19 Home Office Solutions
Tame your piles of papers and scattered office supplies with these can-do ideas for turning your home office into an organized command center.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Organize the Little Things
What it is: Sometimes the items that clutter our desks are the office supplies we need the most. Here, a simple metal container is enlisted to corral small items in a desk drawer or cubby.
How to do it: Pull that vintage tin out of your cupboard and put it to work as a keeper for all those tiny items that would normally clutter up your desk drawer. Magnetic clips hold paper items snug to the sides of the container, while glass jars organize rubber bands, clips, pencils, and more.
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Choose Versatile Furniture
What it is: A minimalist, do-it-all table serving as a desk with loads of energetic style. This stylish furniture piece blends into your home naturally and can be easily converted into an after-school gaming station for the kids or a buffet station for your next party.
How to do it: Buy or repurpose a shallow table to use as an inconspicuous spot to organize paperwork or to hold a desktop computer. If the table doesn't come with it already, build stacked shelving above the desk. Fill the space with decorative trinkets mixed in with necessary office supplies.
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Borrow from the Kitchen
What it is: A collection of cups-turned-organizers lined up in rows on a desk.
How to do it: Grab clean glasses or mugs from your kitchen (or buy inexpensive versions at a discount store) and keep small desk needs, such as paper clips, stamps, pencils, and scissors, at your fingertips. Placing the cups on a beautiful serving tray lets you easily clear your desk surface for dusting.
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It's a Date
What it is: A wall calendar that is equally functional, stylish, and easy to use. Plus, it matches with just about any design style.
How to do it: Hang a large sheet of plexiglass onto a wall using this technique from our floating frames project. From there, use sticker decals or a dry-erase marker to draw on the months, days of the week, and boxes for individual days. Update the numbers each month. Leave an empty space at the bottom for a place to write important notes and reminders.
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Personalize Your Supplies
What it is: A desk area outfitted with organizational tools that fulfill an array of filing needs. Here, open envelopes hold important bills and notices while magazine files below are used for archiving previous work.
How to do it: For a cohesive look, find containers of the same color, but offer different kinds of storage solutions for various tasks. Tack paper organizers to the wall for a place you can easily access, and use closed containers for hiding things like unsightly charger cords.
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What it is: Inexpensive storage and furniture drawn from an unexpected source.
How to do it: Comb your local home improvement store for a hollow-core door or a large sheet of MDF or plywood. Paint it to match your decor, then mount it on painted sawhorses (another home improvement store find). Stacked wood crates along this office wall make an inexpensive bookshelf with plenty of storage. A wall grid made from steel remesh displays notes, a calendar, and photographs.
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Monopolize Your Space
What it is: An entire wall dedicated to storage and brainstorming.
How to do it: Buy a floating shelf unit large enough to line your wall. Adjustable units are perfect for a homeowner with changing needs. Fill the shelves with a variety of office supplies and art to spark your creativity. Be sure you choose a wall with an outlet to meet all your electrical needs and a chair that is inconspicuous enough to blend into the space when not in use.
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Use Wall Space
What it is: Work board or work of art? You decide. The whole family will love this chalk wall perfect for jotting down notes or creative doodling.
How to do it: Once you have an office space carved out, paint one wall or a section of a wall with chalkboard-style paint. If desired, install trim around the painted section so it looks framed. Then, outline your plan to take over the world—or at least organize the kids' sports practices.
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Utilize Every Inch
What it is: A small closet is put to good use with creative planning and clever tools.
How to do it: Clear out a junk closet or a guest bedroom storage space that doesn't get much use. Remove the doors and paint the interior a pleasing color, or add tile, like in this small closet office. Move in a shallow desk or floating shelves for a work surface. With a chair and a little decor to add personality, you've got yourself a private work space that fits only what you need.
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Put Everything Away
What it is: A corner desk and loads of clever storage solutions.
How to do it: This corner workspace for two involves some serious storage. The open shelving unit is great for everyday needs. Having office supplies so easily in reach makes it easy to remember to put things away. Adjacent to the desks, a cabinet unit keeps bulky, unsightly items out of sight. If your work involves confidential files, consider adding desk drawers that lock to keep curious minds out of your things.
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Do-It-Yourself Corner Office
What it is: A commandeered, hardworking corner that's just as beautiful as any other room in the house, but uses everyday objects to keep you organized in style.
How to do it: Claim a corner of your home, slide in a desk and chair, and then get creative. Stacked floating shelves above make it easy to combine storage with display space. On them, use mugs, small bowls, and tumblers as catchalls for thumbtacks, paper clips, and pens.
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Hook and Clip It
What it is: Magnetic boards perfect for holding inspirational quotes or important dates.
How to do it: Find a large magnetic board or group together smaller magnetic squares. Place it on the wall behind your desk for a catch-all place for art, invitations, documents, and more. Use magnetic hooks as a drop spot for keys and handbags. Use binder clips (the metal parts stick to the board) to hold receipts or other loose papers.
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Claim a Spare Room
What it is: A spare room converted to a storage-filled office that is perfect for solo work or meeting with clients.
How to do it: Divide a spare room with a large table for a desk and conference room combo. Line your walls with book cubbies (or build them in if you have the budget) and fill with reference books, paper sorters, magazine holders, and your favorite accessories. Hang rolls of paper to encourage young artists, or add plush upholstered chairs for a cozy place to break from your office.
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Go Retro Style
What it is: Basement castoffs—including a sturdy vintage desk and matching decor—repurposed for a hip home office.
How to do it: Before you employ a decades-old piece of furniture, first always make sure it's in working condition. A desk with a rotting interior that lacks working drawers is due for a major renovation. To keep the desk looking stylish and not dated, intentionally pick out decor from the same era.
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Find New Uses
What it is: A small riser that makes room for tiered storage on a desk surface.
How to do it: Shelf risers are handy tools in the kitchen, but have you ever considered picking up one or two for your home office? This inexpensive, no-work-required solution doubles the amount of desktop space you have by raising up common supplies while leaving space below to tuck more containers.
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What it is: A storage hutch that turns into a mobile workspace with some DIY updates.
How to do it: Antique shops are great places to find unique decor pieces that serve a double function. At first glance, this hutch looks like a pretty storage unit, but the drop-down front reveals a working desk space. Mounting it on casters makes the miniature office transportable so you can move it from room to room as needed.
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Get It Off the Desk
What it is: A variety of storage options that keep your desk looking clean while in use and when left alone.
How to do it: If you've got the space, use it. This home office comes packed with storage solutions. The tall shelves hold color-coordinated books and supplies. A desk surface is kept almost completely empty thanks to a window-side countertop that holds what would normally clutter your main workspace.
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Assign Specific Storage
What it is: A table + a tabletop cubby system + a DIY quilted wall = one very cool office space.
How to do it: Stack shelving on a table (or use a ready-made desk with shelves) and designate separate boxes for each type of paperwork (bills to be paid, bills paid, insurance info, kids' artwork, etc.). Click to the next slide to learn how to transform a wall into a bulletin board like this one.
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Use the Wall
What it is: A faux quilted wall that doubles as a bulletin board for notes, invitations, and other transient paperwork.
How to do it: Staple batting and fabric to a wall, then secure crisscrossing ribbons with fabric tacks. If you don't want to sacrifice an entire wall to this project, try just covering a corkboard with batting, fabric, and ribbon.