Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Organized Office and Paperwork!

I've received tons of emails, some emails, 2 emails? asking what we do to control the paper situation in our house, because every house has a paper situation.

Here's the HUB of our home, it's where we pay the bills, make appointments, and blog from!
It's where our cell phones charge, and where the stationary equipment lives.

Every organized office needs:

~Bulk storage: for printer paper, plastic sheet protectors, printer ink etc . . . We use the large wicker basket at the top to store those things
~Somewhere to keep important records: The Green binders is where I keep track of our Medical Records, also cutouts from magazines, future project ideas, kind of like a hard copy of Pinterest :)
~Correspondence tools: The two green boxes below that hold greeting cards, envelopes, and stamps.
~Below that the green box holds photographs
~Every organized office needs an INBOX!

~On the door hangs our spare keys

~And below the spare keys is a small cork board, I think every office space needs a cork board. There will always be small transient pieces of paper . . . Always!

On the desktop is where we keep our cell phone charging dock!

And in my opinion every organized office that sits out in the open on a main floor should have the ability to close up like this:

Here's how we handle, the junk to the bills.

First JUNK mail goes right into the recycling bin before it comes into the house. Our recycling bins are right beside the garage door entrance so in they go!

Next we open all the mail, we make a note on our calendar when the due date of the bill is,

then we place the unpaid bills in the INBOX and at the start of each week (Monday) we pay all the bills due that week.

Once they are paid I hit them with the PAID stamp, date they were paid and the confirmation number,

then file the papers in this file box we picked up at Walmart!

So there's our organized office and some of the tips we use to keep it that way. Anyone have any office organizing tips of their own??


  1. Just became your newest follower. Nice job organizing your liitle office. I'm brand spanking new in the blog world. Pop over for a visit if you get time. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/2011/07/kitchen-cabinet-transformation.html

  2. My husband owns/runs a auto body shop and sells cars:I am in desperate need of your key organization!

  3. You are my hero! One day, I will be as organized as you! I love your detailed tips and techniques. One question though: do you do all your bills on paper or online? We have moved to online payments, and I hate receiving the bills in the mail, only to pay and keep track of everything virtually. Any tips for me there?

  4. Uh... wow. That's organized. I would love to be that organized and tidy. I'm very impressed and will be stealing all these ideas shortly. Nice job!

  5. Oh! Organization like this makes me so giddy!! I love it!

  6. Everything looks really nice. Only one small problem: you spelled warranty wrong. :X

  7. I love the PAID stamp. Such a good idea. I love, love, love your blog and follow it like a hawk!

  8. Ahhh... love it! My dream is to be that organized. May I ask a few questions? Where do you keep larger papers like the deed and other mortgage-type documents? Do you know which you need to keep? Wnd, where do you keep larger photos?

    I get so overwhelmed with the paper. So, please feel free to do more posts like this!!

    Great job!

    kathy h

  9. I am curious to where your printer is stored. I thought it would be with your office stuff but I don't see it. I wish I had a desk that closed up like that. Right now, most things on my desk are out in the open and in the living room while we work on renovations.

  10. love it!! wish i was this organized! i, too, hope to use your office ideas :) where and how do you keep all your records once the blue box is full?


  11. Hi Girls, and guys, if there are any of you here!!
    Julie- The printer is stored on the very bottom behind the chair, if you look super close at the first picture you can see it there a bit :)
    The Larger type paper, like the deed and mortgage papers are stored in our security deposit box at the bank, or in our fireproof box. It's a small box that's . . . fireproof, it's where we keep our marriage certificate, birth certificates, important stuff like that :)

    Larger Photos are stored in my craft closet (although I don't have too many large photos).

    As far as knowing what to keep, Bills I keep about 6 months worth. Taxes we keep for 7 years.

    Nancy- We pay our bills online, but I do keep hardcopies of each bill, it makes me a bit nervous, but we have started receiving one bill online, but it's payment is automatically paid by our credit card, cause I was having a hard time keeping track of it :)

    Anon- The blue box has never been full? I empty out what I don't need every 6 months or so (like bills I only keep for 6 months), things we need like Warranty info, can stay there and once the warranty is up, i chuck it! Honestly the box is half empty most of the time.
    We keep the tax records and things like that in a heavy duty plastic one upstairs, the blue box is only for day to day or month to month stuff :)
    Hope that helps.
    I think I whip up another post on paper work soon :)

  12. Great job again Ashli! And as always with a lot of style!

  13. I love your blog! Every picture I see is so pretty and organized, just like a page in a magazine.
    P.S. How did you gety your husband to follow the rules???? Need all the help we can get.

  14. Great inspiration the office is the one space I lack organization.

  15. Barefoot~
    that's a funny question, Lee (the husband) doesn't really follow the rules haha, I've built "the rules" around him. I always wait and see where stuff gets dropped and then organize that area. We always come through the front door and drop our stuff on the desk right beside it, so i put an inbox there. If we dropped our stuff in the kitchen I would put one there, etc . . . :)

  16. You are incredibly organized! I admire that! Great tips. I need to get a Paid stamp...that's helpful. Thanks for sharing all of this!

  17. Love these ideas and pinned a bunch of 'em!! :)

  18. Eventually we'll have a home office in our basement... eventually! I hope. My fingers are crossed. I want it now!! Until then we'll continue to have paper in horrible places :-( When we DO ~ finally ~ get our office I'll definitely employ some of your ideas!!

  19. I just love the way you organized! simply yet elegant!!! I don't have the secretary, but i hvae an armoir that i've been using. I, too need to get the "PAID" stamp! That's sooooo cool!

  20. I have read through this post and looked at the pictures several times now and I'm still amazed at how organized you are. I was one of the people who emailed asking for some help with paperwork and this post gave me some great ideas!! Thanks! You are very inspiring.

  21. AMAZING! I would die to be that organized. Clutter makes me anxious but it's hard to control it. What about things like receipts for every day shopping? Do you keep those and how do you organize? Yes, please another paperwork post would be appreciated. Oh and if you want to come to Calgary to organize my house I'll pay for your airfare and give you a place to stay.......for as looooonnnggg as you want. LOL.

    Also...I chuckle when you say you get "alot of emails, some, OK...2". I always wonder who the heck ALL these people are the every blogger says they are getting emails from. Funny.

  22. Wow, I'm impressed! SO functional yet so pretty!! I'm curious...with your junk mail, do you shred it since it has name/address info on it? or just recycle it?

  23. Thanks again girls,
    Charlene~You are too funny! Calgary isn't too far at all :) hehe
    With our recipets I have a file for the ones that we need to keep, like Home Depot receipts for plants that have a warranty :) and the ones for clothes I keep in an envelope in my purse :) Once and a while I go through them, but it's good to keep them incase the garmet falls apart you can always go back with your receipt after the return policy is up :) (some stores anyways)

    Laura~Junk mail just goes into the recycling bin, if it's got anymore info on it than that we shred it!! Most of our junk mail is just flyers and other crud :0
    Hope that helped a bit :)
    I'll definitely do another post on paper soon!!

  24. i love it, love it, love it! i think your system works as well as mine would if i had a system. i made a post about my sparse, yet very pricey, apartment in sydney and someone said it appeared as if i was 'camping in comfort!' we have no furniture, no cars, and split paying bills with the other couple we live with. once we have a home i will have to have a hub like yours!

  25. Hi Ashli! I've been following your blog for a while and love your tips. I have the same secretary in my breakfast room that serves as the hub of our household. I lined the inside of the cabinet doors with cork, but the rest is still a haphazard jumble of stuff that needs to be organized! I love, love, love the rail with the pencil cup hanging below the lower shelf. What a brilliant idea.

  26. Love it Ashli, especially keeping the due dates on the calendar! Sorry to be chiming in so late, but was under the weather a few days.

  27. Can I ask where you found that desk? I can't find anything like that without spending nearly $500. I just love your organization ideas!

  28. I love it! I pinned this on Pinterest. So nice and organized. I love that a lot of bill paying and such is online. I've eliminated a lot of snail mail that way.

  29. Lovely! I also would love to know where you bought the beautiful secretary desk!

  30. I'm a new reader who found your link from iheartorganizing. I LOVE your home and ideas! This desk is amazing. I know you said you bought it at Ikea, but I can't find it. Any chance you remember the name so I can do a search? If they no longer carry it, I may stalk Craigslist to see if I can get lucky! Thank you so much for your great ideas!!!

  31. It looks like an older version of the HEMNES secretary they have now. Two parts (roughly $450 for both). I am going to get one before school starts and I lose my mind in the clutter.

  32. The Desk is from Ikea and it is the older version of the Hemnes!! (thank you Lisa)
    I don't think they have it anymore, but they do have a new one that's pretty great!
    Craigslist is also a great option!!! Good luck on your hunt! I hope you find it!!! Oh! and it also comes in White :)
    Lots of Love

  33. Hey Ashli! Love your organizational saavy. Do you know where you got the wire basket that you keep in your desk? I'm looking for something just like that. Thanks!

  34. Looks great to me! I've added it to my 'organizing solutions' pinterest collection. :)

    I am a professional organizer and write weekly articles on my business site.

    I'd love to feature your clever corner home office as part of a future article with your permission.
    Let me know! :)

  35. I found you through Pinterest and LOVE what I've read of your blog so far! I do have a question...where did you find the secretary/desk unit? I love it! I have been looking for one similar to it for a nook in my kitchen area. This would be perfect.

  36. ok...just read the other comments and saw the answer to my question....sorry!

  37. Beautiful!!!! Really attractive home office set-up, and inspiring too! How do you handle your printer? I see it in the first photo, but in the next photo when the desk is closed up, the printer has disappeared, too. Do you unplug it and store it elsewhere when not in use and then haul it out when you need it?

  38. We usually have it at the bottom but we had bought a new smaller one and did not set it up yet.


  39. Wow your hub looks great! I really like the green color scheme, especially the Green flower base with white flowers!

  40. where did you buy your desk thing from? i love it!

  41. Can you please, please tell me where you found the inbox, cell charger & paid stamp??? I want these so bad! What a beatiful,organized space!

    1. The inbox is from: The Read Canadian Superstore
      The Cell Charger is from: Target
      The Paid stamp is from: Staples!
      Hope that helps!


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