In this video I share with you how to organize your desk on a budget! Everything shown was purchased at the Dollar Store (Dollar Tree) for a total of $16!

This is part 2 of 4 in my Dollar Store Organizing Series!

Part 1 of 4 – Pantry Organization on a Budget

Part 2 of 4 – Desk Organization on a Budget!

Part 3 of 4 – Desk Drawer Organization on a Budget!

Part 4 of 4 – Closet Organization on a Budget

Hope you enjoy the video!

Click here for a list of my favorite organizing products & the furniture shown in this video

Desk Organization on a Budget (Dollar Store Organizing)

Hi everyone. I’m Alejandra from and in this video, I’m going to show you how to organize your desk on a tiny budget. But first, if you are looking to start getting organized for the very first time, you can check out my free video series.

If you want to stay productive, get things done or cross things off your to-do list, you have to have an organized desk with systems in place.

If you were setting up your desk for the very first time, you’re probably thinking that you have to have this really big budget to buy expensive organizing products and just spend a lot of time setting up systems, which you do have to spend a lot of time. But you don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can still get organized with a tiny budget. So that’s exactly what I’m going to show you in this video.

I visited seven Dollar Trees in the area and went and found the best organizing products for the desk, found them, put them in place and now I’m going to show you exactly what my desk looks like.

Budget Friendly Office Supply Organization

Starting on the desktop over in the right corner, I needed a pencil caddy for my markers, pens, pencils and stuff. So I went in the office supply section of Dollar Tree and they had one. But I wasn’t really crazy about it.

So I kept shopping around and I found this cute vase in the floral section and I was thinking, “OK. Just because it’s a vase doesn’t mean it can’t be used for other things.”

Low Cost Pencil Caddy

Use a Low Cost Pencil Caddy to Keep Your Pens & Markers Organized

So now I’m using this pretty vase with a ribbon tied around, with a bow, for all of my beautiful markers and pens and pencils. I did the same thing for all of my bigger supplies like the stapler, the staple remover, sharpener, rubber bands and so forth. They’re all right here in the shorter vase.

Then business cards. So if you have business cards, maybe you keep them on your desk or maybe if you go to events or conferences, you meet people, you bring business cards home and you never have a place to put them. So you put them in a business card holder on your desk like this and anything in this pile means that you need to follow up with the person. Say, “It was nice to meet you.” Discuss business or whatever, so they could go in that pile here until you archive them or add them to your address book and then discard them later.

Inexpensive Desk Organization

Then behind the desk, I was so excited when I found these corkboards at the dollar store. The corkboards fit my desk perfectly for posting and hanging like memos, invitations, photos, quick notes for reminders and stuff. I bought four. They just go back here. They sell corkboard ones. They sell colored ones and they have pink, orange, green, blue, polka dot boards. Those are really cut also and then they also sell whiteboards in the same exact size. Then all the boards come with three thumbtacks per board.

Dollar Store Cork Boards

Affordable ways to Organize Your Desk: Dollar Store Cork Boards

So the one thing about them is that they all come bent. Like I searched and scrummaged through all the boxes and they’re all bent. So, when you come home, you just have to flatten them underneath a heavy stack of books and then they eventually flattened. One of them isn’t very flat. But you can’t see.

Organizing Papers, Projects, & Bills on your Desk

Use a Paint Tray as an Affordable way to Organize the Papers on your Desk

Use a Paint Tray to Organize the Papers on Your Desk

On the side of the desk, I needed a – like some kind of letter tray or some place to put all of my file folders and papers and projects I’m working on. So I found a paint tray in the garage aisle at Dollar Tree. I was just walking down the aisle and I was like, “Oh, that paint tray looks just like a letter tray,” which is what I always do when I shop for organizing products. I look for – I look at something and I’m like, “OK. That looks like a letter tray,” in this case a paint tray. So it can totally be used for that purpose.

This just has all of the file folders for like projects that I’m working on or like papers that I’m processing. All go inside of this paint tray. So these folders are actually from the dollar store also. They come ten for a dollar and they’re only – they only come in manila which is fine. You can add color with bright Post-it notes. But they also come in colored poly – like kind of like a Polyplastic folder, three to a pack. I got these ones.

But what I did was I put a sticky note here with the name of the folder because everything is piled in here. It’s like if everything was filed, just like this, I could just – I could see all the names of the folder easily without un-stacking them. But because they’re piled, they have bright sticky notes that make it easy to flip through and find exactly what I’m looking for. That just hangs out on the left of my desk.

Then on far left side of the desk, I found a napkin holder for all of my bills to pay, my like pieces of documents that I need to take action on, like call someone, cancel something, ask something. Everything just kind of gets in here and I puttied it down with this poster tack from Dollar Tree as well. It’s for posters but it’s kind of like mounting putty.

So just take a little bit. You stick it underneath something and then it’s not going to wobble or it’s not going to move. So it actually works really well. The one thing about it that I found is that since it’s blue, it kind of leaves a little bit of a film, like a blue film on the surface. But if you just scratch it off, it comes off easily.

So that is here and I put this label on top of it. The label holder is not from Dollar Tree, it’s from Target. I love these things, they are just clip-on labels that are actually made for those storage cubes that go in like a cube organizer (they’re made of fabric). The label holder just clips on the top of the napkin holder. So I figured this is the perfect label for my bill center.

Budget Friendly Binder Organization

So if you watched my old How to Organize Your Desk video, I showed my checklist binder and I wanted to mimic the same system because I love that binder.

So what I did was I found a binder at the dollar store. Since it doesn’t have a place for a label, normally you can label the spine of the binder, I found a label that I just had in my label kit.

But what you can do is just grab a piece of scrapbook paper or construction paper and put clear packing tape on top of it and then put your label on top of your clear packing tape. Then, if you need to rename your binder down the road, you just peel the label off the packing tape and you don’t peel the whole label off itself.

Budget Friendly Binder

How to Organize Your Binder on a Budget

Inside the binder, I have dividers. So I got these dividers at the dollar store as well. They only sell five-tab dividers. So I kind of had no choice. They do – like you can label them inside these tabs right here, but I felt like the little piece of paper will just fall out in like a second.

I just created my own coversheet with shipping labels, and put a label on top, and now I know what each section is.

So that is my checklist binder and then in the next video, I’m going to show you how I’ve organized my drawers with Dollar Tree products as well.

Organize Your Office on a Budget

Organize Your Office on a Budget

But the last thing in the desk video are my trash cans. So in a previous video, I showed my system for trash. It’s trash, shred, recycle. Everything has a different bin and so I wanted to mimic that same system.

So over here, you can see I did the same thing. I found these beautiful white trash cans. They’re all the same. They’re all – it’s a very intuitive system. You just quickly sort your documents, your mail into these bins and you’re good to go.

They’re a little bit small but they are functional and I just labeled them, “trash,” “recycle,” and “shred”.

So that’s how I’ve organized my entire desk. Now I’m going to show you how much I’ve actually spent here.

I’ve organized my entire desk for $16. I now have a space that is completely functional. Everything is easy to access and it looks beautiful and I’ve only spent $16. So it just goes to show that you can organize any space of your home on a small budget. You just have to get creative, think outside the box, do a little bit of research and shopping. But it can totally be done.

So I hope you enjoyed this video. If this is your first time watching any of my videos, you can subscribe to my channel for more tips on getting organized or you can check out my website Thanks for watching and I will see you soon. Bye!

About Alejandra

About Alejandra

Since 2008, organizing expert & certified life coach, Alejandra Costello has taught thousands of students in 132 countries how to get organized through her video-based training programs. Her YouTube videos have been viewed 100+ million times. Named 1 of the 5 most organized people in America by HGTV and “The Decluttering Queen” by Good Morning America, Alejandra’s expertise has been featured in The New York Times,, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Woman’s Day, Parents Magazine, and CBS. 


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