Whether you’re a work-at-home mom who’s looking for a little more organization in your life, or a college student looking to be a little more productive when not in the library, these are the most vital at-home desk essentials for productive study sessions and effective work habits.
ALL OF THE PINK LINKS IN THIS POST ARE AFFILIATE LINKS; HOWEVER, ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND CANNOT BE BOUGHT!
A wonderful writing teacher of mine is known for her adorable (and worn) little notebook and matching pen. She assures us all that it is her pen, and although there are many like it, that one is hers (a little bit stealing from the Marines, but oh well). While you don’t have to go above and beyond like her and worship your pen and notebook, you should still have at least one pair at your desk to use as a journal, a set of lists, or anything else you may need it for. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
2. A calendar of some sort.
You can hang a dollar-store calendar on the wall with a thumbtack if you prefer, but there are lots of other tangible calendars out there for you to try, from large desk calendars to mini-agendas and planners to even cute monkey flip books. Either way, you need a real-life calendar at your desk so you don’t need to open your phone each time you need to check the date, or see your availability. Odds are, if you reach for your smartphone, you’ll end up on social media before you know it.
3. A pad of Post-It notes.
I’m a stickler for Post-It notes (as many of you know), but I really do think they are totally a home office essential whether you’re on the job or hitting the books. You can stick them in your textbook as you take notes, make little reminders to yourself that you can stick virtually anywhere that you know you’ll see it again, and they also make really good spots to scribble on when you’re trying to get your pen to work.
4. A pair of earbuds or headphones.
With people going in and out of the house or little ones running around, it can be hard to stay focused on the task at hand. A nice pair of earbuds or lightweight headphones will work perfectly to solve this problem and help you stay productive. Plus, with some smooth, easy-listening music in your ear, you’ll be a lot less stressed.
I keep a ton of these little things at my desk, including deodorant, a hair brush, nail polish, and more—and it’s all right at my fingertips. These help me avoid my pet peeves going wild if my underarms get sweaty or my lips are chapped, and having them right at my desk keeps me on track. I won’t have to leave my “office” to get these items—meaning I’m a lot less likely to get distracted by wandering off!
6. Cute photos of your loved ones!
Just because you don’t go away to work doesn’t mean you don’t get the chance to hang up photos of your friends and family! Hang frames, or even your kids’ hand-drawn pictures, on the area surrounding your desk for some nice (and cheap!) home office decor.
7. A chalkboard or white board (+bulletin board).
In addition to helping you keep up your home office organization, one of these two boards can be super useful for keeping you on track with your to-do list, your goals, and other little reminders. On my study desk chalkboard, I write my recurring bills and deadlines, and my ongoing to-do list of things that may have a deadline way in the future or that I’m constantly working on. I find that I can divide my board up into sections and keep it organized and colorful so I always know where to look when I need something.
DIY: I don’t have a bulletin board in my room (and there’s no space to hang even a small one), so instead, I DIY’d my chalkboard to give it a similar purpose.
I hung a piece of twine down the middle and got a bunch of little clothespins that I use to hang photos, important letters, reminders, and more. This is a really cheap and simple way to give your chalkboard or white board a dual purpose!
8. Some motivational inspiration.
When I graduated from high school, my best friend bought me a flip book of motivational mantras to keep me inspired as I headed off to college, and it was honestly one of the most awesome gifts I have ever received. It can either stand up or lie down like a book, and it has over 100 little sayings to keep me motivated and positive, even when times get tough.
If you don’t need a full book of mottos, and you have a favorite quote (or even Bible verse) of your own, a cool DIY would be to print out a photo or image of that saying, and frame it to keep on your home desk. Here are some of my favorite quote-images for reference!
9. A super comfy chair.
I try not to splurge on home office furniture, especially because I’m probably the only one who’s going to see it, but the one thing that you (and your back) will be thankful you invested in later is a solid office chair (Amazon has a ton of options!). You’re not going to be productive if you aren’t comfortable, and the aching pain you get later if your chair isn’t supportive enough will make you not want to come back to your desk! You’re going to be spending a lot of time in this seat, so make sure it’s a good one.
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What can you not live without on your desk? Let me know in the comments!