfies It was given to me as a gift. It’s bright red, so I liked the pop of color. For a whimsical touch, I strung up some fairy lights as well.

To add some comfort to my workspace, I placed my softest blanket and fluffiest pillow atop my chair.

Spring Cleaning Picture 6

Another little tip/DIY is to designate an area on your desk for motivation. My desk has a white board section. Since I don’t have dry erase markers, I decorated my motivation area with triangle cutouts of decorative paper. I also had a little card from Tarte Cosmetics that says “don’t quit your day dream,” as well as a paper that says “READ,” which I got out of a magazine.

Spring Cleaning Picture 7

My last tip is to keep any essentials near your work space. I had a flower plate I scored from Goodwill (my happy place), and I put my necessities on it. These include lip balm, bobby pins and hair ties. You never know when you’ll need a hair tie during a late night study sesh.

Spring Cleaning Picture 8

In the end, my desk looked unrecognizable. It now is organized, clutter free and aesthetically pleasing if I do say so myself. I know cleaning isn’t the most fun activity, but I can guarantee you will feel so much better once you makeover your desk and get organized!

Spring Cleaning Picture 5


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