While we adore our new apartment (hello, bay window, big kitchen, and covered porch!), there is one thing it is seriously lacking: storage space. So we’ve had to get a little creative to find a place for everything.
I’ve already talked about our kitchen solutions. The next most important room for us to organize was the office. If I am going to be working from home, I need an uncluttered space to work in!
Dan and I each moved our desks from college, so we each have our own work space. Dan put a black filing cabinet next to his desk, while I went the more modular route for my storage:
I found all of these pieces at Target for under $15 each. The ones on the right hold my scrapbooking/crafting supplies. The ones on the left hold things like current mail, recipes to try, coupons, etc.
I really like that the 3-compartment boxes are hinged… it makes it much easier to find things than drawers, I’ve found!
In the open caddy I keep pens, a few crafting tools, Post-It flags, and commonly used items like my iPod, sunglasses and business cards.
This filing box (no longer needed since Dan got the cabinet) holds less commonly needed papers and hides behind my desk!
Side note: This isn’t really a storage thing, but I wanted to show you my winter project: re-upholstering these chairs! They are the perfect height for our bay window, and we like having chairs to read together in, but the fabric is a) not attractive b) doesn’t match anything in our apartment and c) scratchy!
Okay, back to storage matters. We had a huge empty wall on one side of our office, so we turned it into a storage + display area! Rather than buying one big storage system, we bought 3 bookshelves. We got all 3 at Target for a total of only $80!
We have a lot of items that mean a lot to us that we wanted to display, so I “designed” the set-up of our shelves myself.
I picked up these baskets at Target for about $10 each (yes, we did a lot of our home decorating with Target pieces!). They hold notebooks, pens, beat-up paperbacks, etc. Around them are pictures and gifts from family members. My grandpa made us those candlesticks as a wedding gift!
More baskets on the opposite shelf. One is for connection cords and chargers, while the other holds cards and wrapping materials for gifts. And some of my favorite books get the prime spot on the top shelf!
The cookbook shelf. And no, this isn’t all of them…I just pulled a bunch out to flip through for recipe inspiration!
The ‘reference book’ shelf and a vase from our registry.
Our wedding guestbook + some wedding gifts. See my binders on the bottom?
On the right you can see our ‘fitness’ shelf and more books on the bottom!
In summary, here are my biggest tips for organizing your office/ designing your shelves:
- Group things together by category. I have the cookbooks separated from the fitness books and from the reference books. It looks better than cramming all the books on one shelf, and makes it easy to find what you need!
- Mix it up. You don’t have to have all of your books together. Put a few books on a shelf with something fun like a pretty vase, a framed picture, etc.
- Get creative. If you don’t have any bookends, turn some books on their side and stack them next to your standing books to hold them up.
- Make it personal. Pick a few items that mean a lot to you, and put them on your shelves. You’ll get to look at them every day.
- Get some baskets or boxes. They are great for corralling small items that would otherwise get scattered in your drawers, and give miscellaneous things a place to call home.
- Figure out what works for you. Most of Dan’s papers are forms from work, our insurance, etc, so he uses a filing cabinet. I have a lot of scrapbooking supplies, documents from companies, freelance assignments, etc, so my modular boxes just work better for my purposes.
What are your best organization tips?