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DIY Adjustable Desktop Organizer

Customize your storage with this DIY adjustable desktop organizer! Expands from 12" to 24" long, or fits into a corner with the 90 degree configuration.

Gray and white wooden desktop organizer with 3D model image

School starts today (yay!) and I'm preparing for another year of homework and projects! Lately, the cabinet in our living room has become a magnet for clutter. I want the most used school supplies easily accessible, while still keeping them neat. This adjustable desktop organizer is just what our family needs to contain the chaos!

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This area has become a dumping ground over the summer! Art supplies and paper mingle with camera equipment and power cables to create an eyesore in our living room.

I desperately needed a desktop organizer to get this mess under control!

I organized inside the cabinet and created a designated spot for my camera gear. A few things got relocated to the playroom. Now I need the right storage for the rest!

This desktop organizer was the inspiration for my own build.

Since this space always on display, I wanted a desktop organizer that's just as decorative as it is functional. The living room doubles as my office, so I was looking for something that allowed me to keep my supplies on hand while still looking pretty. I turned to Amazon for ideas and stumbled upon this.But the price tag was way too high for what is really $5 worth of wood (if it's even real wood!) Why buy it when I can make it myself!

Materials Needed for Desktop Organizer

Don't forget your safety gear when woodworking! Here are my recommendations for safety glasses and ear protection. No excuses!

Instructions for Building a Desktop Organizer

The best part about this desktop organizer is that it only requires one 1 x 6 board! Cut it down into three 12" pieces, two 11 1/4" pieces and two 3" pieces. You can also change these dimensions to fit your space perfectly! You can download the free woodworking plans for this project by signing up for my email newsletter below.

Drill pocket holes into one end of each of the 12" pieces. These will be the horizontal shelves.

Cut the pieces for your desktop organizer.

Attach one of the 12" pieces three inches up from the bottom of a 11 1/4" piece, using wood glue and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws.

First shelf of the desktop organizer installed

Attach one of the 3" pieces under the other end of the 12" shelf with wood glue and brad nails.

The first shelf of the desktop organizer is complete.

The second half of the desktop organizer will rest on top of the first, so getting the right height is crucial. On the other 11 1/4" piece, attach one shelf 3 3/4" up from the bottom, and the other 3" above that.

Attach the second shelf 3 3/4" from the bottom of the desktop organizer.

The space is pretty tight between the two shelves, so I used my right angle drill attachment to insert the pocket hole screws.

This handy right angle drill attachment makes inserting pocket hole screws in tight places much easier!

Glue up both ends of the remaining 3" piece and insert it between the two shelves. Nail it into place from above and below.

The second shelf of the desktop organizer is complete!

How easy was that! Now you can customize your desktop organizer with whatever stain or paint matches your decor. I went with my favorite gray stain for almost the entire piece, but brightened up the interior of the rectangular shelf with white paint. This two-toned effect is the same one I used on my hexagon side table, so now the color scheme is repeated throughout the living room.

Love the two toned effect of this desktop organizer!
This desktop organizer fits a lot into a small space!

The versatility of this desktop organizer is perfect for our multi-purpose living room. I can stretch it out almost two feet long when we need lots of storage.

This desktop organizer can fit a lot into a small space!

Or keep it compact to make room for things like Christmas decorations on top of the cabinet.

This adjustable desktop organizer can grow and shrink with your storage needs!

I can also rotate one side 90 degrees so it becomes a corner desktop organizer instead!

It's been wonderful having all my supplies in one spot, instead of rummaging through multiple junk drawers to find what I need. And of course, the Sonos speaker and Echo Dot are crucial for productivity! 🙂

I'm thinking of making another of these for the kitchen counter. You could fit a lot of spices in this small space! How would you use this desktop organizer, and in what configuration?

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Gray and white wooden desktop organizer with 3D model image


Wednesday 13th of June 2018

Congratulations on the feature on To Grandma's House We Go. I love your website. There are so many projects there that I would have done when I was a little bit younger. Your website reminds me of me, (except that I would have had to put "thehandywomansdaughter". My mother was so adept at making anything and my dad could not put much of anything together. I grew up on a farm and my father was very good at tending to the livestock, but my mother ended up fixing most anything that my dad didn't hire out to get fixed. I do have an office and love the shelf. I am going to put one together. Thanks for sharing and I am going to point my nieces and nephews to your website.

Jann Olson

Tuesday 12th of June 2018

What a great desk! Thanks for sharing with SYC. hugs, Jann

Donna @ Modern on Monticello

Monday 11th of June 2018

This is a really good idea and awesome design. I have pinned it so I can show it to my husband for my desk. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

Linda on Poinsettia Drive

Wednesday 6th of June 2018

You are so clever. I would like to invite you to come share on the NEW Classy Flamingos Blog Party . Wednesday thru Friday.

Marissa | Squirrels of a Feather

Monday 4th of June 2018

Wow, it rotates! Now that is a cool organizer!

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