Stock your desk with these essential tools and supplies to make working simpler and easier! 

Your Favorite Writing Instrument

Uni-Ball 4-Pack: $12.09. Montblanc PIX Black Rollerball: $315.00

Do you have a favorite pen, pencil, or fountain pen? Make a home for it on your desk. Always put it back in its home when you’re done with it, and it’ll never get lost! (Pro tip: that’s true with all of your belongings.)

Keeping track of one pen or pencil is easier than keeping track of a bunch. That’s the secret of minimalism and sustainability! Living simply with fewer possessions lets you have favorites, and choose higher-quality things that will last longer. 

I love a good rollerball pen like these from Uni-Ball! Or, if you want to totally splurge on your one-and-only work pen, Montblancs exist, too.

A Printer/Scanner

It usually makes sense to put your printer/scanner on the dominant hand side of the desk. It’s easier to operate that way and if you have it just in reach, you still have space for project items in front of you. It’s okay to place it slightly out of reach so that it gives you a break from sitting.

Good Lighting

Warm light is easy on the eyes, but may lead to in-office naps. Cool light helps with focus, but don’t forget to give yourself a break!

Light might not seem like “tools and supplies,” but it sure changes how you feel while working! Natural light is always best, but it isn’t always possible to arrange your desk to take advantage of natural light, and let’s face it, sometimes we work when it’s not light outside anyway! Lighting professionals recommend having a general overhead source of light, supplemented with a desk light to provide task lighting–a closer, focused light that you can shine directly on what you’re doing.

The best position for the task lighting is usually on your non-dominant side, to avoid shadows cast by your hand while you are writing. Also consider having color control with your lighting to allow you to adjust your lighting according to your task needs. Adding warm colors to your lighting setup gives your eyes a break, especially if you happen to have fluorescent lighting overhead.

A Charging Station

Place your chargers on or near your desk so you can charge when necessary. Sprinting to finish a project before your laptop shuts off, or dropping a call when your phone goes dead, are stress you just don’t need to put up with! 

Keep wires on your desk as short as possible to avoid tangling, and use cable management tools like velcro wraps, cable sleeves, and cable clips to keep cords under control. No desk spaghetti! Except when it’s for lunch. 

A Place for Files

Some estimates say that Americans spend about 45 minutes a day looking for things, so set up your filing system, whether it’s paper, digital, or both. Develop a naming convention for your files that you communicate to everyone who uses the system. Remember, your system is only as good as the retrieval time. It should take 30 seconds or less to find what you’re looking for! For more information, check out my past posts on paper filing and digital filing!

Office Supplies

Stock your desk with whatever you need to complete your work. Keep office supplies that you use frequently near to you, and keep supplies you use occasionally elsewhere so they’re not in the way. ​​Again, think of having to get up out of your chair or move from your desk as a mini-break to get moving! 

It’s also a good idea to keep excess supplies out of the way. You may have six reams of printer paper, but they don’t all need to go right next to the printer. It’s okay to keep backup supplies in a drawer or closet elsewhere, where you can go to restock when you run low. Keeping a smaller amount of what you need gives you more space overall! 

What tools and supplies are on your desk now? Did I miss a favorite of yours? Tell me in the comments!

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