One of my tasks for the new year was getting serious about office organization, specifically my home office…
Home Office Organization on the Cheap — Under $30!
Over the past few months, this space has become more of a storage unit for craft and photography supplies, old bills and files, and even the random toy or clothing item. With the mounting clutter, it was no longer a functional office, which is a total waste!
Well no more! This week I buckled down and made a plan — with one catch.
The total budget for my home office organization project is $30.
To get the most bang for my buck, I shopped at Dollar General for this office organization project. I was able to get quite a few things (even a piece of furniture!) and still hit my budget right on the mark.
Here’s the “before” photo:
It’s almost too embarrassing to show!
This is my actual work area — you can see that I already have a gorgeous desk (though it’s hidden under piles of stuff) and other trappings of an office, like a dry erase calendar.
Home Office Organization Step 1: Sort
Before you can see what you actually need, you have to cut through the clutter.
First, sort through all of that annoying paper (this is literally the bane of my existence!) I did some research a while back on what was ok to throw away and what I needed to keep and compiled it into this FREE Printable Paper Clutter” Clean-up Checklist.
I find that with all the mail we receive, it’s necessary to do a “paper purge” at least twice a year.
TIP: A paper shredder helps keep personal information safe when trashing old documents.
All files that needed to be kept (recent tax returns, important records, etc.) I sorted into folders and stacked neatly in these storage bins (which I labeled so I wouldn’t forget what was where).
These plastic bins were $4.50 each at Dollar General:
Home Office Organization Step 2: Create Space
Once you’ve cleared away the clutter, it helps to create extra space where there wasn’t any before. If you have designated storage and filing areas, you’ll be less likely to pile papers up on your desk again, because now they have a place to go!
This Dollar General bookshelf (which was quite easy to assemble) is where I keep folders that I will be adding to throughout the year (2016 bank statements, bills paid, receipts, etc.). I even had room for some personal touches.
Bookshelf cost = $15.00
To handle and sort the piles of incoming mail each day, I utilized a shoe holder. So handy!
There are dozens of pockets that are the perfect size for envelopes and letters. I labeled each pocket so you can see at a glance what types of correspondence go where — much more functional and aesthetically pleasing than a stack on my kitchen counter or the corner of my desk!
Hanging shoe organizer cost = $5.00
Total project budget = $24.50 + tax
Maintaining your home office organization
I love my “new” home office!
It’s open, inviting, and functional. I can quickly get to all of my important files and photography equipment without tripping over them.
However, even with the best organization supplies, things can still pile up and get out of order if you let them. Here’s how I keep my office tidy with minimal maintenance:
- Open every piece of mail, every day – this way it can be sorted immediately instead of stacking up and turning into a huge task.
- Tidy up your desk at the end of each day – I got into the habit of putting away everything one my desk at the end of my workday. I also laid out any projects I needed to finish the following day, along with a small to-do list of calls to make, etc. This way when I get to my desk the next morning I am on task immediately.
- Purge every 6 months – if you can do this once a quarter, even better! This gives you a chance to get rid of things that you don’t need and tame any clutter that got away from you.
More of my favorite thrifty home organization hacks:
Save on home essentials with Dollar General! Be sure to check out Dollar General on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more DIY home decor inspiration and office organization ideas at amazing prices!