The first week back to school always makes me want to buy my own school supplies just like I did as a kid. So, this week I’m featuring a quick organizing project to satisfy school supply nostalgia and give you new energy for work: office supply organizing! Best of all, you can use those cute bowls and jars you already have around the house to get started.

Here’s how to begin:

Step 1: Hone

First, sort your office supplies like with like:  all the pens together, all the high-lighters, all the paper clips, etc. These have a way of getting mixed up, don’t they?

Step 2: Eliminate

Second, toss the supplies that are no longer useful to you, or those that are dried out, or not working. Make sure to try out all those pens! Am I the only one who has a tendency to use a pen that doesn’t work, and actually put it back?

Step 3: Assign

After that, designate a home for your office supplies. Think about which supplies you use the most often, and put those close to where you use them. Which drawer or shelf will work the best? What would you like to have out on your desk for easy access? Is there a location for those sharp items that will ensure that your child can’t access them? Now’s also the time to pull out the mystery items stuck behind your drawer that keeps it from closing all the way. (I speak from experience!)

Step 4: Re-purpose

Next, re-purpose! Who says you need to use a special office supply organizer; you don’t! When I looked around my house and found bowls and mason jars that worked perfectly! In their other life I used them for ice-cream, so I’d say this is a beneficial upgrade.

Jars help my supplies stay in categories and make it convenient to take them out of the drawer without having to lug out an entire office organizer. They are also cute enough to display on my desk top if I’d like. How great are these re-purposed finds?!

jars used to organize office supplies

bowls used to organize office supplies

Step 5: Transition

Finally, label the organized supplies, and show your family where they go, so your supplies stay organized going forward! Lay down the law, those pretty pens are worth it.

P.S. I LOVE my Brother P-Touch label maker. You can also use Washi-Tape to make your own labels, too. Read this post to learn other creative ways to label from I Heart Organizing. 

Ooooh, doesn’t that look pretty!? Now that you’re done, take a photo and tag me @organizedbyheart on Instagram. You deserve a bouquet of sharpened pencils, my friend!

I hope your back to school season is off to a great start! If you want to learn more ways to organize your office, check out my post, “Step-By-Step Office Organizing.”

organized desk and office supplies

With Heart,


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