Introduction: DIY Desk Organization System W/ Hutch

About: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check out my site @

To organize a desk space can be a challenge. My goals with this project was to store supplies, my typewriter, laptop, electronics and more, and to utilize the whole wall to really create the ultimate home office.

Step 1: The Starting Point

Here's a look at what this space looked like beforehand, always messy and things thrown on top of each other.

Now the wall was empty behind, so I thought why not utilize that and build upwards. Alongside with a hutch for the desk, a cubby unit, and shelving, I should be able to store things much better, cause there's nothing worse than clutter. To create a sectioned off feeling, I decided to continue the look going up towards the ceiling.

Step 2: The Plywood Wall

The first thing I started with was the plywood wall. I chose a light grey color, here I'm making it a touch darker.

I used 3/4 inch Purebond plywood, and made it so it was the same width as the desk. So I found the studs on the wall, and the rafters in the ceiling, and attached it. I'm also running wire behind so it's all ready for lighting later on.

Step 3: Hutch Unit

First off, the hutch unit. My desk is white, so I decided to continue that theme and go with white storage units, and contrast that with some cherry for warmth.

Here I'm gluing up a couple of pieces for the shelf across.

Next I moved on towards the pieces underneath the wood. I figured two units, one on each side, I've got some 1/2 inch/12 mm plywood cut up here, and I'm screwing the pieces together.

Within these cubbies, I want to store my typewriter, paper as well as electronics.

Step 4: Cherry Top

With the cherry all dry, I went to work on sanding it smooth.

To round the edges of the board I'm using my block plane, and I just wanted a smooth edge. Then I sealed the wood on all sides with shellac. Later I finished it a couple of times with some water based poly.

Step 5: Cubby Shelf

The next unit I want to build is a smaller cubby shelf in the same theme, white plywood with a cherry piece on top. This I figured could hold some office supplies, so I'm seeing where I want the separations in between the shelves. And this is why it's so cool to do this yourself, so you can create perfectly sized sections for your things.

To connect this I'm using a pin nailer, which I really like because it barely leaves any marks, so great for assembly.

Also measuring out some cherry again to fit nicely on top, and finishing that the same way as the cherry for the hutch section.

Step 6: Shelves

Another thing I really wanted here were some substantial shelves, so I've got some plywood cut up and painted and some heavy duty brackets in white.

Step 7: Dowel Board

The next unit I'm working on is this dowel board. This over-sized pegboard will feature a couple of shelves and hangers, and I decided to use some beautiful mahogany plywood.

Now to create this board, I'm using 1 inch dowels, these are cherry, so I'm marking out a grid four inches apart. And then drilling all the holes. By wiggling the drill around a little bit I was enable to enlarge the hole slightly to make the dowels easier to re-arrange on the board..

To attach this to the wall, I've got some scrap pieces on the backside and this will create some separation between the board and the wall, to create a shadow line and a look of depth. I also made two small shelves using the same plywood, to rest on the dowels. And to make it a little easier to put in the dowels, I'm sanding the holes with some wax polish.

Step 8: Corkboard

Another thing I wanted on this wall is a cork board to put notes or pictures up. So I cut a piece of scrap plywood which I glued to the the cork, then I cut around the edge of the plywood with a razor blade. I also put this board on the wall in the same manner as the dowel board to create some separation between the wall and the board.

Step 9: Assembly

Now the assembly is coming together. I'm gluing the cherry to the cubbies to create the hutch, and just clamping to secure properly.

I also secured the floating cubby unit and pushed the desk in.

To cap the plywood edge, I cut up some thin pieces of cherry that I'm nailing in all around. And I used the same technique to cap the dowel board, the cork board and the white plywood shelves. I think this finished it off really well, and it creates a nice contrast between the lighter colors and the wood.

Step 10: Dowel Board Shelves

I decided to wax the shelves for the dowel board as well as the dowels for a darker look. And to keep the shelves in place, I put a dab of hot glue down, and this seems to work fine.

Step 11: Final Fixes

Now I drilled a hole in the table so the wires to the external hard drives had somewhere to go, and it was really one of my goals to minimize as many visible wires as possible here. I also have speakers up, and a laptop charger coming up from the back.

Then putting everything in place, especially the typewriter. I also had a little extra space to the right on the wall, so I decided to use a piece of leather and secure it to the board with some upholstery nails. And now I had a designated place to store envelopes.

Step 12: Conclusion - Watch the Video

For a much better perspective of the whole process, and to see all the final touches, make sure to watch the video!