Home Office Storage on a Dime

Clever and inexpensive storage is easy if you know where to find it. See basic storage items in a different light to create a budget-friendly, organized office.


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Take Note

    Don't spend money on a corkboard -- instead turn an artist's canvas into a practical memo board. For a magnetic surface, attach a sheet-metal square. Hang it above your desk to keep important items visible.

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Antique Office Storage

    Repurpose flea market dishes as office organizers. Mismatched pieces add charm to a utilitarian space. Use teacups for pens and pencils, and saucers or small plates for stamps, keys, and spare change.

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Go-Anywhere Office

    Take your office anywhere -- to the couch, dining room table, or deck -- with this tote-able solution. Outfit a dish drainer with pretty file folders, and use the utensil holders to organize pens, pencils, and small notebooks. Slip the dish drainer into a cabinet when not in use.

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From Kitchen to Office

    Convert a bread box into a charging station for small electronic devices. Just drill a hole in the back, insert a rubber grommet, and thread the power-strip cord through. Cut small slits in 1/4-inch medium-density fiberboard (MDF) to create a divider that conceals the power strip and chargers behind it.

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Carting Around

    Turn an old cart into a mobile office. Lower shelves can store notebooks and boxes for supplies and paperwork (try using a vintage suitcase to corral everything). Plus, the cart can be pulled up to an armchair or couch, and the top surface can be used as a laptop workstation.

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Magnetic Pull

    Create a magnetic memo board out of a cookie pan. Just add magnets and important papers, and your memo board is ready for business.

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Spring Into Storage

    A sturdy metal spring can find new purpose as an office organization aid. Place small notebooks or mail between the coils to keep supplies in order.

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Mail Center

    Use unexpected containers, such as these simple mailboxes, for desk-side storage. They're perfect for organizing mail, takeout menus, and bills. Plus, they'll keep your desktop paper-free. Dress them with pretty motifs from wallpaper remnants or decorative paper adhered with decoupage medium.

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Bookend Solution

    Keep books stacked neatly on a shelf with a colorful bookend. Fill a fabric pouch with sand, sew shut, and position against a row of books for an always-orderly display.

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Scheduling Assistant

    Use simple clothespins as a scheduling sanity saver. Write the days of the week on clothespins and clip to a wire suspended along a wall above your desk. (Or glue magnets to the back of the clothespins and place them on your refrigerator.) Write the days' events and to-dos on index cards and clip to the clothespins as a visual way to organize your time.

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Here & There

    A two-bucket system keeps incoming and outgoing papers perfectly organized. Paint the outside of empty paint cans (available at crafts stores) and label with stickers as an "in" bucket and an "out" bucket.

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Drop Zone

    Keep a small desktop clutter-free. Stack simple trays on top for items you want in sight and in mind, such as bills to pay and outgoing mail. Use a file box to hold items you need to access regularly such as receipts and contact information. Attach an inexpensive toothbrush-and-tumbler holder to the side of the desk to stash pens, pencils, and scissors. Hang S hooks for keys.

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Uncommon Uses

    Loose papers and small items are the biggest challenges in a home office. Corral papers and mail in an unused bath cabinet mounted to the wall. The pegs offer extra space for hanging lunch boxes or clipboards. Store small items, such as labels, note cards, and ribbons, in a three-tier basket.

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Keep In Touch

    Need a better way to keep track of your business cards? Rather than throwing cards into a drawer, contain them in a leftover mint box. It's the perfect size for keeping all of your contacts in one place. Don't know what to do with your own cards? Organize them in a separate container.

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Declutter a Desktop

    Repurpose a toothbrush holder and soap dish to round up office essentials and keep your desktop and drawers clutter-free.

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Mini Compartments

    This pan will do more than help you cook when you use it to compartmentalize office supplies. Use an inexpensive cupcake pan to organize small items that tend to get lost in drawers.

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Shower Organizer

    Mount a low-cost shower caddy to the wall to stash home office supplies, bills, and mail or create gift central (shown here) by storing stationery and wrapping paper. Add ribbon to a wire canister to hang writing utensils from one of the hooks.

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Magnetic Attraction

    Install a magnetic knife wall mount to the side of a shelving unit and hang small items on magnetic hooks.

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Hanging Around

    Take advantage of your wall space by turning it into storage. Hang clipboards, magnetic boards, and plain containers around the room. Each item is inexpensive and available at office supply stores.

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Mix and Match

    Use small containers to compartmentalize office supplies. Shop the sale racks for storage items you can mix and match.

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Can Do

    Recycled soup cans make great holders for writing utensils. Install pan-head screws through the backs of the cans to mount them to the wall

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Financial Planning

    Keep your finances in order with food containers-turned-piggy banks. Disposable food containers are great for keeping track of loose change. Pick a denomination for each container and cut a slit in the lid. The containers also work for organizing paper clips, rubber bands, and other small office supplies.

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Write Stuff

    Can't keep track of your writing utensils? Get them in line with a holder made from a cloth napkin. Fold over one-third of the napkin and sew the side edges. Then create the slim pockets by spacing seams 2 inches apart along the napkin's width.

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