Do you have a small space for your office or work space? Whether you have just a desk in your home or a small office, chances are you will need storage. The storage can help you keep the space organized and pulled together looking.
I just emptied a closet/office at work to carve out some space for myself. After using the space for a few days I realize, it’s a disaster. I have papers everywhere and a mishmash of filing bins and metal organizers but nothing goes together.
Do you feel like your work space is a mess and you need to look at the space with fresh eyes? Before you buy follow these steps to make sure you choose the storage that’s right for how you use the space.
Determine Your Storage Needs
The first step before you buy anything is to look at what you need to store. Does your desk have drawers? Do you have lots of papers, office supplies, files, printers, pens and pencils, craft supplies, etc. Knowing what you need to store will help you when you start shopping.
If possible, your space will look more coordinated if you can get storage that serves your purpose, but also coordinates. To make the space look organized and pulled together don’t buy a piece here and a piece there. Once you determine what needs to be stored, get pieces that work together.
In my case, being a paper pushing CPA I have lots of invoices and other paperwork that stacks up. I also have many printers and lots of office suppliers. I really wanted shelves, but to keep them from looking chaotic I needed lots of storage inside the shelves.
Ask Yourself What You Use Every Day
What you need to store may be different from what you need to access every day. For example, you may want to store paperwork, but you don’t look at the paperwork daily. Things you use daily might be stapler, envelopes, tape, pens/pencils, etc. These things need place to be that isn’t just sitting on the desk.
If your desk doesn’t have drawers. you will probably need something to hold things like stapler, tape, stamps, pens & pencils. There are so many desks now that don’t have any storage. Consider whether your desk faces a wall or faces the open when you get desktop storage. If it faces the wall you can mount things on the wall for more storage.
My favorite places to buy desktop storage are Pottery Barn Teen. They have amazing prices and they aren’t just for teens. They have really great looking desktop accessories at a great price.
- PB teen marble desktop accessory set only $34
- PB teen gold desktop organizer only $36
- PB teen black & white desk organizer – $20
- PB desktop drawers come in three colors- $47
- Bigso Stockholm Desktop organizer -$13 This comes in tons of colors including blush, blue, grey, white and more and it has matching accessories (see below)
Do you have a printer(s)? I have to use two printers on a daily basis because I print shipping labels. Printers can take up a lot of real estate in an office space. There are two ways to store your printer. If you use it daily, it’s better to have it on an open shelf. If you print once or twice a week, you can hide it away perhaps inside a cabinet.
Here are some options for open storage.
Maybe I’m old fashioned but I find it very difficult to store paperwork without using a filing cabinet, or hanging files in some type of bin. My work space looks neatest when I commit to filing loose papers daily/weekly. It’s also a good idea to move files to storage once a year (and purge old files after 3 years). There are lots of good
Filing cabinets can be pretty pricey. I have owned lots and I suggest making sure the drawers slide out all the way if you buy one. I bought a few filing cabinets at Ikea that didn’t open all the way to prevent tipping over, but this meant that some of the papers in the back were hard to get to.
- Oxford Wood Filing Cabinet from Home Depot. This line comes in three finishes and it’s wood. The cabinets are far less expensive than Ikea. As a side note, Ikea filing cabinets are not the best. The drawers don’t fully extend. This one comes in 2 or 3 drawer configurations.
- Pottery Barn Hawthorn file box, only $35
- Wood file box at Target, $19
- Ballard Navy file box from Ballard Designs – This box has unique leather handle. It comes in cream and navy.
- Martha Stewart file boxes from Staples – This box comes in pearl and turquoise. There are other matching accessories.
- Bigso Blush File Box from Container Store, $20 – This box comes in many colors like mint, light grey, graphite, navy, blush and linen. There are matching desktop accessories.
If you have the space to fit shelving, there are so many inexpensive options. You can choosing floating shelves, but be aware that these are not usually a good option for heave things. For shelving, Ikea is one of the best and most budget friendly places to go. Target also has very reasonable shelving.
- Fjallbo shelving– This line of shelving is very industrial looking and comes in many different configurations. I like the combination of wood and black metal for a black & white office.
- Cube shelving from Target $65- This comes in black, white, wood and grey.
- Walnut and Bronze desktop shelving unit from Overstock – This also comes in a white and gold color.
Pulling it all together
The most important thing about storage for your work space is that it works together. This is what’s going to transform your office space from just a desk with a stack of papers to a grown up place.
For example, say your space is black and white, decide what metal you want to use as the accent. There are cool metals and warm. Satin nickel and chrome are cool metals. Gold and bronze are warm metal tones. Keep all of your storage choices in your color palette of two colors and a metal. If your space is pink and blue, choose one metal tone and keep everything you buy in this color palette.
If you want more help in choosing a color palette, read this article. Have you tried to add storage to your office or home office? If so, share a photo of your grown up work space.