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By May 23, 2017 6 Comments

I’m guessing that you didn’t celebrate “Cellophane Tape Day” or “Paper Clip Day” this month, but according to www.daysoftheyear.com, they are official holidays! I’m also guessing that you just might have more office supplies hanging out in your home or office than you really need or use. How do I know that? Because I do too!

Office supplies are so easy to accumulate. Often you pick them up for free at trade shows or conventions. It seems like such a small purchase at the dollar store. You scatter them in random places around your house. Until you collect all those pencils in one place, you simply don’t realize that you have about 100, including the personalized ones with the name of your daughter who is now 27 years old. 😊 (Disclaimer—she did have a pencil collection, but I really thought she had already used these!) And how long do you think it will take you to use up 5,000 staples, the amount in one average size box?


Before I sat down to write this, I decided to collect, sort, and reorganize my own office supplies. I realized that an over-the-door shoe organizer with 22 pockets that was already hanging in my home office would be the perfect “one place” for my supplies. I decided to accept the limit of one pocket for each type of supply—I only kept what fit in that pocket. What a delightful surprise that everything I use fit! It is great to see everything on the back of the door all at once when I need something. It is also great that they all are hidden when I have the door open. I don’t usually use the word “perfect” to describe organizing tools, but in this case, it really is perfect!


I have one drawer that holds items I use more often. It contains index cards, sticky notes, note paper, large paper clips, small binder clips, and computer ink cartridges. One area on my desk has a stapler, a tape dispenser, a cup with pens, pencils, highlighters, and scissors, and a holder for small sticky notes and white correction tape. That seems to work well for me—not too much, just enough.

I do have a supply drawer in my kitchen with just a few of the items I really use daily in the kitchen. I make sure that it doesn’t overflow with random junk because I want to find quickly what I need to use.

I discovered that I like thick (not skinny) pens, large (not small) paper clips, tiny (not large) binder clips, and small square (not random size) sticky notes. And I cannot seem to live without white correction tape—such an improvement over the liquid stuff (which I once thought was rather clever)!

I added the excess supplies to my donation box, tossed the items that were no longer useful, and relocated to the garage items that belonged there. And I am sitting here feeling rather efficient. You can feel that way too. It really doesn’t take that long to accomplish this organizing task. Plus, you usually don’t have an extreme emotional attachment to office supplies! Remember to ask the question, “Who needs this more than I do?” when you start to keep 4 staplers or 10 boxes of paper clips.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Gather supplies in one place & toss the outdated/broken/dried up items.
  2. Sort & keep what you really like & use for this season of life.
  3. Designate a pocket for each kind of item.
  4. Donate the excess & pass up the freebies.
  5. Don’t buy supplies unless the pocket is empty!

I challenge you to buy an over-the-door organizer and discover for yourself the perfect place for office supplies!


What is your favorite/most used office supply item?



Olive Wagar

Author Olive Wagar

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Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Shirley says:

    Great ideas for the supplies. I have all pocket doors so can’t use it but it is a great idea.

  • Charlene Notgrass says:

    Great ideas, Olive. Your post makes me want to share a history tidbit. Ray recently read a book about inventions, which included a story about the invention of Liquid Paper. A single mother was working as a secretary in the 1950s when IBM came out with a new type of typewriter that used ink that was not as easy to erase as the ink she formerly used. This secretary was also an artist. She combined her skills from her vocation and avocation and came up with Liquid Paper. She made a lot of money from her invention and when she died left money in a foundation to help others. This inventor of Liquid Paper was the mother of Michael Nesmith who became famous in the 1960s as a member of the rock band, the Monkees.

    • I knew that Michael Nesmith’s mother who invented Liquid Paper, but didn’t know the story behind it. Thanks for posting it!

      • Olive Wagar says:

        Yes, Charlene & Ray always find fascinating back stories to engage the curiosity of students. They write homeschool history and social studies books. The tagline for their business is “Notgrass History takes you there” and they deliver on that promise!

  • Olive Wagar says:

    Thanks for the background story, Charlene! I have certainly used my share of Liquid Paper over the years. Now I am never without a roll of mini correction tape. It amazes me how smoothly and efficiently the correction tape goes onto the paper. It is so easy to use!

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