Whether you’re working from home or in the office, having an organized office on a regular basis is a great way to ease your everyday workflow because everything is streamlined.
People who have organized workstations are more likely to be promoted. This may be because a chaotic workstation adds to stress at work and may decrease productivity and efficiency.
To help you organize your office needs and de-clutter your workstation, every space or department needs a good office supply closet – a place to house everything.
A good office supply closet is appropriately labeled, fully stocked, and arranged in a way where you can quickly find whatever you need just when you need it.
Best Ways to Organize an Office Supply Closet
Read along as I share my proven and tested tips and strategies in organizing your office supply closet. This can also be modified and used for desk drawers or cabinets – whatever space size you’re working with. Along the same lines, we will also look at how we can manage and set up your workstation at home.
Steps in Organizing your Office Supply Closet
1. Find the Right Space
The first step is evaluating your space. If you work in an office or have an office, you can get creative with what is already there. If you work at home, you can use a linen closet near your workspace if you don’t have a designated office. I use cabinets under my bookshelf and drawers under my desk, for example.
Wherever you store your office supplies, the area should be big enough to store everything you need at ease. Don’t forget to use up all that vertical space too if you have even a little bit of extra space on the wall. Don’t forget to use the back of the closet door too!
2. Organize Your Office Supplies
After finding the best spot to house all your supplies, it is time to organize the office materials. In case you’ve missed it on the blog, having an organized space is my favorite thing.
The things you use often should be positioned in plain view and easy to grab. If things are used for the same tasks, try to place them near each other. For example, smaller items for binding documents like paper clips, a stapler and staples, rubber bands, binder clips, push pins, sticky notes, etc. should be kept together.
You can also use drawer dividers, wall organizers, and even a small plastic bin to help you organize too. (More on tools like that below.)
3. Find the Best Storage Materials
Now that you know the best spot for each item, look for the best containers and bins for your material. This makes such a difference in how things are organized. For me, this is the most important thing. I think it’s such a good idea to find the perfect place for storage bins and boxes.
I love using bins and boxes throughout my house. (I will always find real estate for them!) Here are my favorite seven items to help organize your office supplies (and really anything in your home) on Amazon. Some of these are affiliate links.
1. mDesign Storage Bins with Built-in Handles
2. Small Plastic Storage Bins with Stackable Box with Lids
3. Plastic Home Storage Basket Bins with Handles
4. Small Plastic Storage Baskets
5. Plastic Organizers and Storage Box
6. Collapsible Linen Fabric Storage Basket Storage Bins with Steel Frame
7. Snap-N-Store Double Wide Storage Box
4. Extend to Other Office Supply Areas
Aside from your office supply closet, you may also need to set up a place for office materials elsewhere, but that is still within reach of your workspace.
This may be a small pedestal for a printer, paper shredder, and other things that may need to be close to an outlet.
5. Make it Paperless
Lastly, streamlining office work where everything is electronic and paperless will save you tons of physical space, file folders, and printer paper. Not only will you be able to save organizing space and resources by buying office supplies, but you will also be helping the environment by saving trees when you use less paper. For more on organizing things with a digital planner, click here.
Things you Need to Organize your Office Supply Closet
Now that we already have an idea on where and how to set up your office supply closet, it is time to source your organizers. I’ve already shared my favorite storage boxes and storage bins above, but here are some things you might want to invest in if you have more space than I do. (Remember, I work out of a corner in my bedroom.)
1. Office Racks
There are two options for getting one an office rack – you can get one custom-built or you can buy ready-made racks. This can double as file cabinets if you use some of the products linked above.
For custom-built racks, there is an advantage of having one that fits your area perfectly. You also have the option to choose materials and a design you like. The only downside is that it will cost more and may take some more time to build.
Another option is to buy a ready-made office rack. This is the preferred option as you can install one right away and the cost will most likely be cheaper. There are many options on the market made of a variety of materials, heights, and widths.
This is a favorite on Amazon. It sells for less than $100.
Whether you choose to have it customized or buy a ready-made one, make sure to check the durability and strength of the office rack. The layers should be able to support the heavy weight of the office supplies.
2. Closet Organizers
Now that you have your office rack installed, you are ready to buy your organizers. Again, I linked to my favorite seven above.
These can be drawers, baskets, or boxes. You can also recycle paper boxes if you choose to do so. Wrapping them in gift wrap or colorful paper also gives a little pop and color to office organization.
My personal preference is a transparent bin or box so you can see the contents inside. Choosing what you need and stocking inventory would be easier as you are able to see what’s inside and the number of office supplies inside. You’ll never let things run out!
Because I love a rustic theme anywhere, I also like mason jars as containers for small items like pens, highlighters, markers, etc.
This is my favorite set of mason jars on Amazon. You can buy six of them with labels for only $14.
3. Rolling Carts
Aside from an office pedestal mentioned above, a rolling cart is a great alternative to store office supplies like a printer, for example. Rolling carts are convenient because you can wheel and transport your office supplies anywhere when needed.
4. Labeling Device
Labeling is key in organizing, especially if you don’t use a transparent box or bin mentioned above. A label maker will help you with printing out labels with ease and all you have to do is stick the label on your containers, boxes, bins, envelopes, drawers, doors, etc.
This is my favorite label maker on Amazon. It comes with multiple fonts, templates, and sells for just $35. (DIY projects can be fun with a label maker!)
Organizing Office Supplies for your Workstation at Home
I want to make sure I catered to people who work from home as I do because lack of quiet space is a common complaint. (I was operating out of my closet for much of 2020 while my kids were attending virtual school from home.)
Here are some tips on how you can have a workspace or a workstation that is functional for you while having everything you need nicely organized nearby.
1. Find the Right Desk
Look for a desk that is the right size and fit for your area. If you don’t have a designated office room, you may need to make space in another room in your house and make the most of it by getting a desk with drawers or compartments for all your office and work supplies.
Also, consider a portable desk. A rolling one would be convenient if you’re making space in a bedroom, for example. I also have a desk that I can adjust the height and it allows me to stand up while working.
During the pandemic, I hosted a segment on Lifetime’s The Balancing Act with Staples. Staples employees came into my home to redesign it to make working from home and learning from home much more functional, even from my kitchen table and living room. Click here to watch it.
2. Minimalist Style
Declutter your office space by having only essential materials on your desk. Try to eliminate things that you do not need daily. You can also move (or hide) some of your documents in a folder or desk drawer. The goal is to just keep things you use daily at or on your desk.
3. Hiding Wires
One of the best ways you can avoid clutter and make your space look better is by organizing your cords and wires. You can do this with ties, tape, and having a designated charging station.
First, you can organize or hide your wires by using wire clips or ties. You can do this while using gaffer tape to hide the cords against a table or lap leg too. (This is what I do.)
You can also use a cord cover to hide the wires around your workstation. I use this white gaffer tape on Amazon and it works wonders for the light on my makeup table. There are tons of easy ways to hide unsightly office cords!
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4. Don’t Forget to Organize your Computer Files
Do people still use filing cabinets? Not many. Most of that stuff is online now. This is something that has been on my to-do list for quite sometime now, but it always ends up on the backburner.
Not being able to find something you saved is the worst. Sometimes it’s because you have so many files in a folder, or in my case, Google Drive. I need to go out with the old and in with the new.
Aside from decluttering your office space, it is also smart to organize your computer files and emails.
Start by deleting unnecessary files and emails or creating an archive folder for old files, documents, and emails. You can put these is designated folders or assign them tags or labels – whatever makes sense to you. You can do the same in your email too.
A bonus to this is minimizing the look of your desktop by organizing everything into folders so it’s nice and clean.
Maintaining and Managing Your Office Supplies
Setting up and organizing your office supply closet is half the battle in decluttering your office space. You want to maintain a well-stocked office supply closet. If not, it gets unorganized and messy really fast. To wrap this up, here are two things to keep in mind besides the basic put things back when you’re done with them on a daily basis.
1. Start with an Inventory File
This one is reserved for physical offices and an office manager who does inventory checks. If you work from home, it’s probably not relevant to you. Log all office supplies bought for your newly set up office supply closet. I like to keep a list of things I regularly use or need in a Google Document. This way, you will know the number of supplies you start with and how long it takes before it depletes. Yes, this means you need to do an inventory from time to time.
2. Create a System when Buying your Office Supplies
Make sure you have enough stock to replenish before your new supplies arrive. For example, when I pop a new ink cartridge in my printer, I order a new one. That way I know I’ll never be without. (Running out of ink is the worst!)
Try to find a good supplier for your office materials. They should be able to deliver fast (hello Amazon Prime!) when supplies are needed. Also, check your local office supply store to see if it will provide a good company or business discount.
Having an Organized Supply Closet
Whether you’re working from home or going to an office, a well-kept office space contributes to a pleasant and tension-free time while at work.
How are you organizing your office space? Find me on Instagram at @ChristinaAllDay and let me know. Are working with a big storage closet or do you find you only have space for a small basket?! What does your storage space look like? I want to hear your creative ideas, especially if your space is on the small side or you have so much space!