Home Organization 101: Week 4 “The Office” (Season 3)

June 22, 2013

Home Organization 101 Season 3


WEEK 4 – The Office

We are now in week 4 of Home Organization 101.  This week we are headed into the office. If you don’t have an office, you can organize the place where you keep your paperwork, files, etc.  This week is a challenging one but one that pays off big time.  I hope you will join us and get your office & files organized!


1.  Take a picture of your space before you start.
2.  Make sure you have 6 large bins or boxes, one for each of the following… 1 for papers that need shredded, 1 for things that need donated, 1 for paperwork that needs to be filed, 1 for items that belong in other rooms, 1 for items that stay in the office, and 1 for trash.
3.  Give yourself at least 2 hours to go through your paperwork… all of it!  Each paper will be placed in one of the following bins (shred, file, trash).  You are not organizing at this time. Just separating.
4.  Go through everything else.  If it doesnt belong, place it in the “other room” bin.
5.  After you have gone through everything, it should all be in bins or boxes.
6. At this time, wipe down your desk, shelves, and sweep/vacuum/mop the area. Clean it up really well.
7. Now you can organize all paperwork into a filing system.  I share the categories I use below.  Approximately 50% of the papers you have now should be tossed.
8.  Create a mail station (below).  You will need one to get control of the incoming paper clutter.
9.  Organize your books & everything else to look pleasing to the eye.
Thats it!  Now take a picture and share with us.


 Is this paper necessary to keep? (Taxes, etc)
Is it needed in the future?
Do I have a place for it?
If you answered no, toss it! (Shred if it has personal information on it).


Categorize everything you can. Use boxes, bins, baskets and drawers.  Organize your books.  Organize your pens & pencils.  Organize everything that is remaining in the space.  Categorizing makes it look neat.  Good luck!  Dont forget to link up when you are finished. Ask questions on our Facebook group page.








My vintage cart houses my binders. 🙂  I use these on a daily basis so they need to be accessible.  Keeping my daily schedule visible helps to keep me to stay on track!  This chalkboard does the trick well!



My friend Alejandra raved about these binders… so I had to try them out. She was right. They are the perfect binder (from Staples)! The binders fit perfectly on a kitchen baking sheet organizer.



Using a dish organizer for your binders to slide in and out is a great trick!!


Click on the picture to see the source.




Below the binders, I have boxes & bins. These are used for misc. items.  My camera bag hangs from the side of the cart.



Below, I keep extra manilla folders in a bin.



I purchased an inexpensive desk, chair & shelving at Ikea.   They do the job well!



The containers below hold markers, pens, sharpies, & pencils.






I love my collection of vintage clocks!



This cute hanging organizer is from Ikea.



The ceramic egg dish is from Jo Ann Fabrics (I found it during Easter time).  Its great for small things that are used often.  I also have one in my bedroom for my “every day” jewelry.  If you dont want to wait until easter, you can also purchase them on www.amazon.com.



My mail station is used for sorting mail and kids school papers.  I have gone into detail with this station (here).  It lives on my desk, here in the office.  I used to keep it in my kitchen, but I have declared my kitchen ” paper free”.  That means no mail, school work, or papers of any kind go in there. The system is working well!


My file folders are labeled:Abigail – School papersGavin – School papers

Alex – School papers



Incoming mail

Outgoing Mail

To File

To Pay

Sign & Return


* I go through the school papers once per quarter & archive what I want to save & toss the rest.


I keep my Erin Condren planner as well as my “budgeting” sheets (on the clipboard) in the front.


The #1 must have organizing item in every home… The LABELER!  This labeler creates the 1″ labels that I use everywhere in my home & on my binders.  Using 1″ makes a HUGE difference!!


You can purchase it at Amazon.com (here).


Colorful note paper or sticky notes is a must on any organized desk!



I purchased this drawer system at Ikea.  Its the “Alex” unit. I use it to store all of my office supplies.



Each drawer contains a different “category”.  My categories are:


1. Supplies (Binder clips, paper clips, push pins, etc)
2. Stickies (sticky notes, tabs, stickers, etc)
3. Tools (straight cutter, staple, staple remover, hole puncher)
4. Budget (check book, calculator, cash envelope system)
5. Supplies (white out, tape, command hooks, etc)
6. Markers
7. Mail (envelopes, stamps, address labels)
8. Labelers (and label tape)
9. Crafts







Creating a “rainbow” effect with books is very pleasing to the eye.




Setting up a space to read creates a cozy environment in your office.  Most of my office furniture is from Ikea, with the exception of the printer cabinet. Its from Target.  I purchased my pillow at a local boutique shop here in Charleston, SC



A place to put magazines where they are accessible to read is a great tip!






A good filing system is an absolute MUST to create & keep an organized office.  I purchased my filing cabinet on wheels at The Container Store.  My file folders are from Staples.





I have recently updated my filing system. To see the updated version, click on my post (HERE).


Filing System Organization ABFOL 1



I wanted to mention that we keep our tax records in my husbands office (we are blessed to have 2 offices in our home).  The picture below shows his filing system and how we organize the “taxes”.  Also, (here) is an older post that I shared on my filing system. It has since been updated and the files moved to my office… but the tax papers still remain in his.



A cabinet devoted to the printer & supplies makes it easier to find what you are looking for.  My cabinet contains:


1.  Printer paper (cardstock, plain, colorful, resume, etc…)
2. Printer Ink
3. Photo paper
4. Extra binder dividers & file folders
5. Silhouette SD machine, Neat Receipts, and Laminating Machine.









Happy Organizing!


40 comments on “Home Organization 101: Week 4 “The Office” (Season 3)

  1. Vannessa Pezzatta says:

    I’m so motivated to do this now. My next home office purchase is going to be a label maker. I homeschool, so my office space is not my own. It’s also our classroom but I think I can make it work better with your tips. What a beautiful space you have!

  2. I LOVE your style! The rainbow color flow, the chalkboards, all the different functional systems…such a great office space.

  3. How does your white furniture hold up to the daily use? I tend to stick with darker woods because I’m afraid the white furniture will show too much wear and too many marks (from me or the kiddos).

    • Toni says:

      It does well. I wash my slipcovers about every 6 months. I have a dog and 2 cats and its not bad at all.

  4. Corey says:

    I might actually want to do work if my office looked like this! Inspiring! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Tess says:

    I would like to know whats in all of your binders. It must be important information inside them. Would you like to share with us?

  6. Leandra says:

    The colours – oh my, I love it I WILL definitely be introducing some of these ideas into my home office space. Thank you !

  7. Vicki says:

    Love this post! The link to the source for the using a dish organizer for your binders to slide in and out photo isn’t taking me to the link 🙁 What is the url?

  8. It’s perfect! You truly know organizing- I envy you!

  9. Glenda says:

    Are the cubicles from IKEA?

  10. joann says:

    Where is your narrow long white desk/table top from?

  11. Felicia says:

    Do you have what’s in your binders. Like what you put in your pet binder?

  12. Christine says:

    Where did you get the silver label tags that are on the Alex unit and other storage pieces?

    • Amanda says:

      I would like to know the same thing! I love the silver label tags! Where did you find them?

      • Nancy says:

        Hi Amanda, I just recently found some adhesive metal bookplates (from the Martha Stewart line) at Staples that look exactly like what is pictured here on the Alex unit. They come in packs of 6 in a few different finishes and are actually not too expensive. Hope this helps!

  13. Tiffany says:

    I live those star baskets on top of your shelves! They are adorable! I looked on the ikea website and disnt see them. Is that where you found them? Your office is so organized, I love it 🙂 someday I will have a little office area.

  14. Katy says:

    Great office. Wondering where you got your shelves from.

  15. zann says:

    Looks great! Wish we had room in our office! Ours is office/my craft room/guest room! I’m skipping this one this go around because we are totally redoing that room to make it easier for me to craft in.

  16. Laurie says:

    The pillow!! Where can I get it?! I am in LOVE!

  17. SJ says:

    Love your office organization. It give me great inspiration!. Where did you ever find the wire star baskets? Absolutely love them! 🙂

  18. Becky says:

    Love, Love your organization! I bought the binders from Staples, can you tell me what exactly you put in them vs what is in your filing system…thanks!

  19. Nichole Christensen says:

    I love your office, and I’m using a lot of your ideas. I just bought the Alex drawers from Ikea and was wondering about the organizers that you have inside your drawers. Did you also get those from Ikea? Do you know what they’re called, because I’m having a hard time finding them on their website.

  20. JC says:

    Like Nichole, I’m curious about the organizer tray you have in your Alex system drawer. Is it from Ikea, another store, or something you happened to have on hand? I have been looking at these drawers and would love to know where to get organizers to fit in them. Thanks!

  21. Carina says:

    Absolutely love your blog! Would you please be able to explain what you put in your binders vs hanging files? That would be extremely helpful. Thank you

  22. F1Fan says:

    This post is from so long ago, do you still use your home binder? I feel I may have a calendar in this binder, my google calendar, and the family wall calendar. Love your site, thank you!

    • Rachel says:

      Absolutely! having a home binder is a great way to pass along information to a house or baby or pet sitter when you’re away. It’s also an easy go-to spot for quick referencing addresses, phone numbers, children’s clothing/shoe sizes and just about anything else that pertains to the home.

  23. Sue says:

    Great ideas! What do you keep in your binders vs. files?

    • Rachel says:

      the binders hold files, papers that need to be more readily accessible while the files hold those forms, papers, files that might be needed for comparison, warranties, etc.

  24. Maria says:

    Hi I love how colorful your organizing style is. I have one question. Where can I purchase that stack of colorful sticky notes? I’ve tried and failed at finding it online.

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