July 16, 2015

Taming of the Office Supplies

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

I'm addicted to office supplies.

Sales on composition notebooks, mechanical pencils, and highlighters make my heart race. And don't even get me started on sticky notes. I look forward to Back to School sales almost more than Christmas. Spiral notebooks are only 10/$1? Gotta get more despite the leaning tower I've already got stashed in the closet.

As a result of my obsession (one of many), we've acquired more than our fair share of office supplies. Before my hyper-organizational self tackled the sorting of said items, they were scattered from one end of the house to the other - stashed in boxes, grocery bags, and even hidden under the bed. When I started a new project and couldn't find the glue sticks, I would gleefully run to the store and return with not only glue sticks, but three packages of crayons, eight mini composition notebooks, and an Almond Joy.

A girl has to have her chocolate, after all.

The resulting accumulation was overwhelming, at best. Until I determined to do something about it.

On one of my oh, so frequent trips down the container aisle at Walmart, I discovered these clear plastic organizers with drawers of different sizes. In my cart they went and I eagerly set about sorting my treasured supplies.
Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

 I adore how you can disassemble these things and reassemble them according to your needs. This particular stack is two drawer sets combined to accommodate the tall and narrow space in our office closet. The four large drawers are on the bottom and the six smaller drawers are on top.

Every office supply in our entire house got sorted into piles on my office floor, then assigned a place in one of the drawers. Or elsewhere. Let's be serious - my notebook stash is far too large to fit in a single drawer.

I did discover I have a thing for wooden pencils even though I hate writing with them. They took up an entire drawer. On the plus side, I never have to buy pencils for my kids to take to school. Unless their school supply list is so particular they even indicate the brand of pencils you have to buy. Not that I'm dealing with that right now. No, of course not (grumble, grumble...).

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com
Pencils make for awesome replacements for candy for school treats. Yes, they surely do...
 I grouped mechanical pencils, erasers, and sharpeners in a single drawer. No, I don't think I have enough pencils yet. Do you see the lack of purple, people?

These baskets fit perfectly into the drawers, almost like that's what they were made for. Although, since both the drawers and baskets are Sterilite brand, that's probably exactly the case. I do love my Sterilite.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

Pens. In every color. Although, in my opinion, Bic pens are the ones to rule them all. The blue ones especially. They've never let me down.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

Another divided drawer. Colored pencils, highlighters, and permanent markers. In every color, of course. Who knows when you absolutely need to write with an orange permanent marker? It would be sacrilege to be without, right?

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

My marker drawer isn't as full as it could be and probably could accommodate dividers, but this is a drawer my children frequently use. I pull it out and set it on the table so they can grab what they want. When they're done, the drawer goes right back. Minus a couple of markers suddenly missing lids.

I swear, the marker lids and missing socks are partying with dust bunnies in a dark corner of the basement. That's the only reasonable explanation.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

Crayons get the same treatment as markers. I'm a Crayola snob, so I'm not sure how those other inferior crayons made it into our home. But, since I'm a kindhearted soul, and because my kids don't know the difference, I let them stay. Aren't I nice?

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

Here, I'm grouping like items together. This is a fasteners drawer - stapler, staples, rubber bands, and glue. If you'll notice, not everything is nice and orderly. I honestly don't care. It's contained and in the right drawer. If I'm looking for that darn stapler, I know exactly where to find it. That's good enough for me.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

This drawer makes me laugh. It's a drawer dedicated to binder clips and tape, but there is no rhyme or reason to how anything got tossed in. The only thing I made sure to do was to bag the binder clips so they weren't unnecessarily mingling with the exposed packing tape.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

Cutting and punching tools are stored in this drawer. Along with a few rulers. Because this drawer is low and within my kids' reach, it only contains safety scissors. The big people scissors have homes where we use them - on my writing desk, in my crafting corner, in the kitchen. The kidlets have their own, so they don't need to be touching mine and leaving them on my dresser so I have to go searching when I need a sharp pair of scissors.

I'll leave that to my husband to do. After all, isn't that husbands are for?

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

Mini clipboards and index cards.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

And finally, filler paper.

A lot of filler paper.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

On a shelf above the drawers, I keep binders and some of our spiral notebooks. The rest of my infamous notebook stash is in my writing nook within easy reach of my chair for those story ideas that pop up in the middle of an intense social media session.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

Another great organizational tool is magazine holders. These ones hold my labels, cardstock, and specialty papers. Printer paper is kept in the box it came in on the floor next to the printer stand.

We go through a lot of paper around here.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

And, of course, my desk. These cute little bins are from the dollar store and are the perfect size to keep mini composition notebooks, sticky notes, and charging cords. I also keep a roll of stamps (now empty) here for those last-minute birthday cards that need to be sent yesterday.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

Let's not forget the mandatory pencil cup on each and every desk in our house. Because the majority of my writing utensils are safely ensconced in my lovely drawers, my pencil cups are no longer jammed full and overflowing. I keep only what I need to function, refilling as necessary.

Taming of the Office Supplies - www.lysandrajames.com

So, as you can see, I've got my addiction under control. Every bit of office-related stuff is sorted, organized, and labeled so I no longer have to buy yet another roll of tape because I can't find the other six I have somewhere. I now know I have enough pens and pencils to last me until the next millennium. And we own every color crayon available on the market.

No need to hit those amazingly wonderful Back-to-School sales this year.

Nope. No need at all.

None.

Not even for poly three-prong two-pocket folders in six different colors...

Or dry erase markers with extra-fine tips...

Or...

Or...

Gotta go.

Where's my purse again?

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