My office space was a disaster area. I am almost too embarrassed to show you a before photo, but I am going to so you get the full effect! When I first moved my office downstairs, it was shoved in a corner. It wasn’t a bad space, but having my back to door was awful. I was beginning to think I was being sent to time out for bad behavior. (Mind out of the gutters ladies)
After some debate, and a pow wow with my best friend, a new office plan came to me. Yes, it was perfect. It would soon be a space that oozed creativity and inspire posts that were worthy of Shakespeare. (Ok, well at least mainly grammatically correct) This new office was to be my center of zen, my chi, my homey place. If I was going to spend hours on end working here, I might as well LIKE being there, right?!?
Enough of the rambling let’s get to it. Just promise not to laugh at how awful this before picture is! I mean it is BAD! It’s proof that ADD and OCD are a bad combination. (Ok, pulling off the band aid) Let me show you how to organize your office.
Organize Your Office
This is what I had to start with. Clutter was everywhere. Nothing had a “home,” which just resulted in never finding anything. Bless Mr. Crunchy’s heart for putting up with me. I am not usually one for New Year’s resolutions, but this year I have resolved to get organized. First spot to start was going to be my office.
Now let me walk you through the fabulous changes I have made, and are still using, in this great new space. The first thing we did was moved it out of the corner and against the wall. This way nothing falls behind my computer anymore, never to be seen again.
At an estate sale, I was able to pick up these two great drawer units for $10 total. They offer great storage for all of my office supplies. In my drawers I even made my own organizers out of contact paper and cereal boxes. (Tutorial to follow) It keeps all of my pens and such nice and neat, plus it matches my desk.
My desk is just a typical pressed board desk you can buy at Walmart. I’ve had it for almost 10 years. It still functions so I figured rather than spending money, I would give it a face lift. For the tops of the desk, I used this cute contact paper that I found on Amazon. For the back, sides, and front edges I used black acrylic paint to give it a fresh new look. It turned out great, and took me less than 30 minutes to do!
Now onto the organization! I broke down and bought this great filling cabinet from Walmart. It has three great drawers to fit all my important files and papers in. I grabbed some color coded folders and organized my families files. Here’s how I organized them.
Yellow – Needs Attention
- To be paid
- To be filed
Blue – Long Term Finances (these are files that protect your finances and/or family)
- Auto Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Credit Reports
- Car Records
- Homeowner’s/Renter’s Insurance
Red – Medical Files
- Each family member has their own red folder
- Explanation of Benefits
- Paid Doctor’s Bills
Green – All things money related
- Bank Accounts
- Savings Accounts
- Credit Cards
- Bills (I have a separate manilla folder for each bill we pay)
Keep all bills for 12 months, and then shred.
Orange – School Records
- Each child has their own orange folder
On top of my filing cabinet is my mail center. I found this really cute basket on eBay and it’s where my kids know to put the mail. When there are items in there, I know I need to review the mail and take action. This may mean recycle it, pay it, or shred it. My goal is to start every day with this basket empty!
The last part to my office are my shelves. Mr. Crunchy and I got this great long set of shelves for $15 at an estate sale. Mr. Crunchy cut one of them in half, so that I could paint them black. We hung them up and added some of my favorite goodies I have gotten at estate sales and some of my favorite photos. I have to say the shelves are really one of my favorite parts of my new office!
Here’s the grand finale. This is how nice and neat my office looks now!
If you have magazines in your office you might enjoy learning how to make these Repurposed Magazine Holders!
This is such an awesome, helpful post! I should show you a picture of my office space, it would make you feel a lot better about your “before” picture! I think you did an amazing job, and I definitely want to see the tutorial on making the drawer organizers out of cereal boxes!
Crunchy Frugalista says
Yeah, my before was um…a mess! The cereal box tutorial will be up next week so stay tuned!
Tesa @ 2 Wired 2 Tired says
I love the binder idea and the baskets. We have mail that sits on our kitchen counter that grows and grows and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it. I’ll have to look for a basket. Thanks!
Crunchy Frugalista says
Thanks, Tesa. The basket with the coupons, is a repurposed Blue Bunny ice cream container :). The other I found on Ebay!
Love the way you color coded your files. 🙂
Crunchy Frugalista says
Thanks, it really helps when you need to grab something quickly!
LOVE these ideas! Great to know we can redecorate without having to spend a bunch of money!
Crunchy Frugalista says
Frugal is the idea. No need to break the bank when you can just reuse things you already have!
[email protected] says
I’ve been working on my new office re-organization and hoped to be done by New Years. Didn’t happen 🙁
But I agree that labels and using what you have are great.
I was going to invest in a case to keep important files. Low and behold I had one tucked away with 10 year old documents in it. So I cleaned it out and I’m updating it.
Rhonda - YVSG says
Boy did I need this post! Thanks for releasing me from denial about my office which wasn’t even on my list of resolutions. Love the way you upcycled cereal boxes and look forward to the tutorial. Happy New Year!
Your office looks nice and organized! I need to get mine done this month so thanks for the tips!
Ellen Christian says
Great suggestions. I really need to work on my office.
Your desk looks amazing! I love the paper. One thing I am particular about is having printed labels on my folders. For some reason my eyes don’t pickup on the handwritten ones and they get overlooked. Great tips… love that paper!
Rita O'Neal says
The before and after picture of your work space is amazing! I’d love to see you come over to my place and do this 🙂 Just kidding. Kind of. Seriously, I’m working on finding my space when there really is no extra space… it will work out somehow.
Great post! I really need some organization in my office area at home. I have a system that I understand, but it is by no means a great system! LOL
Summer Davis says
It looks amazing, Ashley! I LOVE what you did to give your desk a facelift, and the organizational cereal boxes are seriously cool. I can’t wait for that tutorial, because I need some organization in my life.
A side-note: Don’t feel badly about your office space. I have an office and I literally never use it. I usually set up shop at the dining room table so there are always papers and crap everywhere that have to be moved at meal times. NOT the smartest cookie in the box, am I?