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50 Office Storage and Organizational Hacks Using Everyday Items (Plus Blueprint Storage System Upgrades!)

blueprint storage rack

Guess what’s the number one, hot real estate trend? And it’s not housing.

Yep, that’s right. Offsite storage.

So much so that, according to a New York Times article, 1 out of every 10 Americans rents offsite storage, making it the fastest growing segment in commercial real estate for the last 40 years.[1]

But just how much storage space is there? 

Surprisingly, more than the total number of Starbucks…by five times. Which is a lot since there’s practically a Starbucks on every block by now.

Actually, the rough estimate comes out to a little over 50,000 storage facilities.[2]

When it comes down to it, do we really need that much stuff? 

Probably not.

In fact, according to Anthony P. Graesch, Connecticut College assistant professor of anthropology, we’re not doing this on purpose.

He states in a New York Times interview that nowadays extended families live farther away from one another, which means you’re probably not seeing Grandma every other day.

So, for the holidays and occasional meetups, guess what you and your family are going to do to make up for that lost time? Toys for the kids, new microwave for you and your spouse—in other words, give gifts, which amount to stuff.[3]

(And, because you see your relatives few and far between, it will be more painful to throw these things away. Learn about why it’s painful to throw stuff away in The Power of The Organized Workspace (And How Blueprint Storage Systems Helps).)

Plus, Graesch discusses that when we go grocery shopping, we tend to buy bulk goods. Why? Because it beats making one or two more trips.[4]

However, we end up forgetting what we bought. We may remember we got trash bags, but we forget we purchased 500 of them and have stored the extra in the closet.

So, when the trash bags under the sink are gone, what do we do? We buy more trash bags, and the cycle continues.

Chances are, you have some excess stuff at home that could be put to good use. And you can always make your workspace more efficient, so why not combine the two?

Your excess bulk can actually have a purpose other than taking up closet space. And your productivity will increase at work because you’re more organized. It’s a win-win.

(To learn why you’re more productive when your workspace is tidy, read Science Explains Why You Need a Blueprint Storage Rack.)

Check out our 50 office organizational and storage hacks, where we take over 35 everyday items, and transform them into functional office equipment.

And no, we are not talking about using an empty coffee mug as your pencil holder.

blueprint storage system

Image Credit: 1.) Huffington Post 2.) Apartment Therapy 3.) Mason Love 4.) Mason Love 5.) Better Homes & Gardens 6.) Bre Purposed 7.) Instructables 8.) My Sweet Savannah 9.) Den Garden 10.) Remodel Aholic 11.) HGTV 12.) Balma Gil 13.) Big Blueprint Hanger 14.) HGTV 15.) HGTV 16.) BuzzNick 17.) Buzzooks 18.) HGTV 19.) Ivy In The Bay 20.) The Organised Housewife 21.) HGTV 22.) Imgur 23.) Langton Designs 24.) BuzzFeed 25.) label me Merritt

1. Shoe Organizer Can Hold More Than Shoes

Hang an empty shoe organizer on a closet door in your office. Or, if you don’t have a closet, use the wall. To free up space, use the pockets to store excess office supplies such as pens, pencils, paper clips, and rubber bands.[5]

Blueprint Storage System Organizational Upgrade: SR6 Workstation Rack

Consider this blueprint storage system item for holding larger items like oversized folders, documents, and, as the name suggests, blueprints. Besides the door and wall, you can also hang the SR6 Workstation Rack on your cubicle, which makes it a great option if you have a door-less workspace.

2. Dishrack File Holder

Instead of wet dishes, place file folders, loose documents, and pamphlets in your dishrack, and set it on your desk. You can always spray paint the rack a different color to better fit your office’s style.[6]

3. Mason Jars Screwed Under the Desk

Empty and wash a couple mason jars. Using a drill, screw the mason jar lids to the bottom of your desk. Store erasers, notepads, and staples in the mason jars screwing them on their respective lids.[7]

4. Mason Jars on the Side of the Desk

You don’t have to store your office supplies underneath your desk; try the side!

5. Cutlery Tray on Wall 

Have an old cutlery tray you don’t use? Secure it to your office wall. Drill some hooks in the vertical slots. Now you have storage to hang the office and breakroom keys. Not to mention, your own keys, phone, and wallet.[8]

6. Lattice Bulletin Board

Secure a slab of lattice onto your office wall. (You can first paint it to match the office vibe.) Now you have a spot to post memos, that photo from last year’s holiday party, announcements, and the Tuesday lunch in reminder. All you have to do is attach them with some binder clips.[9]

7. Lego Pot for Your Office Plant

So, you have a pile of Legos thrown aside now that your kids have outgrown them. Grab some of those Legos, and make a Lego pot holder. You may want to put the Lego pot on a saucer for water draining purposes.

8. Wire Kitchen Racks for Incoming and Outgoing Mail

Pin those to the wall. Add a sign on each, one for incoming mail; the other for outgoing mail. Now, it’s easy for co-workers and clients to drop off important documents. You can always secure these to the front of your office door to minimize work disruption.[10]

9. Cabinet Drawers Become Office Shelves

If you’re throwing out an armoire, don’t discard the shelves. In fact, drill them into your office wall for some new and improved office shelves. (Feel free to paint them before installing them.) They can now hold those policy and protocol binders, not to mention office manuals you’ve crammed in the bottom of your closet.[11]

Blueprint Storage System Organizational Upgrade: Shelf Conversion Rack

Why not check out the Shelf Conversion Rack? Especially if you have some extra space in a file rack, shelf, cabinet, you name it. That way, you have hanging space for the documents that are piling on your desk as we speak.

10. Add Coasters on Cabinet Drawers

Stick some coasters on an unused cabinet drawer, and wheel it under your desk. There; space for your extension cord or even your printer, depending on the size of the drawer.[12]

11. Binder Clips to Hold Up Charging Cords

One of the simplest office hacks. Attach some binder clips to the side of your desk. Place charging cords between the metal loop. And you’re set![13]

12. All Out of Mints? Don’t Throw Away That Container

Use a mint container for small office supplies such as paper clips. (Tic-Tac mint cases work the best for this.)

13. Tape Vinyl Jackets to Your Office Door

Tape a Vinyl Jacket to your office door to store documents that need a second look before being sent out. You could also tape two Vinyl Jackets for incoming and outgoing mail if you’re not into the wire kitchen racks idea we mentioned earlier.

14. Mason Jars Become Office Supply Holders

Yes, we’re mentioning mason jars again—they’re that adjustable. Glue five mason jars together, with three jars in one row and two in the other. Once the glue has dried, set them on your desk. Place pencils, pens, sticky notes, and paper clips in them.[14]

15. Leftover Cookie Tins

You cleared your closet and found some leftover cookie tins from the holidays. Dust them off, stick a label on them, and voila: storage for labels, business cards, and work receipts.[15]

16. Soda Boxes Now Store Work Snacks

Most people stash some work snacks in their desk: trail mix, crackers, pretzels… However, your conventional office divider is too small to hold these snacks. Which means they’re clumped with the rest of your awkward-sized office items (i.e. stress ball, extra coffee mug…). Now you can organize these snacks by fitting them into an empty soda box. (Feel free to wrap the soda box in wrapping paper to hide the soda packaging.)[16]

17. DIY Holder for Dry Erase Markers 

Yes, your soup can hold more than just soup. Tear off the paper from an empty soup can. (You can spray paint the can for an added aesthetic effect.) Glue some magnets on the side of the can, and it should stick to your magnetized dry erase board. Now, you have storage for your dry erase markers.

18. Tuna Cans as Office Supply Dividers

Clean the tuna cans and tear off the paper. Fill the cans with small office supplies such as erasers, paper clips, staples, and tape. Stash in a desk drawer.[17]

19. Coat of Paint + Old Shutter = Document Holder

Paint an old shutter, and secure it on the wall. You can now drop incoming and outgoing mail in the slots. Or use it as a file organizer by marking each slot with a designated letter.[18]

Blueprint Storage System Organizational Upgrade: Wall Mounted Rack

Try the Wall Mounted Rack. It can hold 2 aluminum (and 3 poly) hangers per inch, and you still have room to thumb through the documents. As the name suggests, mount it on the wall for accessible vertical storage. You can also add a second tier to free up even more office space.

20. Magazine Holder Under the Desk

Drill magazine holders under your desk. They’re great to store folders you rarely use but still occasionally need. Now, you’ve freed up desk space for more frequently used binders and reading materials.

21. Muffin Tin Office Supply Divider

Stash an unused muffin tin in your desk drawer as a cheap alternative to traditional desk dividers. It’s great for small office supplies—bulletin board pins, magnets, erasers…[19]

22. Magnets for Your Keys, Scissors, and Stapler

Simple. Secure some magnets underneath your desk. There you go, a spot to hang your keys, scissors, stapler, and any other magnetic office supply.[20]

23. Place a Bread Tag on Your Tape

Having trouble ripping a piece of tape? Secure the end of the tape with a bread tag, which will make it easier to rip.[21]

24. Bring the 80s into Your Workspace

Use a cassette case as a cell phone or business card holder.[22]

25. Spice Rack Office Supply Holder

Place those tuna cans we mentioned earlier in a spice rack for a DIY office supply holder. If you’re not a fan of the cans, traditional pencil holders will do.

Want a pen? You can spin the rack instead of wasting minutes sifting through erasers, pencils, sharpies, everything else other than a pen.

blueprint storage system

Image Credit: 26.) BuzzFeed 27.) Two Twenty One 28.) The Merry Thought 29.) Make And Bake 30.) decor8 31.) Mountain Modern Life 32.) A Beautiful Mess 33.) Pinterest 34.) Simple Play Ideas 35.) Dream A Little Bigger 36.) Numisology 37.) Hello Innovation 38.) Martha Stewart 39.) Painting Rocks 40.) Crafting A Green World 41.) One Good Thing By Jillee 42.) Good Housekeeping 43.) Popsugar 44.) HGTV 45.) Popsugar 46.) Google 47.) Landeelu 48.) Lifehacker 49.) Big Blueprint Hanger 50.) Sheila Zeller Interiors

26. That Basket That Used to Store Toys is Still Useful

Attach it under your desk. Instead of Legos, Barbie dolls, and toy trucks, it now holds your extension cord, charger, and printer cords.[23]

27. Plexiglas as a Whiteboard Alternative

Nail a slab of Plexiglas onto a board for an alternative version of the whiteboard. Not digging this? Take an unused picture frame, glass still intact, and voila: your quick-and-easy DIY whiteboard, great for writing down your daily to-do list.[24]

28. Broom Head Desk Holder 

Cut off the end of a broom. Clean the bristles, and stick some pencils and pens in it. Your desk holder is complete.[25]

29. Colored Clothespins to Flag Important Items

Paint clothespins a bright color that’ll clearly signal “important status.” Pin them on important documents that need to be looked at right away.

30. Clipboard Organizational Wall

Mount several clipboards on the wall. Attach documents to each clipboard that must be looked at. That way, you ensure that work is tackled today, not buried underneath a paper stack.[26]

31. When you have an old pipe

Mount that old pipe you were about to chuck on the curbside to your wall. Attach small buckets to rings, and hang them up. These buckets can hold anything, from office supplies to extra Tupperware.[27]

32. DIY Corked Bulletin Board

Put your wine cork collection to use. Glue the wine corks together, and then glue the corked edges to a frame. Mount the frame to the office wall. Stick some pins in—your new DIY bulletin board.

33. Candle Holders for Your Doo-Dads 

Place your doo-dads in empty candle holders on your desk. These may be concert tickets you’re not ready to part with. Or a rock your kid gave you a couple years ago. Whatever they are, they now have a home.

34. Lego Pen Holder

Use those Legos again to build a pen holder.

35. Clothespin Memo Holder

Glue one end of the clothespin to a slab of wood for a DIY memo holder. Make sure you only glue one end; gluing two wouldn’t allow the clothespin to hold the memo.

36. Thin Drawer Paper Holder

Throwing away a tool organizer? Keep one of the thin drawers, and use it as a paper holder.

37. Lego Figures Can Hold Your Keys and Cords

Attach the Lego and Lego figure to the side of the desk. The figure’s hands can hold your keys and cords. Use as many Lego figures as needed.[28]

38. Envelopes on Bulletin Board

Need a place to stick documents that are smaller than the standard 8.5 by 11 inch? Stick them in envelopes and pin them on your bulletin board. That way, they aren’t buried underneath a stack. And you can deal with them head on.

Blueprint Storage System Organizational Upgrade: 1 Tier Blueprint Storage Rack

Look into the 1 tier blueprint storage rack to reduce your towering stack of documents. The reason this is a great blueprint storage system is that you can hang up any size document—bigger and smaller than the typical 8.5 by 11-inch size.

39. Rocks Make Great Paper Weights

Your child’s pet rock can now be put to good use. Use a rock or heavy-ish weight to keep papers from flying away.

40. Magnetize Anything for a Personalized Effect

Need more magnets but want a more personalized look? Attach magnet strips onto sentimental items that have no use but are too painful to throw away. That way, the sentimental item is being put to good use, and your brain doesn’t have to suffer the pain in discarding a personable belonging.

For reasons why your brain associates tossing out items with pain, go here.

41. Ice Cube Tray Can Be Your New Small Office Supplies Holder

Those pins, staples, small sticky notes now can have a home. Stow them away in an ice cube tray.[29]

42. Medicine Pill Organizer Comes in Handy

If that doesn’t work for you, consider using a medicine pill organizer.

43. Keep Those Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet paper rolls are great for keeping tanging cords together. Wrap the cord in a tight-ish loop, and slide a roll over it.[30]

44. Hang Office Cleaning Supplies Using a Curtain Rod

Install a thin curtain rod in your office closet. Then hang the office cleaning supplies on the rod. Doing this makes the most of your vertical space while freeing up storage room below for heavier items.[31]

45. Plastic Bottle Charging Station

Yes, a plastic bottle can be your charging station for your phone.

To make this, cut the bottle horizontally, leaving about three inches of space. Once you reach that three-inch mark, cut vertically for about two inches. Do the same to the other side. Cut the bottom third of the bottle as well as the 2 by 3 -inch plastic section from the rest of the bottle.

Then cut a 1 by 1 inch square in the plastic section. That’s to go around the charger and outlet while the bottom of the plastic bottle holds your phone.

Spray paint the plastic bottle if you’d like.[32]

46. Wide Cup, Removable Adhesive Method

If you don’t want to go through all that work creating a charging station, do this. Get a short, wide cup that your phone fits in. Attach some removable mounting putty (or whatever adhesive you’d like, as long as it doesn’t damage the wall) to the cup. Stick the adhesive cup to one of the lower sides of the outlet.

47. Color Coordinate Cords

Color coordinate the different cords by attaching a different color tape around each one. You can go one more step by labeling what cord goes to what.[33]

48. Bread Tags for Cords

You can use bread colored bread tags for this too.[34]

49. Vinyl Jacket in Go-To Binder

Let’s say you’re suddenly called into an impromptu meeting. Or a client needs you on site immediately. Plan for these unexpected changes by having a Vinyl Jacket with your needed office supplies in your go-to binder. (By go-to binder we mean the binder with everything in it that you would need for an emergency call.)

50. Door Knob Coat Hanger

Don’t take up space with a traditional coat hanger. Drill a door knob into the wall for your coat and/or scarf.

That’s not all…

While compiling these office storage and organizational hacks for you, we came across some honorable mentions.

(Most of these are office hacks that don’t have to do with organization and storage, but are still useful.)

Honorable Mentions

-Place your coffee cup on a charger to keep it warm.[35]

-Or stuff your burrito in an empty mug while you’re going through emails.[36]

-Stick a wet sponge in a plastic bag and place in the freezer. And you now have an icepack for your lunch.[37]

-Stick your phone in an empty mug for a cheap-and-easy speaker.[38]

-Stick some Silica gel packets in your drawers to prevent damage caused by moisture.[39]

-Have an AAA battery become an AA by stuffing a small ball of foil in the empty space.[40]

Want more storage hacks? How about that blueprint storage system? Contact us!


Feature Image Credit via Tim Grouw


[1] New York Times: The Self-Storage Self

[2] becomingminimalist: 21 Surprising Statistics That Reveal How Much Stuff We Actually Own

[3] New York Times: The Way We Live: Drowning in Stuff

[4] New York Times: The Way We Live: Drowning in Stuff

[5] Huffington Post

[6] Apartment Therapy

[7] Your Modern Family

[8] Better Homes & Gardens

[9] Bre Purposed

[10] My Sweet Savannah

[11] Den Garden

[12] Remodel Aholic

[13] HGTV

[14] HGTV

[15] HGTV

[16] BuzzNick

[17] HGTV

[18] Ivy In The Bay

[19] Better Homes & Gardens

[20] BuzzFeed

[21] Langton Designs

[22] BuzzFeed

[23] BuzzFeed

[24] Two Twenty One

[25] The Merry Thought

[26] decor8

[27] Mountain Modern Life

[28] Hello Innovation

[29] One Good Thing By Jillee

[30] Popsugar

[31] HGTV

[32] Popsugar

[33] Landeelu

[34] Lifehacker

[35] Hello Innovation

[36] Mashable

[37] BuzzFeed

[38] Huffington Post

[39] OfficeDesk

[40] Hello Innovation