Although Einstein believed that a cluttered desk led to a creative mind, we think it might be better to strike a balance. Whether you want to add a splash of colour to your office or make your new student halls feel like home, it’s time to gather your stray pens and assemble your neglected to-do lists with our ten best practical yet eye-catching storage solutions.
1. Block Sketch Desk Tidy: £24, redcandy.co.uk
Designed to look like a 3D sketch (hence the name), this minimalist plated steel pen pot will add a bit of colour and retro appeal to your desk. There’s no room to hide mess here, so you’ll just have to buy some new pens to go with it.
2. Eva Lilja Löwenhielm Cable Management Box: £9.60, ikea.com
This box keeps unsightly cables hidden and tangle-free. It’s the perfect size to fit an extension lead inside to give you multiple power points on your desk, or you can feed your cables up through it to keep your workspace tidy.
3. Oakdene Designs Steel Wire Mesh Noticeboard: £47, notonthehighstreet.com
Arrange your to-do lists, letters and postcards with this industrial-style alternative to a cork board. Use bulldog clips or paperclips to attach to the wire frame or hook keys or jewellery over it.
4. Kate Spade New York ‘A Stroke of Genius’ Pencil Cup: £20, amara.com
Bring the copper trend to your desk — and stop your favourite biros rolling off the precipice — with this acrylic pot from the American designer. If the ‘A Stroke of Genius’ inscription on the base is to be believed, it will help get you inspired, too.
5. Kraft Black A4 Expanding File: £4.99, whsmith.co.uk
An expanding file is a cheap and compact way to keep your filing together and this brown kraft one has 12 sections to separate out your paperwork. Ignore the index labels included and mark the tabs with post-its instead so you can change as suits.
6. Small Wire Basket: £7.99, hm.com
This, from H&Ms new homeware range, is the perfect size to bung chargers, keys and other miscellany in. The on-trend copper-wire combo will make your mess look Pinterest-worthy with minimal effort.
7. Wood Framed Blackboard Organiser: £98, designvintage.co.uk
It doesn’t come cheap, but this clever wall organiser’s nine compartments are all you’ll ever need to store all your desk paraphernalia. The chalkboard paint means you can label to your heart’s content and there’s space for to-do lists or and doodles on the side.
8. Design Ideas Edison Letter Bin: £19.95, homearama.co.uk
This geometric, coated steel letter holder is the perfect receptacle for your mail, receipts and general loose ends. Our favourite is this mint, but it’s available in 11 different shades.
9. Osco Faux Leather 2 Tier Sorter with Letter Tray: £11.99, amazon.co.uk
It might not be the prettiest thing to ever grace our desks, but this brown faux-leather sorter is a steal for plenty of storage space, including two drawers and an A4 letter tray, making it a great off-to-uni choice.
10. Calculator Magazine File: £7, paperchase.co.uk
If you’re the sort that finds graph paper and neatly ordered sums strangely calming, this digital calculator print magazine file should do it for you. Use it to keep textbooks, notepads or, indeed, magazines.
Practical, sturdy and affordable, the Osco Two Tier Sorter an Ikea cable tidy are our top picks for students off to uni, while the Block Sketch pen pot and Oakdene Designs wire noticeboard are our favourite design-led pieces.
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