8 Things I Always Keep Nearby When I Work From Home

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A neat minimalist desk with lamp and flowers

The Spruce / Photo Illustration by Amelia Manley / Denys Striyeshyn / Unsplash

Working from home has its own set of perks and pitfalls, but one of the best things is escaping from the oftentimes sterile and not-so-design-friendly corporate offices. At home, you can completely embrace your personal style through a work lens. Craving a lime green desktop organizer? Totally doable. Itching to hang up your mood board? Grab the tacks. Considering a new super ergonomic chair or stool that basically has you in a squat? Go for it. Creativity is abundant when the blank slate of a desk is facing you.

There are so many fantastic items that can sit on top of a desk or hide in its drawers. It's easy for any work from home space to become a personal treasure trove. On my own desk, I have a balance of things that are functional and keep me (semi) organized and things that contribute to my WFH wellness and personal interests.

Below are a handful of those items and a few reasons why you might even want them on your desk, too.

VIVO Standing 32 inch Desk Converter With Height Adjustable Riser

VIVO adjustable standing desk


Full-blown standing desks can be expensive, but after just a few months of working from home I was feeling restless and uncomfortable at my desk. Sitting all day wasn't working for me and moving to the couch and different spots around the house were messing with my posture. I found this desk extension for a decent price and now I use it almost every day. It doesn't require batteries or electricity, and though it's a bit bulky, it's not too heavy to move onto the floor or elsewhere if I just need a flat surface.

Vivitest Ceramic Stone Essential Oil Diffuser

Vivitest Ceramic Stone Essential Oil Diffuser


A diffuser is a fabulous desktop tool to have that can improve your mood and workday. The beautiful thing about them is they instantly change the atmosphere (whether you need something de-stressing or invigorating) but they don't have to be watched or give off heat like a candle. You can also switch up the scent as frequently as you like, and the light trickle of water the machine makes is calming in itself.

Rifle Paper Co. Havana Lined Notepad

Rifle Paper Co. lined notepad

Rifle Paper Co.

No matter how digitized life gets, I'll always have some physical form of a notepad or notebook. Making lists and crossing off to-dos give me a sense of accomplishment and tends to be the best way to keep track of deadlines and projects for me. I've tried countless apps but nothing has stuck the same way. Something stylish like this adds a little bit of color to your desktop.

KolABConcrete Cosmetic Concrete Organiser and Pen Pot

A concrete desk organizer


For me, pens are the bobby pins and hair ties of the desk world. I buy so many and somehow misplace all of them. A pen holder is a recent addition to my desktop that has given pens an actual home in my work area (rather than floating around up top or in a drawer). It's pretty and it's a good reminder that I should probably be returning them to this designated space each time I use one. Plus, in this concrete version, there is ample space for notes and other work tidbits.

TIJN Blue Light Blocking Vintage Thick Round Rim Frame Eyeglasses

A pair of blue light blocking glasses


Years ago when I entered my first-ever job, I began developing headaches each day and couldn't figure out what was happening. A coworker recommended a doctor's appointment and blue light glasses. It was worth a shot and wearing a pair completely halted the pain, especially during long work days. I now always have a pair nearby, if not on my head.

Poppin Slate Blue Accessory Trays

Blue accessory trays

The Container Store

Is it possible to have an organized desk without some kind of helpful tray? I don't think so. These corral errant desk supplies while another set of folders I have keeps paper clutter at bay. I like a sleek design that looks fine on top of my desk but more importantly is narrow and short enough to slide into a drawer when I need all my desk space or just want a fresh, clean slate for the weekend.

GerTong 6.3'' Ring Light for Computer

Ring light


I never thought I'd be a ring light person, but working from home changes you. Meeting with people across multiple time zones and the surplus of rainy days that cast shadows and gloom on my apartment often leads me to needing more light. This handy light sits next to my laptop and doesn't give that "storyteller at the campfire" look that some desk lamps do.

Mercury Row Delorme 2-Piece Ceramic Pot Planter

Mercury Row Delorme 2-Piece Ceramic Pot Planter


This is a slightly cheeky choice when considered a "desk accessory" because my plant is technically right beside my desk, but let's just say it counts. Having some kind of living organism nearby feels refreshing and comforting. If you have extra desk space, a small pot may be a perfect addition. To save room, a hanging planter or a sleek mid-century modern stand, like this one that I have neighboring my desk, is perfect for infusing greenery into your work area.