Home Office Organized and Simplified

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Okay, for those of you who know me … you are allowed to laugh that I’m writing about Home Organization. I’m not a naturally organized person, and most people who know me, know that. Things in my house are generally clean, but a general feeling of clutter seems to abound.

My biggest clutter struggle is PAPER! Oh, my it drives me CRAZY! Magazines, bills, homework, report cards, kids schedules … everything is paper … and it gets everywhere.

So when BlogHer contacted me about reviewing the new Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ and offered to provide me with a bunch of products to try out I jumped at the chance. I love the clean look of all of the Martha Stewart Family of products, and there is something about office supplies that makes me giddy The line is sold exclusively at Staples™, and for more information you can visit the Avery website or the Avery Facebook Page.

I decided to tackle the task of organizing and simplifying my home office. It’s the first room you see when you walk into our house, and it very well used. As you can see in the before photos, it had good bones, but the bookcase was a mess of boxes, loose paper and stuff I didn’t even use anymore. The desk was equally disorganized with paper everywhere!

Avery was kind enough to send me a big box of supplies to get me started.

I dove in and started with the bookcase.

I assembled some IKEA storage boxes that I had sitting around and began by taking everything off of the bookcase. I then sorted what was on the bookcase into categories to get an idea of what I needed to store.

I then used my VERY FAVORITE product in the line, the Chalkboard Labels, to label and organize my storage containers.

They are removable labels with a chalkboard coating. You just peel and stick them to the outside of your storage container. The best part is when you change what you store in there, you can just wipe off the chalk and use them for something new.

I decided to cut my labels in half lengthwise so that they would fit on my storage drawers.

I ended up with drawers for tools (scissors, hole punches, letter openers), tape (always a shortage in our house), paper clips etc.

With the Holidays coming up, I tried to think of what I would need in the days ahead and organized it with that in mind (i.e. packing tape, gift tags etc).

The labels are also great on plastic. I am going to use the larger size ones to label my holiday storage plastic tubs.

In a basket in front of the bookcase, I put some gift bags, wrapping paper and shipping paper. The shipping paper from the line is red and fancy enough that you can wrap your WHOLE box, and ship it … already wrapped! Genius! The holiday wrapping and shipping products are available in-store at Staples.

Next I moved to the desk. After a thorough wipe down and dusting, I began to organize the mess of papers that were strewn all over. I used the Stack+Fit™ organizer to hold stamps, return address labels, pencils and notebooks.

Most of that mess of paper got organized and put into the Martha Stewart with Avery Accordion File. It works great because it’s portable, yet it stands up by itself on the desk.

Planning space for future paper I used the Vertical File folders and Magazine files.

The folders fit in vertically, to make them easy to grab and easy to thumb through to find what you need.

The X-Bands were great to contain a stack of manila file folder and bills that need to be paid immediately.

I had plans to use the Corner Lock™ High Capacity Document Sleeves next, but my 11 year old quickly confiscated them. She said they’d be perfect to transport her homework to and from school safely.

I am sooo happy with how our home office turned out. This is the view of it from our front door now. As you can tell it’s very visible to anyone who comes over.

I added a few finishing touches when I was done. A few treasures I picked up in South Africa this year had been sitting in a box.

They look so much better in our office. I also added a collection of globes and an antique sewing machine to the top of our bookcase.

The circus print above the sofa has sentimental meaning to me. We found it in my grandpa’s garage after he passed away. It’s the real deal; a few years ago I had it framed professionally to preserve it.

Okay now, I would not have you read though such a GIANT post without a little something for you at the end!

I’m giving away a $100 Gift Card to Staples!!

To be entered for a chance to win, just tell me, what is your biggest organizing challenge???

Rules:

No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/14/12-12/14/12.

Be sure to visit the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggersí reviews and find more chances to win!

Comments

  1. Shelly says

    My biggest challenge is the kids’ toys. They inevitably end up scattered all over the house and I don’t know how best to deal with them.

  2. Nidhi says

    My biggest challenge would be organizing papers/bills/documents…..get confused with piles of paper all together ! Thanks

  3. says

    My biggest challenge is organizing fabric (yardage, bundles, charm packs, jelly roles, scraps), batting, patterns and sewing notions of all sorts. I need to be neat because this is also my guest room for when the kids come home.

  4. says

    My biggest challenge is also the office. Luckily – or unluckily, since nothing ever gets done – it’s in the back of the house, so we can dump paper there and ignore it. For years.

  5. says

    Oh my gosh. I love this post! I just got done organizing my pantry last night and still want to put some finishing touches on it. Those chalkboard labels would be perfect! I am in such an organizing frenzy right now. My whole house needs an overhaul. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

    Amber
    adctd2qultng@gmail.com

  6. Liz S says

    My biggest organizational issue is paperwork. Bills, kids’ schoolwork, home and tax items, and keeping hard copies of articles for my final doctorate project are difficult to keep organized and tidy. I love the vertical storage solutions!

  7. Lyndsay says

    My biggest problem area is our computer desk. Everyone leaves their paper, cups, cords, etc. etc. on our tiny desk that holds our computer so that later I have stacks and stacks to go through in order to determine what is necessary to keep and what is just junk.

  8. Nichole says

    Definitely paper management is my toughest obstacle. Like you said, there is just so much of it! Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Kelly D says

    My biggest challeng is organizing all the paperwork that comes into the house with my 2 children bringing home school papers as well as junk mail and bills coming into the house.

  10. says

    Paper organization is my biggest challenge! Bills, school papers, tax stuff….I tend to just pile it up and say “i’ll get to it later” later ends up a BIGGER pile! uggh Thanks for the chance!! Your office looks great and organized! xo

  11. Mary says

    My biggest challenge is definitely paper!! especially school paper! I have 2 of martha stewart pockets that you stick to a door or wall. would love the chalkboard labels. your office looks awesome. thanks for the chance to get organized.

  12. says

    My biggest challenge is the closet, actually. I pile things up in there (papers, cards, etc) because there’s room beneath the clothes and no one ever sees it! naughty!

  13. Melanie says

    I moved in 2 years ago, have 4 filing drawers and still haven’t organized a darn thing. I just open the drawer, stuff in the new paper and slam the drawer shut. It’s one big pile. This would be soooo helpful!

  14. Teresa Block says

    I’m not sure which is worse, the paper avalanche or the fabric melee. Both are in dire need of organization!!

  15. says

    Without a doubt, my biggest organizational challenge is my sewing room. I have put in at least five eight-hour days off moving things around and purging, but there’s still so much, and I want to able to label and find anything I need without taking time away from the project I’m working on.

  16. Rae R says

    My biggest challenge is paper. Ugh. I am totally organize chanllenged when it comes to paper. I love what you did with your office. It gave me some great ideas. Thanks!

  17. says

    My challenge is business/tax info. I add to it constantly and keeping it put away is a big pain for me. I loved the chalkboard labels. I could use those in every room! Thank you!

  18. Caedwin says

    So many organizational challenges, so little time! Biggest one is probably my office, following by our living room (library) (too many books!).

  19. says

    I have a couple challenges since I moved into a smaller apartment. My desk is always a mess, I have a corner in my bedroom that needs some more organizing and my sewing area right now is all over the place!

  20. susan leblang says

    OMG I have 4 computers in 3 rooms and three desks, HELP!! Two computers and one desk are upstairs in a room with my sewing machine, and laptop is downstairs on a small desk, and now that my husband is deceased I have his desk and computer also downstairs, so it depends where I am at any given moment.
    The sticky notes and papers are overwhelming, I seem to spend more time running from one desk to another to find what I need. At least the computers sometimes sync, so that helps. I desperately need help with the “paper” situation. Help Help…

  21. Lori says

    I am having a hard time organizing my cupboards in my laundry room. It seems that I keep putting things away in there that don’t really belong in the laundry room and when I go to look for them in the room I think they should be in, I find them in the laundry room. My organizational skills aren’t all that great

  22. Erin says

    Biggest organizing challenge is figuring out how to keep all of my craft supplies for both me and my kiddos organized so that we can get to them easily. I’m sure Martha could help! ;) Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. Sarina says

    One of my biggest challenges (cuz let’s be honest…there are MANY!) is my daughter’s stuff and creativity! I love that she is so dang creative but I hate that my kitchen table can disappear in 10 minutes and then stay that way for DAYS on end. She has run out of room for her creations but of course they are all “Super Special” and she can’t bear to part with them. Love reading your blog!

  24. Jennifer S says

    My biggest challenge is in organizing my scrapbooking stuff as well as my craft paints and glitters. I can’t seem to find a method that works for me.

  25. Lori Morton says

    Biggest challenge is PAPER! Arrrrgh! & my Husband saves it all….table is a catch-all for him! HELP!

    Thanks for chance to win your drawing!!! :)

  26. Misty says

    My biggest challenge is the kitchen area where the mail (paper clutter) and kids backpacks comes into my home. Thanks for the giveaway!!

  27. Dee says

    My biggest organizational issue is keeping the refrigerator orderly. It’s hard to do especially during the holidays when you’re storing more in it than usual!

  28. Leslie King says

    Looks fabulous! My office could use a little help also. I have a wall of built ins and it’s hard to get the necessary items corralled and looking good at the same time!

  29. Heidi L says

    my biggest challenge is office supplies. I can keep the paperwork in check, but I never seem to find a good home for the paper clips, scissors, envelopes, stamps, extra printer paper, etc.

  30. Karen Medlin says

    My biggest challenge is the craft area, now the tweens and teens like to do craft projects, it gets a bit cluttered with beads, ribbons, different rolls of tapes, scissors and the glue guns.

  31. april yedinak says

    My biggest organizing challenge is a lack of space and a tendency to hang onto stuff longer than necessary out of sentiment.

  32. sy says

    I have too many things laying flat, the hanging folders would help a lot. The chalkboard labels are so cute, it would look nice on the document boxes. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  33. Wild Orchid says

    My biggest challenge is the paper clutter, like bills and magazines.
    Thanks for the cool giveaway!

    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  34. says

    My biggest organizational challenge is my shed! I have way too much outdoorsy stuff and not enough room in my shed for it all. I mean it all FITS but I dare you to open the door without a helmet on! LOL

  35. Betty C says

    My biggest challenge is the paper that magically triples when I’m not looking. Seriously, I have a big problem with the accumulation of paper, especially the things that have my personal information and need shredding.

  36. BEth says

    Mine is the stuff that ends up in a junk drawer; little flash lights, measuring tapes, pens, stamps, lip glosses, picture hangers, wire, little felt things to go on furniture, on and on and on

  37. Lynn Francisco says

    My biggest organization snafu is all the bills, projects my 5 year old brings home, anrts and craft supplies- Paperwork for the new home we just bought- what a headache! I wouldnt trade it for anything but it would be amazing to get my life more organized, everyone in our home would benefit- I have so many ideas for projects to complete.. My abition far exceeds my talent until I get myself organized!

  38. Jamie Honley says

    my biggest problem is I organize something then I see something better and can’t decide which to do so it get left not organized, then everything starts backing up and then I become so overwelmed that I forgot what I was going to organize..bet your confused now huh?? LOL thanks for the ideas on your websight I just found you and love your sight already.

    Jamie

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