Originally published January 27, 2020 and updated June 27, 2023. The original post was a sponsored Wayfair Homemaker collaboration.
To create a productive and useful office space, it’s important to organize office supplies at home. I’ve just reorganized my own home office and am excited to show you how simple it was to make a big improvement and create a useful space. You, too, can use these easy ways and ideas to organize your office supplies.
I originally completed this office supply organization project before the big shift in working from home. The past few years have only reinforced how important home organization is and it is to have a functional organized office space.
While organizing office supplies is a simple process, there are many factors to consider.
First let’s discuss general organizing tips for office supplies and then I’ll walk you through the choices I made in organizing my own home office supplies closet. These ideas will inspire you to organize your office.
How to Organize Your Home Office Supplies
- Declutter – Go through every single item and declutter ruthlessly.
- Figure out what supplies you need and will use. Make every single item you keep prove its worth and value to be kept.
- Group office supplies in categories that make sense for you and how you use the items.
- Group like items together.
- Group items together by function.
- Group items that are used together in the same category.
- Place items where they will be used, if possible.
- Pens and pencils in the desk.
- Printer paper near the printer.
- When that is not possible, create an office supplies storage closet or cabinet.
- Measure the space carefully (and then measure again).
- Carefully select furniture, storage bins and tools for your office supplies.
- Look for well-made bins that will hold up to heavy use.
- Look for versatile office organizing products that can still be useful as your needs change.
- Place items into the bins and storage containers so that they’re easy to see and easy to access.
- Place heavier items lower so if they fall, they won’t hurt you.
- Place frequently used items between shoulder and waist height, where they are easier to access.
- Place lightweight items on top shelves.
- Use wall space, especially in a small space. Using the otherwise unused storage space behind your desk can go a long way to keep your desk organized, keep your workspace neat and also store your office supplies conveniently located. Using this vertical space provides you with extra office storage space.
Now let me show you how I organized my own home office supplies closet.
While my home office supplies closet was organized before, it was a bit messy and not as functional as I wanted. The closet it very narrow and awkward to access, so it was important to make the space as easy to access as possible. I want the best organized office supply closet possible given the limitations of the space.
Organize Office Supplies at Home
I have a confession. I adore office supplies the way other people love shoes. In addition to my office supplies addiction, I have 3 children and had collected binders, paper, pens, etc. on sale for them for years.
Here’s the the thing. Only one of my children is still at home. I no longer need the same stock of school supplies that I needed a few years ago. Because I no longer need an almost office supply store in my home, these excess items had become clutter.
I was ruthless in decluttering all the excess office and school supplies that I had collected. When you’re decluttering extra office supplies, it helps to think about:
- If I let this go, who could put this item to use right now?
- Who would be happy to have this item rather than have it stored in an office closet?
- What else can I do with the space this item is taking up?
- Does the decluttering 20-20 rule apply to this item?
I decluttered the contents of this box plus a bag of pencils and pens that I donated to teachers at my local school.
Sort Remaining Items
I sorted the remaining items in three ways:
- I grouped like items together. For example:
- All pens together.
- All spiral notebooks together.
- All sticky notes together, by size.
- I did this sort with all the offices supplies I kept.
- Then I sorted the items into groups of items I access most often.
- Items I use frequently were placed where they will be easiest to reach and access. This easiest-to-access area is most often shelves you can easily reach between your knees and shoulder height.
- I identified items that I access less often and could be placed in less convenient areas.
- Finally, I identified heavy items that should be placed on the bottom shelf. In this situation, the item was printer paper. The reams of paper are heavy and I don’t want them to fall on me. It make sense to place the reams on the bottom shelf.
The furniture and storage are key to office organization that will keep your office neat and provide desk space you can actually use. I knew that I wanted to find a bookshelf that would fit in the awkward closet space. I wanted to maximize the vertical space, so I carefully measured the area and then began looking for the tallest bookcase I could find that would fit in the space.
I was thrilled to find a bookshelf (similar option) that fit in the vertical space with only about 2 inches to spare.
Containers create boundaries for the items inside. They are also uniform in shape and size so they are easy to stack, if needed. Bins and containers also look more visually cohesive. There are many containers designed to organize specific types of office supplies.
I rely on these file boxes for organizing an office for myself and clients. They’re one of the best ways to organize your filing system because:
- They keep the amount of paperwork from getting out of control because they’re smaller than a file cabinet.
- They allow you to subdivide and more clearly organize paperwork and loose papers.
- They fit in many different styles of office furniture
- They’re versatile and can be used to organize and store office supplies and other items all around your home.
Once I selected the bookcase, I then began to look for sturdy containers that would fit on the shelves.
It was important to me that the products be:
- Sturdy and well-made
- Be versatile
- Be pretty and coordinate with other storage bins that I already have.
You can read more about the home office organizing products I chose and the many ways that I can reuse each of the containers in the future.
The organizing tray can be used to:
- Organize a desk drawer to hold smaller items:
- Rubber bands
- Paper clips
- Binder clips
- Push pins
The wire basket can be used to store supplies like:
- Rolls of shipping tape
- Washi tape
- Packaged sticky notes
- Any items that won’t get caught up in the wire
It’s key to use containers to keep small and loose office supplies organized and neat. You can find these document boxes and photo boxes in office supply stores and craft stores They are an easy way to organize office supplies and help you keep them neatly hidden in an office area.
Place items inside the container so that they’re easy to access. You don’t want a jumble of small items. Use smaller containers to separate and organize within the larger bin or box, if necessary.
Labeling containers is fundamental to organize the office room and being able to find office supplies easily. Labels also allow other users to find what they are looking for quickly (and without making a mess of your neatly organized home office supplies.
I was even able to repurpose a name badge holder that I found while decluttering to make the label for the green storage bin.
You can use items you already have to make handwritten labels or use a label maker, as I did for a uniform look.
Place Items Where They Make Sense
Plan where you will place office supplies so that they make sense in the way you use them in your home. Also, consider the weight of the items.
Place items that you need to grab quickly, such as sticky note pads, in open bins so that they are easy to grab-and-go. Place items that could spill out and are less frequently used in a container with a lid.
I’ve been using this newly rejuvenated office supplies closet for about a week now and it’s working beautifully for my family. All the planning, measuring and the right choice of products have paid off with my functional and pretty system to organize office supplies at home.
More Ways to Organizing Your Office
10 Upcycled Office Organizers – Easy beginner craft skill DIY project tutorials for functional and lovely free to low cost office organizers.
Best Home Office Chairs – 16 tips for the best home office chairs, including office chairs for short people, and 10 stylish and comfortable office chair options.
How Long to Keep Documents – It can be confusing to decide which documents and paperwork to keep & which to shred. These tips for how long to keep documents will quickly get you started.
Find all my best organizing tips, hacks, printables and favorite products in the table below. You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.