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Chic, Organized Home Office for Under $100

Clear the clutter and create a beautiful and uber-organized desk area on a budget.

Holly Mathis, hollymathisinteriors.com

Materials Needed:

  • assorted magazine and lidded storage boxes
  • paintbrush
  • paint or wallpaper
  • photo frames
  • trash bins (for sorting)

Before: A Cluttered Catchall

Like most desks, this area had become a place where items simply piled up making it useless as a home office.

Clean Out and Organize

Remove everything from the messy area and sort items into three bins: donate, store and trash. This is a great time to purge things you've collected but no longer need or use. A good rule of thumb: If you can't remember the last time you used it (or have forgotten you even owned it) it's time to let it go.

Make a Plan

Once shelves are completely empty, decide how you want the space to function and appear.

Add Interest With Color

Paint and wallpaper (just a small amount will work) are two inexpensive options for spicing up a bland bookcase. To save money, use paint you already have on hand (mix a dark color with primer for a toned-down version) or purchase a sample size container. Other stylish options: sheet music, fabric, gift wrap or natural cork. Tip: Because this is such a small area, consider using a bold pattern or saturated color here.

Shop for Storage

The bulk of the budget will be spent on storage containers. Shop discount stores for magazine holders, lidded boxes in assorted sizes, expandable file folders and other containers to hold the items you wish to store. Simple designs and classic colors are best. Try to pick just one color for a clean, unified look.

Create Labels

If your purchased containers come with a label, use this as a template when printing computer-generated font onto patterned scrapbook paper or make your own handwritten versions.

Fill Containers

Place like items together in labeled boxes, then stack and position the filled boxes on shelves till you're happy with the arrangement. Keep items you'll need to access most often within easy reach.

Add Personal Touches

Add color and personality to your new home office with assorted vintage containers, such as old baskets and glass jars. Fill frames with a favorite poem or saying, sheet music or bit of fabric. A linen pinboard is the perfect place to display meaningful notes, cards and inspiration, while a clear jar holds bits of ribbon ready for use.

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