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How to Organize Your Office

Don't be embarrased by your messy office. Use these simple tips to keep it neat and tidy.

By
Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,
July 27, 2017

Shelf Space

If your desk seems cluttered, make sure you’re taking advantage of the space above it. Install a shelf or two for books and folders, and make sure to attach some hooks on their undersides. Hang small baskets on the hooks and now you have a hiding place for paperclips, pens, glue sticks, tape, and the hundred other things that are taking up room in your office space.

DIY Filing Cabinet

No filing cabinet? No problem! You can turn almost any drawer into one suitable for hanging files. All you need is a drawer that is deep enough to hold hanging files, and two tension rods that are usually used for curtains—the smallest and thinnest you can find. Insert the rods in the drawer parallel to each other and perpendicular to the front and back of the drawer. They should be wide enough apart so that the hanging file folders will be able to hang on from rods (adjust as necessary). Now you’re ready to start filing away!

Create a Financial “Hub”

The best way to stay on top of your financial documents is to set up one spot for all related paperwork— bills, bank statements, tax files, and other important documents. Use a large desk drawer with hanging file folders, or get a separate cabinet altogether to use for money-related filing. Your financial hub should be conveniently located near your computer, scanner, and shredder.

Recycled Inbox

Cereal boxes make great stacking trays for your home office. Carefully cut off the top and back of the box, and you have an inbox waiting to happen. If you don’t like the Total, Wheaties, and Chex look, spray the boxes with silver spray paint and let dry before using.

Glass Jars as Supply Containers

Do you have a collection of old glass jars and other containers? Instead of allowing them to take up space in a cabinet, put them to good use! Store office supplies, such as binder clips, pens and pencils, rubber bands, and erasers, inside the clear containers—they’ll be in one designated space and you’ll be able to quickly spot what you need through the glass.

Pegboard Office Supply Storage

Use a pegboard to store important paperwork, notes, and other loose papers, as well as basic office supplies. Insert elastic bands through the holes in the front, stretch them taut, and tie closed at the back; these will hold your papers in place against the board. Put the pegboard into a frame to hang on the wall, then hang scissors, tape, rulers, and other tools from pegs.

Magnetized Supply Storage

We love this idea for keeping important office supplies organized and easy to access. Hang a sheet of magnetic metal on a wall near your desk, and store small supplies in metal tins with magnetic backs—the round containers normally used for spices are ideal. Place stamps, paper clips, tacks, and any other tiny tools inside, then stick them to the wall-mounted metal sheet.

Baking Pan

Got a spare muffin or cupcake pan tucked away in a kitchen cabinet? Bring it into the office to use as a handy organizer! Place small items inside each compartment, such as binder clips, paperclips, staples, tacks, stamps, and keys. With all of your stuff this organized, you won’t even miss the muffins!

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