Don’t have a desk yet? Well, then you have a big disadvantage when it comes to organizing office supplies. But it’s not impossible. You can still avoid a messy home office area by applying some smart tactics.
The best way to stay organized is to use only the must-have office supplies. Once you have decluttered successfully, use a bookshelf to store the items. In case, you don’t own one, hooking a shelf on the wall would work just fine.
You deserve a coordinated office space no matter how small it is. So, here we are with six surprising ways to organize office supplies without a desk. Let’s dig in together.
6 Ways To Organize Office Supplies Without A Desk
We have included the organizing method we have found to be the most effective and budget-friendly. You don’t have to follow each of them. Still, knowing the options will help you settle on your favorite one.
1. Declutter As Much As Possible
Organizing less stuff is always easier. If you haven’t organized the office for a long time, we bet there is a lot to throw away. So, our advice for you is to separate the important office items and then, think about storing them.
Get rid of Old Electronic Stuff
Do you own old software CDs? Then, it’s time to say goodbye to them. The first step of decluttering is to get rid of old electronic stuff. It can be damaged cords or cables as well. after a point of time, storing these junks become a huge trouble.
But, let’s be honest here. you are never going to need them again. So, just get rid of them. Or, if you have the option, donate them.
Shred Old Papers
Go through every page or document within the home office. Throw away the useless papers. For example, old tax documents, bills of the previous months, draft copies of old assignments, manuals, etc. If you are sure, those papers won’t ever be needed again, put them in a separate basket.
Then, carry those papers to your local photocopy shop. Rent their shredding machine and shred the papers. Finally, throw them in a bin without any fear.
But we won’t suggest you apply this method to almost every useless paper. If the document doesn’t contain your personal information like contact number, name, address, etc you don’t need a shredder.
Store Away Duplicate Stuff
When you are sorting through office supplies, you will notice a lot of duplicate items. For example, you might have a whole packet of pens, and highlighters when you only need one while working. so, what should you do with the rest? and, what about the extra pair of scissors or paper cutter? Is it viable to throw them away as well?
No, it isn’t. But at the same time, those extra supplies shouldn’t be on the pen holder or jars. The ideal way is to store these items in a separate container or box. Then, put it inside the filing cabinet or a drawer.
If the drawer is a bit far from where you work that’s okay. Because you already have similar items hanging on the shelf. It will be a while before you will have to look for this specific container.
Archive Important Documents
The last stage of decluttering is to archive the important documents. The easiest method would be using a desk organizer. The organizer has a lot of compartments of both paper and stationery items. The tool is affordable and easy to access.
It’s feasible only if you have a side table or supply caddy in your home office. Otherwise, where would you keep the desk organizer since you don’t have a desk in the first place?
As a second option, we suggest you follow the filing system. Create several files for different purposes and secure your documents accordingly. It’s a little tedious but you will love the results. Moreover, it only takes a few seconds to identify where you have kept the exact papers. The comfort is only a bonus.
We will discuss the filing/binding method in more detail down below. Keep reading.
2. Make Use Of A Book-Shelf
You might be surprised but a bookshelf is a perfect replacement for an office desk. If you have this in your home, congrats! You have absolutely no need for a desk. You can organize everything from files to pens on the shelves.
Here’s the right way to do so.
Top Section: Books
First of all, dedicate the top section to books. Keep all the reference books you need to check out frequently. Since the top section is less accessible, items that aren’t actively needed throughout the day should be kept here. Books fulfill the criteria perfectly.
Most Accessible Section: Stationary Items
Next, the most accessible shelf should be secured for stationery items. These are called ‘active supplies.” You will use pens multiple times throughout the day. You can use a pen holder for storage. It also looks prettier on the bookshelf.
As for the rest of the office supplies like scissors, staplers, staple removers, etc should go inside a glass jar. If you have someplace left, put your favorite photo frame on this shelf. It will give a little personal touch to the whole area.
Below Stationary Section: Papers!
Now, it’s time to store your papers. For that, choose the shelf just below your stationery supplies. Use binders with different colors. Designate each color to different titles. For example, blue for finance, green for hospital reports, white for manuals or instructions, etc.
Whenever you come across an important document, it should go inside any of these binders. Use binding clips if the number of papers is too many.
3. Get A Cabinet/ Supply Caddy
A cabinet or supply cady is another way to store your office supplies. Of course, you wouldn’t require it if you already have a bookshelf. However, we don’t recommend buying a bookshelf for storage purposes. If you are up for a little investment, a caddy/cabinet works better.
It protects the stuff more effectively due to the closed drawers. Moreover, some people just dislike the binding system. Because it’s hard to decide on the title and stick with it. Sometimes you come across papers that would belong to more than one binder. It’s very confusing for the user.
Also, the mistake many people do with a cabinet is stuffing all the supplies they have without any regard. Hence, you have to dig a lot to find any specific item you are looking for. That’s terrible and doesn’t fall into the category of organizing.
With a cabinet, you can put the paper inside multiple folders. Get multiple hanging files and label them. The title should be more specific than generic. Same way, you can put the stationary supplies inside a plastic container and keep them in a drawer. More compartments equal to better organization. The next time you pull-out the drawer, you know exactly where you will find a color pen or the stapler.
4. Mount Shelves On The Wall
Hanging shelves from the wall work similarly to a desk’s drawer. You can’t run an office without some much-needed stationary items like pens, highlighters, sticky pads, pencils, erasers, etc. The traditional way to store these items is using a penholder or glass jar. That’s okay if you have a bookshelf to carry them.
However, there’s a possibility that you might not have such furniture in the office. The office becomes super inconvenient when pens are scattered everywhere. But you can’t seem to find the exact item like an eraser when you need it.
In that case, the most budget-friendly option is hanging a plastic shelf from the wall. Such shelves are used to carry lightweight stationary items only.
5. Install A Bulletin Board
Bulletin boards are quite common in actual offices. You pin important notices on the board for the coworkers to see. Follow the same method for your home office as well. It only requires a wall. Utilize the board for collecting monthly bills, as well as sticky notes. Such items are hard to store without a desk. Either you lose it or the room looks extremely messy.
Any conventional method of organizing bills and notes includes desk organizers. Since the desk is out of the question, using the wall space seems like a better option. Moreover, the bills are always in your face. It helps you to pay bills ahead of the deadline.
Sticking small handwritten notes on the desk is an effective way to get reminders for important assignments. Bulletin boards can be a great alternative to your desk.
6. Go Digital
Fewer papers mean less worry. Of course, you can’t get rid of everything. But we advise you to start inclining towards the digital platforms slowly. For example, you can start receiving e-mails only. You can avoid dealing with a pile of mail every morning. All you have to do is open the computer and reply to the emails gathered in your inbox. That’s pretty simple to manage.
Oftentimes, we make duplicates of a paper for safety purposes. It becomes a huge hassle to accommodate these photocopies within the home office. Instead, you can start collecting digital copies and store them on your computer. That way, you are saving office space by avoiding a mess. Plus, it’s very easy to retrieve a physical copy whenever you need them. All you need is a printer.
The more you go digital, the easier it becomes to organize the office. If you only have a small workspace, we suggest getting rid of most office supplies like pens, table clocks, calendars, and so on. Such items can be easily replaced by digital apps (Microsoft word, excel, notepad, etc).
Hence, you can use the valuable space to store more essential and hard-to-replace items like instruction files, reference books, printers, side lamps, etc.
Tips To Keep Your Office Supplies Organized
Sometimes it’s not the organization but the maintenance that’s difficult. Logically, it’s no use setting up your office supplies if it becomes a mess the next day. So, here are some tips to take care of an organized office easily and more skillfully.
1. Use A Trash Bin
Many people neglect this simple trick. And, it results in a messier office. You might declare a certain piece of paper as useless and still keep it beside other files. It happens to all of us. We make up our minds to dispose of the paper later but forget eventually. And, before you know it, there is more trash than actual documents in your office. That’s not a nice feeling.
Keeping a trash bin inside the office can reduce the clutter inside your workspace. Just promise to throw away any useless items like dried pens as soon as you notice.
2. Put It Back
The next tip is to put everything in its place. You might successfully organize an office. But the toughest task is to maintain it for a long time. That’s why you should be careful where you leave the office supplies after the job is done.
For example, you will have the urge to leave the office room as soon as possible. But take a deep breath and put the pens or markers on the hanging cabinet. If you used notebooks, put them on the book shelf. Carefully rearrange the filing system inside your cabinet as well. And, only leave the room after that.
3. Use Functional Furniture
Functional furniture should take up most of your office space. If you ever think of adding a new piece to your home office, make sure it serves multiple purposes. Don’t go for aesthetics only. That way you have more storage options available to you without a desk.
Before You Go!
We have already mentioned how important the decluttering process is. The minimalist approach allows you to avoid huge piles of paperwork in the office. But we would like to warn you at the same time. People sometimes judge an item’s functionality wrong and end up throwing it away. It only brings regrets in the end.
To avoid this, you must know which things should be reconsidered or given a second chance while decluttering.
For that, here’s our list of things you should keep when decluttering the home office.