When remodeling our office I was determined to get away from the typical “junk drawer” (which usually turns into several “junk drawers”). I was actually so determined that I chose to have no drawers in my office at all! But with no drawers, what was I going to do with all of that “junk”? Well, since getting rid of it was not an option; the next best solution was a closet full of plastic shoes boxes. Crazy right? Well that is what I said when I saw my parents taking this approach, but read on and you can make that call yourself.
Step 1: Buy your boxes
Most big name stores such as Walmart and Target sell plastic shoe boxes for around $1-$2 each, and if this is all you have access to, these will work just fine. However, if you have a Container Store nearby, they sell the perfect shoe box (you can also buy them online). The box is pretty square so you don’t have a lot of wasted space from sloped sides, the sides and lid are clear so you can easily see what is inside, and the lids lock on really well. You can also buy the boxes by the case at a discounted price, and they sell several variations of the box in different dimensions (sweater boxes, men’s shoe boxes, and accessory boxes).
Step 2: Add Closet Shelving
Although you could stack a bunch of shoe boxes in your closet, it wouldn’t be the most practical approach for easily accessing each box. We have a small walk-in closet, so we chose to line two walls with brackets for adjustable shelving (you can use this shelving in a reach-in closet also). On one wall, we left the spacing large for big items, but on the other wall we added several 12” deep shelves spaced only a few inches apart. This gave us enough space for 40 shoe boxes, and should that not be enough, we can always add additional shelves. Now just imagine what you can organize into 40 shoe boxes! Sure beats a few unorganized junk drawers.
Step 3: Organize and Label
As my husband can attest, I can be somewhat obsessive when organizing and I hate getting rid of stuff. In my closet, I have a box for stickers, one for dry erase markers, another for envelopes, and you name it I probably have a box for it. To help keep me sane, I chose to label each box using an inexpensive label maker from Walmart. Although the boxes are clear, this helps to prevent cross contamination of contents, which would probably lead to “junk boxes”. Although I do have a box for Misc. Office Supplies, I try not to through stuff into existing boxes just because I don’t know what to do with it.
Step 4: Organize beyond the office
So once your office is organized, why not take your shoe box organization elsewhere? Try using the shoe boxes to organize medications, seasoning and spice packages, board game pieces, or whatever else you can think of. For less than $100 you can purchase 60 boxes, and organize your whole house!
I hope this blog helps with your Spring cleaning and organization efforts. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.