When I moved into my new house, I had a problem. The two bedroom home with no basement didn’t have room for an office.
Before moving, I had said goodbye to my mid-century desk. So, at the new place, I didn’t need office space to hold a desk. What I needed was somewhere to put all of the books, office supplies, scrapbooking stuff, notebooks, stamps and other bits and pieces that had been living in my previous desk’s drawers.
What my new house does have is a dining room. We’ll call it a dining room because I think that’s what it’s intended to be, but in all reality it’s an 11 ft. x 7 ft. opening with two doorways, one door and two windows. Not a lot of room to put furniture.
Now, imagine a 7 ft. dining room table taking up most of that space. My boyfriend insisted on keeping his gigantic dining room table despite the fact that it’s way oversized for this house. (I’m actually fine with it—now!)
I certainly wasn’t going to waste all that table space for “dining” when I needed desk space. So, I decided to turn the dining room—dining room table and all—into my office.
The first step was to turn the dining room table into a desk. While that table offered tons of surface space, I had no drawer space, which meant there was nowhere to hide things like staples, paperclips, extra pens and paper.
For anyone out there who needs storage options that aren’t drawers, here are five desk storage solutions I found that work well and look good too!
1. Wooden boxes
I pulled two amazing vintage wooden boxes out of my sister’s shed. They were dusty and filled with dead spiders. (You have to get over things like that if you’re looking for free goodies.) After a good cleaning, I knew they’d work perfectly on my dining room table…I mean desk. The divider in the middle of the box works perfectly to separate notebooks. And, it was almost like adding a shelf, because I could put stuff on the top of the box too!
2. Magazine file boxes
Magazine file boxes are great for corralling extra paper and, of course, magazines. They look streamlined, and if you don’t want the magazines to show, just face the magazine file box backwards. I picked up this magazine file box at IKEA for $10.
3. Vintage file holders
I love using this vintage wooden file holder to store mail. I usually toss mail in there after pulling it out of the mailbox. It’s an easy reminder that I need to go through the mail. Just don’t let too much paper pile up, or it will look messy.
4. Metal baskets
I picked up several of these metal baskets from a secondhand store years ago. They’d also work well for mail, but I use mine to keep notebooks. They’re just another cute option to organize.
You have to put all of your pens, pencils, highlighters and markers somewhere, right? Why not in a mason jar? It’s a cute container and keeps all of your necessary writing utensils easily in reach.