An important consideration when setting up a home office is office supply storage. From cabinets, shelves and bins to boxes, drawer dividers and more, today’s office supply stores are loaded with imaginative options.
But… the most important consideration for office supply storage of course is actual need. Do you really need all those storage solutions? Are you like me who has a hard time resisting any clever storage option whether I need it or not?
I recommend starting by deciding what supplies you need (use) and then it’s easy to figure out what your office supply storage needs are. First, take a look at what you actually use in your office right now. Here are some possibilities to get you thinking…
Below you’ll find office supply storage ideas to consider depending on what supplies you actually need to store.
Bookshelves are of course an obvious choice for storing books, binders and other book-like items. If the shelves are deep enough, they can also hold small decorative, labeled boxes and baskets for various office items.
Wall shelves can also be useful for storing office supplies but honestly, I’m not a fan. Most wall shelves I’ve seen in offices end up being used for knickknacks and trinkets which is fine but is doesn’t really help with office supply storage needs.
Desks are becoming less popular due to the use of laptops and tablets but if you have one and enjoy working at it, by all means, make use of its drawers. Desk drawers can hold all the small office supply products you need and keep everything right at your fingertips. And the best part? You can close up those drawers and keep all the clutter out of sight. :)
If you manage a lot of paperwork that needs to be filed, a file cabinet may be in order. You might need a large 4-6 drawer cabinet depending on the amount of files you’ll need or you might only need a small portable file cabinet. Tip: If you need a larger one remember to measure how much space you have before getting one.
The key factor in using a file cabinet is, of course, keeping up with your filing! Filing is an area where I almost always hear groaning from my clients. I’ve yet to meet someone who actually enjoys filing and I’ve worked with a lot of people. If you’re like most and not a fan of filing or never seem to keep up with it until the dreaded tax season, you might want to consider a filing organizing system to help you stay on track and caught up year round.
Inactive files are prime candidates for either the trash or out-of-office storage. If you must keep certain files for x number of years (i.e., many tax related papers), I recommend packing them up at least once a year and storing them elsewhere like in the basement, garage or attic. The last thing you need is for files and paperwork to take over your home office.
If I told you how many large plastic totes we have in our house you wouldn’t believe me. Let’s just say I am the queen of storing items in plastic totes. They are perfect for storing so many things though! You’ll find plastic totes/bins at any Target, Wal-Mart, office supply or even home improvement stores. They come in an array of colors and sizes, are inexpensive and a great option for office supply storage whether for your office or keep in a storage area or closet. The key to using plastic totes or bins is labeling! Be sure to label every one of them so you can see at-a-glance what’s inside without having to open them.
Coffee mugs, glass jars, bowls, or any other small container-ish type items around the house can be used to store pens, rubber bands and other miscellaneous supplies. Clear glass jars make it easy to see what's inside if that’s your style. If not, choose small decorative containers or something that will fit into a drawer or behind a door.
Remember, the most important consideration when choosing office supply storage is actual need. Assess the supplies you are currently using that could benefit from better organization. If you have a lot of files, consider getting a file cabinet. If not, you don’t need one. Look around your home for items that “contain” but aren’t being used. They might work great in your office. Whether you like the “visible but organized” look or have an “everything behind cabinet doors” style, there are office supply storage solutions to suit your needs.