20 Under Desk Storage Ideas to Maximize Your Workspace

Having efficient and organized under desk storage is essential for maximizing your workspace. With clutter out of sight, you can focus better and be more productive. There are many clever ways to utilize the space under your desk that can help you stay organized. Here are 20 fantastic under desk storage ideas to help you make the most of your workspace.

Utilize Bins and Baskets

Bins and baskets are a simple way to corral office supplies, files, and more in your under desk storage area. Look for bins and baskets in different sizes that can neatly fit on the shelves or floor of your desk’s underside. Label each bin clearly so you know exactly where to find what you need.

Plastic bins are affordable and available in endless color and size options. They can slide effortlessly onto shelves. Wire baskets are another choice that provide breathability and enable you to easily see contents. For office supplies like pens, paper clips, and sticky notes, try open bins or mesh cubes to grab items quickly.

Install Shelving Under the Desk

Installing shelving under your desk is one of the best ways to maximize vertical storage space. The shelves give you footprint to neatly organize bins, baskets, and frequently used items. Look for shelving units sized to perfectly fit the underside of your desk.

Modular wire shelving is easy to install and has lots of flexibility. Sturdy wooden shelving built specifically for under desk use is another great option. If you’re handy, you can even DIY shelving using boards and brackets. Just measure carefully!

Place frequently used items on the shelves for easy access. Keep reference materials, office supplies, and pending projects organized on the shelves. You can install shelving on the back side of the desk too.

Try Hanging File Folders

Hanging file folders aren’t just for file cabinets! You can install rails under your desk to slide in hanging file folders for keeping documents neatly organized and dust-free. Label each folder clearly with a category name.

Slide legal or letter-size file folders onto the rails to create your customized organizational system. Use hanging folders to store invoices, manuals, client files, recipes, craft patterns, and any other documents you want close at hand in your workspace.

Store Files in Drawers

Drawers built into the underside of your desk or on rolling carts are useful for filing away documents and supplies. Look for drawers in a range of sizes – some shallow for small items and others deeper for larger files.

Label each drawer clearly on the outside so you know exactly where to retrieve what you need. Drawers keep everything neatly tucked out of sight but easily accessible by pulling open the drawer. File folders and binders will stand up neatly inside the drawers.

For rolling carts, look for ones that are sized to fit precisely in the gap under your desk. The drawers will be right within arm’s reach.

Add a Rolling Cart

Speaking of rolling carts, they are a great under desk storage solution! Look for carts with multiple drawers and shelves that are sized to fit perfectly in the open area under your desk.

Carts on rollers can easily be pulled out from under your desk to access the contents. Then when not in use, they tuck discretely back under the desk and out of the way. Label each drawer and bin clearly so items are easy to find.

Use the cart for supplies, files, snacks, or anything else you want access to in your workspace without cluttering up the desk itself. The rollers make it simple to retrieve what you need.

Store Supplies in Jars

Clear glass jars are gorgeous for storing office supplies under your desk. Fill them with pens, pencils, paper clips, and anything else that fits. The clear glass lets you easily see the contents inside each jar without ugly disorganization.

Look for jars in varying sizes like short and wide or tall and narrow. Attach pretty labels on each jar identifying the contents. Arrange them neatly on shelves under your desk. The jars contain clutter while contributing an attractive touch.

Use Soft Storage Cubes

Soft storage cubes are wonderful for stashing all kinds of supplies under your desk. The soft sides make them easy to squeeze into gaps on shelves or the floor. They come in different bright colors to neatly organize different categories of items.

Use one cube for pens and highlighters, another for sticky notes, one for charging cords, etc. The flexible sides allow you to stuff the cubes full. Plus the soft fabric makes them lightweight and easy to transport. Stack them to maximize space!

Stow Files in Magazine Holders

Magazine holders typically used to store periodicals upright can double as under desk file holders. The long vertical boxes are perfect for sliding in files, documents, paperwork, and other desk supplies to keep organized.

Search for magazine holders sized to fit on your under desk shelving or even on the floor if space is limited. They come in various materials like wicker and metal mesh. Label each magazine holder clearly so you can quickly find what you need.

Use Versatile Modular Storage

Modular storage cubes, shelves, and drawers allow you to customize your own unique under desk storage solution. Look for modular pieces sized to perfectly fill the given space.

Modular components come in both open cubes and ones with doors to conceal the contents. They stack, connect, and rearrange to create your ideal layout. Utilize modular storage under your desk in place of conventional cabinets.

Build Custom Drawers

If you are handy with woodwork, consider custom building drawers specifically sized for the openings under your desk. This DIY solution lets you customize drawers to hold everything you want close at hand.

Build drawers of varying depths and widths depending on the materials you need to store. Adding drawer pulls gives them a finished look. The custom drawers can hold office supplies, art materials, electronics and tech accessories, tools, snacks, and anything else you need access to.

Use Retractable Reels

Retractable reels are useful for keeping cords, headphones, and other supplies neatly stowed but accessible. Attach the reels under your desk using hooks or adhesive. Then simply pull the cord to extend it when needed.

The reel retracts to keep the cord, headphones, video game controller, or other item close at hand under the desk but untangled and out of the way. Position reels right where you need quick access.

Opt for Sliding Storage

Sliding storage drawers on rollers easily glide open to access the contents, then seamlessly slide closed again. They prevent clutter on your desktop. Mount them to the underside of the desk and label them clearly.

Look for shallow sliding drawers for small supplies like sticky notes, paperclips, and thumbtacks. Deeper drawers are great for larger items like paper, notebooks, and artists materials. Everything stores discreetly under the desk but you can retrieve it with a simple pull of the sliding drawer.

Use Wall-Mounted Storage

Don’t limit under desk storage to just the desk itself. For a small workspace, also utilize wall space around the desk. Wall-mounted shelves, racks, and sliding storage drawers can extend your under desk real estate.

Look for wall storage sized to fit the vertical space surrounding the desk. You can mount shelving, racks to hold frequently used items, sliding drawers, file sorters, and more. Keep everything at arm’s reach right around the desk.

Add Plastic Storage Containers

Plastic storage containers are affordable and versatile for maximizing your under desk storage. Their rigid sides keep contents neatly organized. Use containers sized to fit on shelving or stack neatly on the floor.

Label each container to identify what is inside without opening it. The translucent plastic allows you to vaguely see inside. Use containers to organize office supplies, electronics and their accessories, art and craft materials, snack bins, and more. The lids keep contents clean and dust-free.

Use Fabric Boxes and Bins

While plastic bins are ubiquitous, fabric boxes and bins can also be great under desk storage solutions. The soft, malleable sides make them easy to stuff full and conform to tight spaces. Choose colorful bins to coordinate and categorize.

Sturdier board-bottom bins will hold their shape when freestanding. Collapsible fabric bins conveniently fold down slim when not in use. Use fabric bins to store office supplies, crafting notions, snacks, or personal items you want accessible in your workspace. Label them clearly.

Stow Electronics and Accessories

Under desk storage is perfect for stowing electronics like laptops, tablets, and e-readers and their accessories like chargers, cords, power banks, wireless mice, external drives, and headphones.

Use baskets and bins to organize and contain all these tech accessories so they don’t clutter your desk. Store the electronics themselves inside a desk drawer during down time to keep your desktop clear. A charging station is also useful for powering up devices. Keep tech gear neat but accessible.

Use Magnetic Holders

Magnetic holders affix to under-desk surfaces to store small metal objects like pins, scissors, paper clips, thumb tacks, keys, etc. The powerful magnets keep items securely adhered right within reach.

Mount magnetic strips, trays, and holders conveniently close to where you use these metal items. Then they will be right there when you need them again. Magnetic holders keep small supplies and tools organized and easy to access quickly.

Store Art Supplies

For artists and other creatives, utilize under desk storage to keep all your art supplies organized. Small shallow drawers are perfect for stowing markers, pens, and pencils. Shelves or racks work well for paint tubes, brushes, palettes, and other supplies.

Look for storage solutions like drawers, shelves, and caddies sized to neatly fit paints, pastels, adhesives, mixed media supplies, and more. Store works in progress discreetly under your desk to clear the actual desktop for current projects. Keep all essential art supplies at your fingertips but out of sight.

Hang Bike Hooks for Bags

Bicycle hooks screwed into the underside of your desk create handy storage for purses, bags, and totes to keep them off the floor. Just loop the strap over the curved end and your bag hangs securely within reach.

Position a few bike hooks around the perimeter of the desk for bag storage. They take up minimal space. You can quickly grab your gym bag, purse, lunch bag, shopping tote, or whatever bag you need to take with you heading out. Hooks keep bags accessible but out of the way.

Add Box Shelves for Reference Materials

Box shelves mounted horizontally under your desk are great for stowing reference books, manuals, cookbooks, and other materials for easy access. Simply slide the books into the box shelf just like a built-in bookshelf.

Mount the box shelf facing outward so the book spines face you. Label the shelf clearly like “Reference Manuals” or “Cookbooks”. Then you can quickly retrieve the exact book you need. Box shelves utilize vertical storage space while keeping reference materials neatly organized.

Incorporate Deep Drawers

For under desk storage, look for a combination of shallow and deep drawers. Shallow drawers around 2-3 inches deep are great for small office supplies, electronics, and other petite items you use often. But you also need deeper drawers measuring 10 inches or more to store bulkier items like active files, extra notebooks, and larger supplies.

Combining drawers of different depths creates storage for all kinds of items right at your fingertips. Label each drawer clearly. A mixture of shallow and deep drawers helps you maximize your under desk real estate.

Use Under Desk Bookshelves

Small bookshelves designed specifically to mount under the desk surface are fantastic for organizing both books and general supplies. Look for shelves sized to fit in the desk’s underside cubby holes, or attach to the walls around the desk.

Use them to neatly store books, 3-ring binders, training manuals, work project folders, resource materials, and anything else you want access to in your workspace. Sometimes simple underside bookshelves are all you need to create organized storage right within arm’s reach.


There are many excellent under desk storage solutions that can help organize your workspace and maximize productivity. Bins, baskets, shelving, drawers, sliding storage, fabric cubes, wall hooks, magnetic holders, bookshelves and more all allow you to neatly stow supplies, documents, electronics, and personal items out of the way but easily accessible right in your workspace. Get creative and choose storage options that best suit your needs. With clutter and mess out of sight, you will be able to maintain focus and utilize your desktop more effectively. Utilize vertical storage space under and around your desk. A neatly organized workspace results in efficiency, clarity and productivity.

Frequently Asked Questions about Under Desk Storage Ideas

Q: What are some key things to consider when selecting under desk storage?

There are a few key considerations when choosing under desk storage solutions:

  • Size – Storage must fit in the available space under the desk and around the workspace. Measure carefully before purchasing.
  • Usage – How will you use the storage and what will you store there? This determines the type you need.
  • Material – Storage made of durable and high-quality materials will last longer. Metal, wood and thick, sturdy plastic are good options.
  • Style – Match the style of your existing furniture for a cohesive look.
  • Accessibility – Ensure stored items can be easily accessed when needed. Pull-out drawers, shelves and open cubes allow this.

Q: How can I stay organized using under desk storage?

  • Use bins, baskets or shelving to group like items together such as office supplies, files, electronics, etc.
  • Clearly label each storage container so you know what is inside without opening it.
  • Only keep necessities stored under the desk to avoid clutter. Utilize other space for extras.
  • Put most frequently accessed items on shelves, in slide-out drawers and open bins for easy access.
  • Avoid overloading drawers and bins which makes them hard to open and sort through.

Q: What are some good options for DIY under desk storage?

  • Repurpose over-the-door shoe holders mounted under the desk to store small supplies
  • Use wood boards and brackets to build basic shelving units sized for under the desk
  • Attach hooks under the desk to hang bags, headphones and chargers
  • Use plastic crates or sturdy cardboard boxes stacked or on shelves
  • Mount a used desktop organizer or magazine file under the desk surface
  • Hang a canvas tool organizer or file sorter on the wall next to the desk

Q: How can I incorporate under desk storage in a small workspace?

For small desks and workspaces:

  • Try slide-out drawers mounted under the desk or small rolling carts that tuck away underneath.
  • Use wall space around the desk for mounted shelves, racks, and slide-out drawer units.
  • Attach desktop organizers underneath to maximize vertical storage.
  • For floor space, use small trunks, cube storage units with casters, or storage ottomans.
  • Keep just the essentials stored in the desk area and utilize other space in the room for extras.
  • Go vertical with wall shelves for books and supplies to keep desk surface clear.

Q: What types of items should not be stored under a desk?

Avoid storing the following under a desk:

  • Food and drinks – these can spill, leak and attract pests. Store separately.
  • Heavy electronics like CPUs – can make sliding storage tricky to open.
  • Frequently needed items like phones, staplers, tape dispensers – keep these on the desktop for easy access.
  • Oversized items that don’t fit neatly into containers – will look cluttered.
  • Anything that emits strong odors.
  • Flammable, corrosive or hazardous materials.
  • Valuables like expensive electronics.
  • Items you’ll need through the day like handbags, water bottles.

Q: What are some decorative ways to conceal under desk storage?

Some ideas to make under desk storage more aesthetically pleasing:

  • Bins and baskets in colors that match your decor
  • Built-in drawers with wood fronts that coordinate with the desk
  • Fabric scarves or curtains hung around storage space to hide clutter
  • Closed cabinets with doors rather than open shelving
  • Desk with attached hutch shelf to store items attractively
  • Rolling cart tucked under desk that can be pulled out when needed
  • Wallpaper inside open shelving to hide contents
  • Neatly coiled cables secured with velcro straps
  • Skirt attached to bottom edge of the desk to hide underside