Saturday, May 4, 2013

Basement - mini office set up and organization

Hi friends,

Tonight I am going to show you how I organized my repurposed vanity into a mini office station in our basement. If you missed out on the original post where I showed you how I repurposed the vanity itself (pain and Mod Podge top and liners) you can check it out by looking at my post: repurposing a vintage vanity into an office desk.

As you know by now, I am always on a budget and for this project, I only picked items I either had on hand or I could purchase for very cheap and locally.  I found most of what I needed at Amazing Savings (A.S. is somewhat of  a dollar store only they have better quality housewares and household supplies, not to mention tons of decorative boxes and cute office supplies, all for a few bucks, if even that!)

So here is the vanity the way I left it in my last post:

I wanted a bulletin board and was not sure whether I needed a dry erase white board or a cork board. When in doubt -  opt for both! Amazing Savings had these boards under $6.00 each.

I also found this magnetic dry erase perpetual calendar at Barnes and Noble. It came with very cute matching sticky notes, flags and note pads. I found it in the bargain section as a gift set for under $8.00. I realize I should have taken a picture of the set, I am sorry I forgot.


The board is magnetic but I wanted to affix it to one of the bulletin boards. I used hot glue and centered it right in the middle of the board. It worked just fine and I still have room around it to pin a few small items such as stamps etc..

I don't really have a wall behind the desk to hang boards or art work, but I do have the bars from the stair case and since the boards are not heavy at all, I thought it would actually assist with hiding a bit of the stairs by hanging them directly to the bars.
On to supplies. My biggest splurge was a few items from the Martha Stewart Avery collection which you can find at Staples. I love her designs and some of the items she sells for Avery are actually quite ingenious. Here I bought (with a 40% coupon and my reward card) a set of coordinated folders, I believe the original price was $4.99 for a set of 6 (I picked the Robin Blue and Black & White patterns). I also picked a set of labels to coordinate with the folders ($2.99).

Back in the days, I had purchased this mail sorter at Amazing Savings. It found its way on top of my desk. My Martha Stewart files folders fit perfectly in the back slots.


To keep myself organized, I picked the blue folders for household items which I labeled as follows:

  • Bills - To Pay
  • Bills - Paid
  • To Read - Urgent
  • To Read - Not urgent
  • Scott & Sophia
  • Boys

You can see one of the dry erase board coordinating note pad below. I am setting the black folders aside for when I actually start some back to school projects.


These containers are interlocking, also from the Staples bargain bin. They stack and lock together and are great for keeping paper clips and spare binder clips in different sizes.
A friend of mine knew I always wanted a garden gnome. Unfortunately, the one I had set my eyes on has been out of stock for years. But he did give me this one instead ( it looks like the Travelocity gnome, but it is not) and we quickly named him Norris. Don't laugh, I think it is important to have a desk companion.
The decorative box is also from Amazing Savings. For now it sits empty as I am only using it to raise my tiny lamp above the desk. I do not want a bigger lamp and for some reason I like this old one a lot. I may decide to use the box at a later time, but storage for now is not an issue. The box was under $5.00.

Here is how I organized my drawers:

Top Left Drawer - Pens, pencils and office supplies. The trays are from Staples ($1.00 / 3-pack).


Bottom Left Drawer - Envelopes and address labels. Scissors (which I also use to open envelopes).

Middle Drawer: more binder clips and push pins. Assorted sticky notes and flags (matching the dry erase board), a sticky note collection I found at Barnes and Noble, and my three notebook you may recall from an earlier post: DIY Notebook Cover.


I really like these sticky notes, they come in a hard cover box and are just too cute! I think the set was under $6.00 at Barnes and Nobles (Bargain section).


Top Right Drawer: in this drawer I keep some other office essentials such as hand wipes, hand sanitizer, hair clips and Glue Dots. The blue and grey pouch is actually a makeup pouch I recycled into a portable office supplies necessities pouch.

This pouch was given to me and as far as I can recall it is from Cle de Peau.

I like it because it has zippered compartments that are long enough to hold pens and all manner of other supplies I may need on-the-go. It is also compact enough to fit in my purse and, this is where I keep all favorite pens too!


Here is a close up at some of my LePen pens. If you missed my previous post, these are ultra fine points with high pigmented colors. The best thing about LePen pens is that they will not bleed through paper and dry instantly, making them the best choice for a personal planner or note taking.

 Bottom Right Drawer: Assorted notebooks and legal pads (boring stuff).


So there you have it, my mini office in the basement. I keep it as simple and functional as possible because I do not want it to take away too much attention from the rest of the room. This is where I plan my week, pay the bills and work on my planner. Hopefully and real soon, I will also study for school in this tiny space I created just for me!


I am still debating as to whether I should bring a small ink jet printer to the basement. Ours is wireless but the thought of going up two flights of stairs and back down in between printing jobs is not too appealing to me. Got to think some more about it.

I plan on one big splurge for this set up: a chair. This one is from my dining room and I would really like to get one of those comfy chairs from Home Goods. If I am lucky, I could find one with a grey and pink fabric pattern...I will keep looking until I find just the right chair!

Thank you for liking and sharing my post.

Sophia, NJ

You can find me on FACEBOOK and YOUTUBE

*This site contains affiliate advertising. I am not affiliate with Barnes and Noble , Staples, Home Goods, Cle de Peau, Martha Stewart for Avery, Amaing Savings or LePen by Uchida. All opinions are my own.



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I welcome your feedback and comments. If you have a question or a specific request, do not hesitate, I am here to help! Thanks, S.

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