Working from home is becoming the new normal. You can blame this on the Covid-19 pandemic but the truth is that 3.4% of the U.S. population worked from home before the virus hit. As a matter of fact, the number of remote workers in America went up 44% from 2015-2020.
Having a home office is slowly becoming a necessary part of homeownership. Even without a home office, the chances of having home supplies at home are always high.
So how can you store office supplies at home? There are several strategies of doing this including using dividers for your drawers, storage boxes, reusable cans, glass jars, mugs, pegboards, shelving, filing cabinets, and old muffin trays.
Tips for success
Here is our list of favorite and practical tips for storing office supplies like an expert.
1. Use drawer dividers
Drawer dividers are every organizer’s best friend. They may be small and cheap but they can take your skills to the top. Office supplies such as pens, markers, staples, and thumbtacks can be stored in a drawer neatly using dividers. Just pop one in your drawer and carefully line your items in the sections.
2. Storage boxes for everything
Storage boxes of all shapes and sizes are great tools for storing a plethora of office supplies – envelopes, paper, and extra cords. If displaying your stuff on open shelves isn’t really your thing, don’t be afraid to use storage boxes instead. You can actually take advantage of this opportunity and match the boxes with the interior décor of your room. All you have to do is sort your items and place them in different boxes, label them up, and proudly display them for all to see.
3. Get a neat charging area for your electronics
We are right in the middle of the technological era. When working from home, you will want to plug in your laptop and smartphone from time to time. If you are using the home office with other people, charging all gadgets can cause a mess with all the cords and cables. To stay on top of this, consider designating a specific area just for this purpose. Create a neat station on your bookshelf or an extra table where all electronics can be charged without causing a huge mess.
4. De-clutter your desk
The office desk can easily be turned into a storage of sorts. It is tempting to place your pen container and file organizer on top of it to make them accessible. However, this is always counterproductive as it creates clutter which leads to unproductivity as a ripple effect. To score high, try as much as possible to keep your desk clear. Let it be a place where your laptop and very important items rest. When you are done working, consider clearing any unnecessary items from your desk.
5. Use a filing cabinet for all files
A filing cabinet requires minimal floor space yet can store quite a number of files in it. You can also tailor it to fit your needs. Plus, it gives you the freedom to categorize files and folders. This makes sure that you retrieve information quickly saving time and increasing productivity in the end. Also, if you have security concerns, a file cabinet is a great idea as you can lock it up. This is particularly true for important documents such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, car titles, and passports.
Depending on the layout and size of your home office or room, you can choose a vertical or lateral filing system. If you don’t have the luxury of space, consider buying a four-drawer filing system. This way, you can store all your paperwork neatly. Also, ensure it is sturdy and stable.
The best thing is that you can get an old cabinet in flea markets or junk shops. Add a new coat of paint and you’ll be rewarded with a stunning piece of furniture for your home office supplies. Once you get a filing cabinet, you want to stay as organized as possible with it. Use hanging folders to subdivide your documents. Create a system for organizing them. You can use numerical, alphabetical, or color-code the folders. Label each file to make it easy to access.
6. Shelving units
Shelves are timeless storage solutions that add function and style to any given space. If you have space limitations but want to keep your office supplies organized, add a shelving unit and you’ll be good to go. You can utilize shelving on your staircase landing, a corner of the living room, or additional space on any floor. In situations where all you have is wall space, floating shelves will provide great storage for all your office supplies. With shelving, your options are limitless.
- Open shelves are ideal for anyone that loves a clutter-free environment. They can double up as storage solutions and aesthetic décor elements. Apart from office supplies, open shelves can accommodate indoor plants, vases, frames, and more.
- Wall-mounted shelves are trendy, sleek and can be used to create a geometric contrast with the rest of the furniture in the room. These days, wall mounted shelves come in all textures, designs, and styles. You will be spoilt for choice.
- Separate shelf for maximum use of vertical space: an open bookshelf behind your desk can make your organization dreams true. You can combine a modern and trendy vertical shelf with a few stunning wall-mounted ones for the best results.
- Ladder shelf works best for a super tiny room. Place it near your desk and awaken the space using artificial/natural lighting and interior décor.
- Closed shelves are ideal for people who are interested in the idea of shelving but don’t want to keep them open. Sure, you will lose a certain level of visual appeal but it will save you a lot of cleaning and organizing time.
7. Reuse cans for small supplies
You don’t have to break the bank to find creative and beautiful storage solutions for your office supplies. Sometimes all you have to do is look around and find out what you can reuse to achieve the same goal. For instance, a tin can is a great alternative for a store-bought desk organizer. As long as you get one that is in good condition, there’s no need for parting with a single coin to buy one. Simply clean it well and place your items in it.
8. Mugs and jugs
Does the idea of reusing cans sound strange to you? Maybe you are cut out for sleek storage solutions such as mugs and glass jars instead. No doubt these two will make everything appear classy and elegant. The beauty with mugs and jars is that they are readily available. Choose the ones that match your overall décor and those that absolutely put a smile on your face.
Rubber bands, paper clips, and thumbtacks can be challenging to store at home. They are just so random and tiny that they can easily get lost. Sure, you can throw these in reusable cans and glass jar but if you don’t have those, consider using an old muffin tin. This will help you organize all your tiny supplies like an expert.
10. Use a pegboard
The final storage idea for office supplies at home is hanging a beautiful pegboard on the wall. You’d be surprised by the number of office supplies that can be accommodated by it. Get a little more creative and install a few PVC pipes on the board from where you can place everything from files, pens, pencils, you name it. You can also hang a few baskets with items on the board, picture frames, plants, scissors, and a bunch of other supplies.
There you have it – an in-depth guide on how to store office supplies at home. No matter your circumstance, we are positive you’ve found one or two ideas that will help you. Take the first step and see just what you can achieve by doing that.