Organizing a Home Office

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh
July 13, 2009

I'm sitting on a jackpot, and I didn't realize it until a rainy week inspired me to clean my office closet. Over the course of this year I had easily purchased fifteen boxes of thank you cards for $3 a piece. Yet, there in my closet sat a neatly organized box of blank cards, more than a hundred of them. Further organizing found varying leftover craft supplies and art supplies, easily enough to have made all the posters and projects that my son created this year for school.


If we take stock of what we have, we spend less on what we really don't need. It's the principle of "use it or lose it." Organizing and putting your things to good use allows you to actually use them to make the best use of your money.

Take Stock

Something is worth very little if it is left sitting on a shelf. It becomes completely worthless if you don't realize that you have it. How many times has someone uttered, "I didn't even know I had it." What about, "Now, where did I put that?" These are statements that indicate that value is being lost.

Take stock of what you have. Organize your items in storage boxes and label the contents on each box. Cards should be organized by type, season, or holiday. Paper craft supplies should be kept together and separate from other craft supplies. Creating a tote that holds leftover supplies that can be used for kids' crafts isn't a bad idea, either. Hardware should be separated in compartmentalized storage boxes, and freezer contents should be listed on a sheet of paper. Likewise, read your manuals for electronic products and know their capabilities so that you don't purchase more items than needed.

Look at Things a Different Way

Adopt the environmental model of reusing items in more creative ways. Rather than buying those thank you cards, I can use the dozens and dozens of blank cards for the same purpose. With a simple rubber stamp, I can add "thanks" to the front picture. We also have two or three leftover invitations after each party; why should I buy new invitations for new parties? No one will notice that different styles of invitations were sent, and no one is going to care that the invitation didn't match the party.

Using some items for projects other than the ones they were intended for might be painful initially, but they're actually costing you money if you don't. Expensive leftover scrapbooking supplies seem inappropriate for decorating a child's Valentine box, but the alternative is leaving them to sit on the shelf while purchasing new supplies. Rather than horde them, use them.

What Are You Saving It For?

Ask yourself this question often. With the proliferation of stores, there's nothing stopping you from buying more supplies if they're needed. For instance, you purchased yards of yarn intended to learn to crochet, yet three years later your daughter needs it for a school mobile; let her have it. If you ever pursue your plan to learn the art of crochet, you can easily buy more yarn. Odds are, unfortunately, that if you haven't picked up that needle yet, you never will. Now the yarn is a loss. If your daughter uses it, it's a gain.

If your home is feeling crowded and unorganized, using rather than saving will help alleviate that problem. By putting everything to good use, you'll have less clutter and more responsible use of your money.

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October 19, 2007

Rubberband Keeper AKA Mini hanger for socks. The rubber bands will all be kept on the area where the socks hung. Take a rubber band, slip knot around the end that kept the socks from sliding off.

Recycled Rubberband Keeper

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October 3, 2011

I was constantly receiving free return address labels in the mail. I hated throwing them out and the supply kept increasing. I found a good way to keep them organized and easy to see when I need them.

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November 11, 2011

It's fun to organize your office and enjoy crafting at the same time. These crafty ideas will not only organize your desk but also keep children busy while you finish some of your paperwork.

Rubber band ball.

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A Muellers' Spaghetti box works great for holding the supply of note paper I have cut from paper received in the mail. It is attached to the side of the refrigerator by flat magnets glued to the back of the box making the paper so accessible for making my grocery list, etc.

Use a Recycled Box to Store Notepaper

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My desk is against one wall. I have a computer and printer on it. I have velcro strips holding all the cords together with the name of each cord written on it with black felt marker.

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I recently raised my computer up with some jar lids. Today, I reconfigured the desk so I didn't have to sit forward and look to the left at the laptop. Doing that made me use the box I had the laptop on under the scanner.

A basket that can slide underneath a storage drawer.

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A great and inexpensive way to organize your office supplies are with these $1 tin pails! You can find these tin pails at your local Dollar Spot at Target, Dollar Tree, Party City or Arts and Craft stores.

A pink tin pail filled with pens and markers on a desk.

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December 15, 2011

Whether you have an entire room in your house devoted to your home office, or even just a desk in the corner of your kitchen or bedroom, organizing it is essential to finding the things that you need when you need them.

Organizing a Home Office

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December 8, 2004

You can make attractive office storage containers. Trim sturdy boxes to size and cover with a wallpaper border of library books. Makes your office area look neat and tidy and is great storage! By Syd

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This weeks tips include: Using old film negatives, reusing old champagne bucket, and office desk storage boxes.

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Organizing OfficeAugust 8, 2011
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