Grab all of those bags of office supplies you gathered yesterday. Take them to your office if you have one, or to a large table or floor elsewhere in the house; we’re going to sort them. Begin by sorting all of the like items together: paper clips with paper clips, printer in with printer ink, etc.
Once everything is sorted, it’s time to figure out just how much of everything you need to keep. Some questions to ask:
- Do I use binders?
- Does this printer ink match my current printer?
- Would one box of paperclips and one box of staplers suffice?
- Would these items be better off serving a school?
- Can I donate these to Goodwill?
- Will I ever use all of these notebooks and pads of sticky notes?
If you’re like most people, every single pad of paper you’ve ever taken from a hotel room or business conference is now hiding out in your office. Let. Them. Go. Or at least give them to your kid to draw on. Nobody needs that much paper.
The bottom line is that you only want to keep office supplies you’ll use in the next few months. Everything else is clutter. If you don’t have a desk drawer to keep them in, try one 16qt. bin. That’s enough space to hold every office supply you could possibly need, in a reasonable quantity you’ll actually use. Don’t believe me? Put a small amount of each office supply in that bin or drawer, put the rest in the garage and see how much you actually use in the next 6 months. If you haven’t touched the bag in 6 months, it’s probably time to donate it.