Stash your stationery and organise your paperwork the stylish way
Creating a dedicated office space in your home is often tricky unless you have a spare room in which to get organised, but regardless of whether your space is large or small, organisation is key and that’s where the best home office storage ideas come in handy. So take a look at our top tips to get you started.
Open shelves are a good place to start as they provide easy access to all your bits and bobs, but the important thing is to keep them free of clutter, not just to allow you to find things easily, but also because they are on display for everyone to see. Wire racks and baskets are a good alternative above a desk and add a utilitarian feel, or try a notice board on which you can pin important notes and papers. These are fairly quick and easy to make yourself with a picture frame and some fabric.
Get to work on that box room with help from our home office ideas
Boxes and letter files are useful additions on your desktop to store items you use frequently, but to stop them looking too business-like, cover them with your favourite wrapping paper, wallpaper or fabric to create a cohesive theme. A storage ottoman or trunk is the perfect place to store your paperwork, but invest in hanging files or separate folders to keep everything separate.
If you have the space, invest in purpose-built office storage, such as a dedicated filing cabinet or chest of drawers to keep all your paperwork organised. There are lots of versions around these days that would fit perfectly into a contemporary home office scheme. Try Ikea or John Lewis for a range of affordable options.
1. Mount a peg board
You could buy an off the shelf board, or have a go at making your own, as we’ve done here. All we used was a piece of MDF cut to size and a drill with a 15mm bit. A two tone paint job, achieved with tester pots completes the job. Cut pieces of dowelling to use to hang washi tape, scissors and other stationery.
2. Upcycle an old filing cabinet
You can pick up old filing cabinets in junk shops and flea markets relatively cheaply. A lick of paint and labels or stencils can then turn them into something beautiful. Or you could check out Maisons du Monde, who sell vintage-style designs that achieve a similar look.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Lazare distressed semainier chest, £659, Maisons du Monde
3. Use garden-centre buys inside
This trellis makes a brilliant noticeboard, even though its intended purpose was to support plants. The pots you attach can be used to contain plants that will stimulate creativity. Or they can be handy containers for pens, art materials – even your phone.
4. Panel a wall in cork
Turn your wall into one big pin board with cork tiles. Important paperwork and bills then needn’t pile up on the desk or lie forgotten in a tray, as you can pin it in plain sight, ready to be dealt with. You can pick up cork tiles for a few pounds in most DIY stores, so it’s an inexpensive solution, too.
5. Choose shelves in interesting shapes
Jazz up an uninspiring working environment with interesting structures. These hexagonal storage units are not only practical, but have a cool retro look thanks to their geometric shape. Wallpaper the backs of the shelves in complementary tones to complete the stylish Scandi scheme and sunny walls.
6. Go long
Wall-to-wall shelving is the dream when it comes to a home office, offering oodles of storage. It does have a tendency to look messy if not styled properly, however. To avoid this, keep to a strict colour palette – in this case monochrome – and use boxes and box files to contain clutter.
7. Go pro with matching furniture
Coordinating pieces like this desk and bookcase say ‘executive’, as well as offering plentiful storage. The trick here is not to put your desk against the wall. Instead, place it in the middle of the room and voila – you’ve made space for a bookcase. For a pop of colour (and fun) choose a large-scale rug with a quirky print.
8. Be practical with industrial storage
This look is surprisingly timeless and will put you in the mood for work. It’s also ideal if you’re not sure how much storage you need, as you can build it up over time – the more mismatched, the better! Stack trunks to store larger items and store stationery in wall-mounted wire baskets so you won’t have to rummage for it in drawers.
9. Buy a Bisley
As iconic as an Eames chair or a Smeg fridge, the Bisley is the ultimate filing cabinet. It comes in a smorgasbord of colours and sizes, so there is honesty one for every office.
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Here, a tall orange chest lights up this otherwise moody deep-green room – its strong shade is also picked out in the rug to unify the look. Alternatively, pick one just tall enough to slide into the often underused space beneath your desk.