Organizing on a budget? Shop back-to-school supplies now!

I believe getting organized is a frame of mind. I also believe staying organized is a lifestyle choice. Take for example this inspiration office space image recently shared during a tweet chat at #Designwrite - It looks like it's magazine photo ready everyday - LOVE it!!

This space did a beautiful job utilizing a combination of stylish magazine boxes, added texture with baskets and gave orderly visibility to fabric samples using wire baskets.

Many companies today supply all kinds of pretty papers, printed boxes and handy gadgets to help you get and stay organized, and it could add up to a pretty penny. But if you plan ahead for the things you need vs. want, you can often stay focused, get organized and not break the bank. And with the upcoming "Back To School" (BTS) season already stocked up in stores, now is a GREAT time to stock up and save on some of those basics.

These decorative boxes are great looking and a wonderful way to add a pop of color to your shelves...  but each one is $7.99 - $9.99.

So one small shelf section could run nearly $80 - $100.

Those basic BTS supplies you can stock up & save on for your home office or small business can range from value packs of pens, pencils and highlighters, to purse size spiral notebooks for your lists, card stock for presentations, and binders for all those inspirational magazine clippings Nothing fancy - but simple items to help will help keep you organized. One of my fave items to pick up in multiples are the 7 pocket - to 13 pocket accordion file folders.

Big Lots basics can help keep you organized without breaking the bank.

And so can Ikea. Although you have to build them, it's still worth the savings because  Ikea has packages of 2 storage boxes from $5.99 to $7.99 and even a 4 pk. of printed magazine boxes for $2.99. I think I've even seen online (on a blog) where people have stenciled a pattern onto plain white Ikea storage boxes - and it looks GREAT!

Although I have some storage boxes, I'm a folder girl. I've used the accordion folders not only to help keep client projects organized, but I also used it to help keep us organized when we bought this place back in 2006. It's a great way to carry an "all-in-one" office with tabs set by sources, by rooms, or even by items of you're doing a entire house. I had tabs for: lighting, area rugs, paint samples, and floor plans - one for room measurements and one for furniture arrangements - plus the last tab in the back was for inspirational clippings for the house. The one I had also had a smaller front pouch which was a great place to keep frequently used business cards or a post-it note pad handy. And right now for BTS, you can pick these up from $1 to $3.

A simple item such as thumb tacks can add some pizazz to your bulletin board: Just use them as studs and run them along the perimeter.

ZGallerie had quite the selection of humorous file folders and list pads.
Although the glass octopus was featured on a glass top tablescape, I could see it being used as a decorative paperweight in an office.

TIP: If you're in Target, check the BTS section first for your supplies, because I spotted some duplicate or similar items in their everyday office supplies for higher prices. And depending on your style or what you need to organize, Big Lot's has several versions of plastic folders available - which are great because they are durable and reusable for future projects.

Colorful tins can brighten up a pantry space, bathroom cabinets, or even your childrens playroom. These are from Ikea and so are the colorful totes below. 
Either one is only $5.99.
If you line these totes with foam board or corrugated board, you can make your own decorative boxes for the closet - complete with handles.

If you are feeling creative, Big Lots also has good deals to stock up on for art supplies for your next DIY home decor project: Canvas is on $3 to $8. And brush sets are also a good deal at $4. You may not become a Picasso or Micheal Angelo, but you can get create with abstracts with a color splash and become your own version of David Bromstad! And think multiples: Those canvases can also be covered with fabric to panel a wall or DIY a headboard for an updated focal point.

Big Lot's Art Supplies deals.

Dorm supplies can be a simple addition to your closet to help keep you organized as well. Maybe you need a little more shelf space? So without building anything or having a demo reno, you can pick up some hanging shelf systems for your closet. The Container store has several to choose from, but to can also find some durable canvas shelves at Walmart or Big Lots. And think of other uses for these closet organizers too. Sabrina Soto demonstrated using a door hung shoe organizers to hold toiletries in a small bathroom - the same could be done in a craft space or playroom.

The plastic versions at Ikea may be less, but they may not be as durable as these canvas organizers at Big Lot's and also available at Walmart.

These velvet hangers at $8 for 20 are a steal!
And they sure do help clothing from slipping off the old jumbo plastic hangers.
Many discount retailers now have increased quantities of these hangers. now is a great to to save and update your closet for Fall.

Purging your unwanted clothing to a local Goodwill can help not only free up space in your closet, but also help another in need. After purging, count what's hanging to plan your buy. You can even convert your closet a section at a time. 

Another item to be used to help organizing your home or office (and be used other than what it was intended for) is a relish tray. A relish tray can help to hold all those small lose office items centered on a conference table - visible, not scattered, and can look very stylish. Reusing glass vases or glass cylinders from the Dollar Store can add a little sparkle to your BTS office supplies. Another way to keep all these supplies tidy is to use trays on your desk - similar to how Jeff Lewis uses them on his...

LOVE Jeff Lewis, his office trays - and THAT WALLPAPER!!

This relish tray was picked up at Ikea, but you could also find a funky one while out thrifting - or hey - you may already have one in your serve-ware dish stash.

Baskets and bins can help add texture plus keep your office or family room organized. Various sizes of baskets can accommodate anything from shoes at the door, to concealing toys in the family room to creating totes for your laundry or cleaning supplies. Great looking seagrass baskets at retailers can be pricey. Homegoods to Big Lots they'll run from $9 to $14 and up each. So if your looking for a mass amount of baskets, try purchasing baskets wholesale online.

Inspirational office set up shared during an #Designwrite tweet chat.

Check out Big Lot's and Homegoods for deals on seagrass baskets.
Also check online. I found some wholesale baskets at

LOVE the look of these bookcases for a family room!

And if your looking for a new neutral rug on the cheap - also check out Big Lots. You can pick up a simple rug at either $29 for a 5x8 or get really creative and DIY a rug by seaming together (from behind with carpet tape) some of their $5 flat weave accent rugs to make your own.  

What are some ways you save on office supplies?
What are some ways you organize your office or your home?
Have fun while shopping for 
your children's school supplies, and picking up a few deals for 
your own home, office, or small business =)

1 comment:

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