Introduction: How to Build an Organization Caddy System for the Desktop

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 @

Making a custom desk organizer caddy can really be practical as you can make it fit a lot of things in a relatively small space. For this project I really wanted to make something that felt very finished, almost like a miniature piece of furniture, that also was very practical to help staying organized at the desk. You can either have this unit stand on a desk against the wall, or you can hang it on the wall, if that works better. In terms of material, I'm using MDF and ipe wood, however any wood would be nice and provides excellent contrast against the white MDF.

Step 1: Cutting

Well, it all starts with a plan, right. So this time I started with cutting up a model in some brown paper to get a feel for size and proportion. Sometimes I find it a little easier to visualize that way. So I'm adding what I need here - space for envelopes, pencils, a ruler etc... Then once my cutlist was complete I went out to do some cutting. So for this project, I'm using 1/4 inch mdf which is really a nice size, doesn't feel thick or heavy and easy to work with. So I cut up a bunch of strips and then cut them to size on the miter saw.

Step 2: Assembly

Then let's put the puzzle together. And that's really what this is, once piece on top of another. You have side pieces, then a front to cover that, shorter side pieces on top, a bottom, and a short front piece to cover that. Then support for the middle here which uses the same bottom as the right, and a front to cover that. Then the section on the left is completely separated from the other two, and creates a little cubby.

So to attach these pieces, I'm using yellow glue and a nailgun, and you just have to be a bit careful to nail right since these pieces are pretty thin. I started with putting together one section at a time, the envelope holder, sides, front, then the bottom, and then it's easier to add to that once you have something a little more stable.

And this just takes a little bit of time, putting everything together. Then finally when I had the two basic sections completed, I attached them to the back, again with glue and nails.

Step 3: Ipe & Drawers

OK, next I've got some ipe cut up here for shelves, as well as two triangles of mdf for support. So just measuring out where I want them and attaching them to the back. Also, time to put together the drawers. So I've got mdf for the main drawers, and a piece of thin ipe cut up for the drawer fronts. Now as a pull, I decided to use these nice looking brass screws, so I'm putting in a nut on each side of the wood to secure it in place. Then attaching the fronts to the drawers, and they're so tiny.

OK, now I wanted this whole thing nice and bright, so painting it white, with some basic cheap paint. Then I'm sanding the ipe for the shelves, and gluing those in place.

Step 4: Hangers

Now for the side here, I have space for a small ruler, so to hang it, I have a matching brass screw, so I'm just drilling a hole, and gluing this in, it's not exactly going to carry a lot of weight. Then I want some hooks, so I'm finding the position I want for each, making a mark with an awl, and a drilling a small hole before screwing each hook in. OK, so I can now put the drawers in, and it looks good.

Step 5: Finishing

To protect the paint, as well as the wood, I'm putting on a few thin coats of spray lacquer here, and it's nice because it dries so quickly and it doesn't add a yellow tone either.

And then, I decided to add a coat of my very own tung oil polish to the wooden parts to add some softness - and you can find the wax polish in my shop if you're in interested in picking up a tin.

Now time to fill this up! I'm putting in pens, envelopes, note cards, a ruler, erasers and other small things that fit in the drawers.

Step 6: Conclusion - Watch the Video!

For a much better view and perspective, make sure to watch the video that goes over each step.