Should Desk Drawers Be on Left or Right?

When setting up your desk for ease and efficiency, a few different factors come to mind; things like which side to place writing utensils, where you can place your sticky notes without losing them, and desktop placement are all items on the list to consider when setting up your desk. But in the effort of streamlining your day, there might be no other item more important than the question: Should desk drawers be on left or right?

The rule of thumb here is straightforward. Which hand do you write with? That is usually an excellent way to determine which side your desk drawer should be on.

You’ll tend to favor that side of your body anyway, and your hand partiality will help with getting things out of the drawer and then easily using them and putting them back.

A Messy desk Can hinder your ability to get work done, so desk drawers and organizational ways are the pinnacles of streamlining your To-Do List. The items within your reach are taking up prime real estate on your desk.

The administrative tools you utilize to keep them all organized are crucial and should include what goes into your desk drawers and filing cabinets, anything that you will need to reach for reference.

If you think about your rate of use of each aspect of your desk, your desk drawers are probably easily the most used asset you have. Therefore, you should consider which side in the long term won’t make you think about what a chore it might be to get into your desk drawers.

The Target Theory – Organize Your Desk Drawers

Some organizational experts and professional organizers refer to a method that we will call the “target theory”.

This theory outlines the importance of proximity to accessibility and dictates where you put each item for best ease of use. This is important because your desk drawers are a vital part of this organizational system.

In addition the “clean desk” philosophy helps you to stay organized. Here is the article THE CLEAN DESK PHILOSOPHY: INCREASE THE PRODUCTIVITY OF YOUR HOME OFFICE.

If you think of your desk as a target with the same circles growing bigger as you move outwards, you will understand how to organize your desk and, consequently, determine which side your desk drawers best fit.

The center of the target should represent things that you use every day. This is prime real estate, and he wants to make sure that you are treated as such. For most, this could include a computer, your phone, a notepad, and something to write with.

Potentially, also having some form of files that you are currently working with.

Make sure not to clutter this stage of the target because this area of your desk is vital to organization and ease of use.

Your desk drawers are in the second tier of importance in this target theory. They should only include things that you use at least once a week.

The top drawers are great for additional office supplies, and the bigger file drawers Can house files that you commonly pull out to use. This is where it is really great to put your desk drawers on the side of your dominant hand. Easily accessible items on your easy to access side are the best way to create a flow in your process that is easy to start and, maybe more importantly, easy to maintain.

Clean Surface, Organized Drawers

When optimizing your desk for your preferred desk drawer side, you should put the things you most use near your dominant hand, as we’ve mentioned. This will keep you most efficient and also allows you to get into your desk quickly.

With your dominant hand, you can get into your desk drawer if there’s something in there that you need. The danger with desk drawers is that sometimes they all end up into junk drawers or dumping grounds for things that you don’t need directly on your desk.

See the article for more information.

Keeping a clear desk is akin to keeping a clear head at work and is very important, but this does not mean that you should be dumping everything else into your desk drawers. Organizational experts suggest that your drawers on your dominant side will make you less apt to throw things into the said drawer and more likely to put things back in their designated place and keep the drawer organized.

Optional Left or Right Drawer Setup

While it is a good idea to have your desk drawers on your dominant side, there is also a possibility that your preferences might change. Getting a desk that has predetermined which side your desk drawers are on can be great and helpful if you’re sure of the desk setup you prefer.

But if you’re unsure or seem to change your preferences from time to time, you could, alternatively, purchase a desk that is free-standing with minimal drawers, or maybe just a center drawer for a keyboard.

Next, you can get a free-standing drawer in the filing cabinet combo. These often have wheels and are easy to move around. There are many sleek options, some of them even being a set with the actual desk you buy. Sometimes, if you’re undecided, buying the thing that allows you to have options is the best way to determine which side you’re comfortable with your desk being on. It also provides a more customizable drawer setup because you’re not bound to the options that your desk offers. You can get precisely what you want, more organization, less organization, and be completely happy with the result.

Should I have Drawers On Both Sides?

Whether you decide to place your drawers on the left or right, or if you get moveable desk drawers so that you can decide on the fly, there is also another option to consider. There are some desks, specifically L shaped desks and more oversized desks, that have drawers on both sides.

Having drawers on both sides allows you to put things you use less in your non-dominant side and the things you use more in your dominant side, which allows for control and organization.

The only thing to be conscious about is if there are too many drawers. You might be at the risk of getting comfortable placing items in those drawers instead of organizing your desktop or even organizing your drawers.

If you can have drawers on both sides of your desk, it can be a beneficial tool to prioritize the items within them, files, and just keep even fewer things on your desk. As discussed, this requires space and a thought-out organizational plan but can be very helpful in the long run.

One side can be static, and the other side can be moveable; it really just depends on which desk you choose.

Choosing where to put things in your office can seem like a small task, but it has a huge impact on your daily activities in your work efficiency and in your life. If you can streamline your desk items and determine a detail like which side your desk drawers should be on correctly, you can change your entire experience within your office.

No matter what you decide on desk style, desk drawers should be on whichever side you determine is most dominant, and then you can dominate your day at work without even considering it again.