I’m excited to share with you how I organize my home office shelves. These shelves show up in the background of most of my videos, so I get a lot of questions about them. I think this should answer a lot of the questions. If you'd like to watch my video on this, click below:
Organizing a home office can be tricky, because there are usually a lot of things we need to store in an office. It can also be a bit of a catch all for other things that don’t really have a home (like gift wrapping, crafts, books, tech stuff, etc.).
My office is no exception. It’s where I run my home business, do crafts and take care of some household paperwork. We often have more than one person working in my office. My business manager comes 2-3 days a week to work with me. We also have someone coming to take photographs or someone coming to shoot video, so a lot happens in here. The office stores my computers, craft supplies, planners, accessories, photo equipment & props, and so much more.
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I wanted my shelves to be both functional, but also pretty since they are also my video backdrop. I’m definitely not a decorator, but I’m super happy with how they turned out.
First, I started with the Liatorp bookshelves from Ikea. I put two right next to each other, and I bolted them to the wall. They are a bit more expensive than some of the other Ikea bookshelf options (such as the Billy), but they are so beautiful that I think it was worth the splurge. They have the textured backing and the nice molding at the top. They are also taller than a lot of shelves, and it is very sturdy. I don’t have to worry about putting too much weight on it or having the shelves sag.
Next, I use 3 different types of containers or bins to store the items. I think it looks best to have no more than 2-3 different types of containers on one shelf. It starts to look a little more chaotic when you get too much going on. Also, notice that I put the I mostly grouped like bins together.
The first type of container I use is the Ikea Kuggis bins. I love them because they are the perfect size for office items, and they stack so perfectly. You can stack two of the smaller bins on top of the larger ones. The larger size is perfect for paper, and the smaller ones hold all those little accessories. I also like that they are opaque which makes everything look neater plus it makes the labels really stand out.
I’ve labeled the bins with pink vinyl cut with my Silhouette machine (that I absolutely LOVE) – and I have to tell you a really funny story about the labels. Each label has one main word and then more details of what is in the bin below that. Because I used the smaller, tighter font, I can really put a lot on each label. I opt to be really detailed with my labels so there’s no guessing what’s inside. Also, when I want to find something really specific (like binder rings, for example), I don’t want to have to guess how I categorized them. A generic label (such as “Office supplies”) is a lot less helpful.
I also like that cutting the labels is something my kids (ages 5 and 6) love to help with. They love watching the machine cut, and my daughter helps rub the labels on.
Also, the bins you see without labels are empty. I think it’s important to have extra space when you’re organizing. It gives you room to grow. You don’t have to fill each space.
Now for the funny story. A few months after we moved, I was looking for the label holders that go on my Elfa cart drawers. I knew I had several, but I couldn’t find them. I spotted a bin in my closet labeled “Elfa accessories,” but it didn’t include the label holders – it had other types of Elfa accessories. Some time later after I had purchased some new label holders, I noticed ANOTHER bin on my shelf labeled “Elfa accessories”!!!! Sure enough, it had those label holders. I didn’t realize I had two bins of Elfa accessories. So, I suppose it is possible to be TOO organized!
Next, I use our I Heart Planners keepsake boxes for storage. They double as decoration and storage. The boxes come with each Sweet Life Planner or you can purchase just the boxes by themselves. I use them to store all my planner inserts and accessories (like the blank pages to print on, the notes pack, the meal planning pack, the dot grid pack, sticker packs, etc). They’re obviously the perfect size for that. I plan to place a small label on the side of the boxes, so it’s discreet but I'll still know what’s inside.
Next, I used my all-time favorite organizing bin – the multi purpose bin from the Container Store. I’ve talked about this plenty, but I use it everywhere in my home, and my office is no exception. They come in four sizes, and they are the perfect size for notebooks, paper, Avery labels, file folders, etc.
The very biggest size is the XL, and it is actually a bit deeper than the others so that it can hold regular hanging file folders. It’s also the perfect size for storing the clear poly envelopes that I use. On the shelf I turn it sideways so that it lines up with the others. (Yes, I’m one of those crazy people that needs everything lined up!)
I use it to store all our clipboards (which are mainly used as props when take photos of our printables). Then I have another that stores all our filled out printables – again, for photos. I have them organized by monthly pack (since we add a new pack to the Sweet Life Society each month) or by month the printable was added to the Society. It takes a long time to fill out the printables, so that’s why I save them. Sometimes we end up photographing them again later. I used Avery tabs to label them.
Next up I added a little decor to my shelves. Now, I’m far from an interior decorator – like really far from it. However, I did want the shelves to look fun and inviting. Plus, I think having every inch covered in storage can make them feel heavy and almost cluttered. The decor gives it a bit of breathing room. I used a hashtag and ampersand that I found at Target a while back. I also found some fake plants at Ikea. I love having a bit of greenery in the office – even if it is fake.
I also used some of my favorite books as a bit of decor, so it’s both functional and pretty. I almost exclusively read ebooks or audiobooks, so I have very few books to take up space on my shelf.
So there you have it. I hope that answers all your questions about my shelves. If there’s anything else you want to know, shoot me a DM on Instagram.