Step One: CleanCarefully clean the surfaces and all the drawers of your cabinet. At the start of the year, give your desk a good treat of bleach, including the drawers. Trust me it's worth it. No one knows where the last resident stored their half used tissues.
Personally I use Pledge Multi Surface ($11). I also try to clean off the surface of my desk once a week because germs. If you want to go all out get a nice wood polisher, if you have a nice wooden desk. But do make sure to get something with anti bacterial properties.
Step Two: Drawer Check
Make sure that all of your drawers are properly aligned. If problems with the drawers sliding persist, the drawer hinges are probably a bit rusty.
Your dorm manager may be able to hook you up with some grease or WD40 for your desk drawers if they are too creaky or jam a lot. If not, you can buy WD40 from most hardware shops.
If you are super concerned about germs, you can get anti bacterial removable desk liners from most Bed, Bath and Beyond and similar style of stores. You can get some on Amazon ($3; pictured above).
Step Three: Personalized Handles
If you want to go the extra mile to personalize your desk, you can get change out for new drawer handles. Anthropology ($8 - $15; pictured above) has a ton of different styles of handles as do many hardware stores. Make sure to keep the dorm ones; you'll have to put them back at the end of the school year.
Step Four: Plan, Concentrate, Shop
A desk is a place that you should be able to calmly concentrate, with all of your supplies in easy reach from your seat. Think about what things you use most often: pens, pencils, highlighters, post it notes, paper clips, binders, whatever office supplies you tend to use. Don't take for granted that the "typical" office supplies need to be in ready reach tho. For example, I don't use paper clips or post its very often but I use a lot of binder clips and sticky flags.
Get a desk organizer or silverware organizer for your drawers. I'd strongly suggest getting bamboo desk organizers because they're easier on the environment and your wallet. There are a ton of different styles and sizes for these desk organizers.
Tips to get the right size:
- Be very careful measuring out the interior of your desk when ordering online. Leave a little bit of space if you can, as not all measurements are precise. These small spaces can be filled with thin paper products; don't worry about them.
- If you're going into the store, you can cut a bit of newspaper or poster to fit inside of your drawer. Place things you're considering on top of the paper to make sure they would perfectly fit you actual drawer.
Step Five: PreserveNow that everything has a proper place, create the habit of putting things back where they belong.
Plan to clean your desk and drawers regularly. Don't let dust or grime build up; clean more often during the winter flu months.
I'd suggest getting cedar scent blocks for your drawers. They keep away moths. Plus, they smell good.