Organizing My New Home Office With Martha Stewart!

For the last few weeks I have been working on creating a home office for myself. After working on my laptop from the living room and the kitchen table for over a year and a half … I figured it was time. :-)

Since two of my four kidlets are now living on their own, that left one empty bedroom. So we did some bedroom shuffling, and I took over No. 3 son’s room. (Thus, the sports theme in the “before” photos.)

Here are couple of BEFORE and AFTERS of the room:

home office

I have to say, I couldn’t be more thrilled with how it all turned out! At first it felt a little odd to have an actual office to work in, but that didn’t last long! Now I LOVE it and don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner! :-) Story of my life.

I’m still working on some ideas for the walls, but I got a real boost to my organization efforts this week when I received a box of goodies from the Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ product line that is sold exclusively at Staples.

Talk about great timing!

Now that the walls and trim are painted, and the furniture is in, their Stack+Fit™ modular system is EXACTLY what I was looking for to get organized! It lets you create your own custom organization system for your desk! And it looks so pretty!

I can’t believe how well it fits in with the rest of my office stuff, most of which was purchased from IKEA, except for the upholstered chair that I found at a sidewalk sale last Saturday for $35! Definitely the steal of the century! :-)

Now that I am all moved in to my new digs, I am working on moving all the STUFF I have stored all over the house into my office storage areas. Mainly the shelving unit and the closet. I still have some work to do, but it’s going to be great!

One of the things Martha and the nice people at Avery sent me was a package of these cute Chalkboard Labels! I have been sticking them on everything. :-) I love that you can write on them and then erase it if you mess up (like I often do!) or you just change your mind (which I often do!). AND they peel right off! Once I get some more shelving in the closet, I plan on using a lot more of these!

A couple of the other things they sent that I am getting good use out of are …

  • Magazine Files. I think I need about 10 more of these! They fit perfectly inside the openings in my shelves.
  • Vertical File Folders … which fit perfectly inside the magazine files. Come to think of it, I might need 20 more of the magazine files! And a bunch more of these.
  • Accordion Files. These are going to come in handy for my organization system. The fact that they stand freely for easy sorting and filing will make them the perfect replacement for the current folders I am using. While I really like the system I have, these will definitely be more aesthetically pleasing!
  • Shagreen Pocket. I was a little confused about the name of this item, so of course I had to look it up. Shagreen is “a kind of untanned leather with a rough granulated surface”. Which makes perfect sense when you look at it! It’s one of the things that makes these products so appealing to me. They really do make my home office look good!   I can tell you right now I’m going to be getting more of these too! I would love to put about 3 or 4 of them in a vertical row near the phone desk in our kitchen. They are a GREAT thing for corralling clutter that usually ends up all over my countertops! I love these. You can either hang them on a walls or corkboard with the push pins they include, or you have the option of using the adhesive strip to attach to metal, wood, glass, or tile.
And I just love how everything coordinates so nicely! Leave it to Martha. :-)

They even sent me some stuff to help me get a jump on the holiday season! I mean look at this stuff! It’s Holiday Shipping stuff that’s easily pretty enough to put under the tree. No rewrapping required. They’ve pretty much thought of everything. The holiday shipping and wrapping products are available in-store at Staples.

home office

Now if I could just get some actually shopping done!! Black Friday here I come! :-)

If you would like to add some organization to YOUR life you can buy Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery at Staples. You can also get more information on the Avery Website or the Avery Facebook page.




PLUS … make sure you enter the giveaway! You could win a $100 Staples gift card! To enter for a chance to win, leave a comment below and……

tell us how you keep organized at Christmas time!

I personally would LOVE to know! I have a tendency to get completely overwhelmed this time of year because I don’t plan very well. I would love some advice!! (And I know from experience, the readers of this blog are the most intelligent and creative bunch on the world wide web!) :-)


No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 11/14/12-12/14/12.

Be sure to visit the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery page on where you can read other bloggersí reviews and find more chances to win!



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  1. says

    ~ Congratulations on FINALLY having the space to do the office area. My son was quite surprised when he came home one day (after he had moved on) to see that his old bedroom was now my new office. What? Did he think I was going to keep his old room for nostalgic purposes or so he could just move back in whenever the whim hit him again and again and again – he moved back 3 times.
    Oh to be so organized! Thumbs up! It looks fantastic!

    • Carol says

      I use a customized organizer for holidays and also both kids have b-days around then, too. I make a list of gift ideas, and then a final list. I mark if it is bought or ordered/received, wrapped, etc. I also have pages for holiday baking, dinner, decorations or other non-gifts I want to buy, really anything that I want to plan for. It makes it easier on my brain to have it all written down.

  2. says

    I’ve been staying organized with the new Black Friday Ap on my iphone, it lists all of the Black Friday deals/coupons in one spot, I love it! Also I have a designated amount I’m going to spend on each person I’m buying for, and I made my husband/sisters/parents make lists with tons of options of stuff they would like to get, so I can always grab those lists for quick ideas. Also several people I’m buying for have Amazon Wish-Lists, so that is helpful! Cant wait to read ideas from other people :) Hope I win the giveaway, my father needs a new computer chair so I would love to buy him one from Staples with this giftcard!

  3. sarah baker says

    I shop throughout the year and used to “occasionally” forget a gift i had hidden somewhere so now i have storage bins, one for each kiddo and one for each other family and put things away as i purchase them. I also created a document on my computer that i tape to the side so i can write down my purchases so i can see what i have stored without having to dig through the box.

  4. NaDell says

    I’d rather share how my mom managed to stay organized with six kids than what I actually do now. She picked out a different wrapping paper for each kid and didn’t use tags at all. No one knew until Christmas morning which wrapping paper held their gifts, so it didn’t make sense to rattle all the presents under the tree. We found out which our paper was at the end of a scavenger hunt when a small present would have our wrap on it.
    There was only one year that a brother was sort of forgotten and got strange pulled out of the closet gifts. They made up for it though!

    • CraftyMamaT says

      This is how Christmas is at my house as well, minus the scavenger hunt because my children are still small. Each kid has their own wrapping paper, including nieces and nephews. I usually get wrapping paper that reminds me of that particular child.

      As for the actual buying, I usually buy throughout the year if I see something that reminds me of that person. I am finished with my shopping, minus my husband, and I didn’t spend a fortune! For the presents I have to ship, I buy the shipping boxes, and sort them into those boxes as I buy them. The rest I have hidden in various places, including the trunk of my husband’s car. Each is sorted by family unit.

  5. Jennifer says

    Great post! I love your new office space.
    The way I keep organized during Christmas is, I have a list that I write down each item I have purchased and for whom it is purchased for. For my husband and kiddos, they each have their own designated wrapping paper which makes separating the presents Christmas morning much easier. The kids always enjoy seeing which wrapping paper is theirs.

  6. Alissa says

    Before I start shopping, I make a list of who I need to buy/make for and what their gift will be. Then whenever I buy a gift, I put it in a certain closet. When I’m all done shopping/crafting, I pull out the gift box and wrapping paper bins and have one marathon wrapping session. As I type it out, it doesn’t sound super organized, but it works well for me.

  7. Sarah H. says

    I usually organize my Christmas ornaments when I am packing them up after I take down the Christmas tree. I store them in a plastic bin and use cups or egg cartons. I also store the ornament hangers in a cup or two so I don’t have them all spread out in the bottom of the bin. I store my wrapping paper in a cylindrical tube used for storing paintings or artwork. I have four tubes; two for Christmas wrapping, one for birthdays, and one for miscellaneous wrapping. It keeps them all together and avoids them unrolling on the shelf in the closet.

  8. Brenda C says

    I have all my GRANDkids fill out an All I Want For Christmas form on Thanksgiving day. It has all the info. I will need to do my Black Friday shopping such as their wants, needs and the size of shoes and clothing. As I bring items home they are all put in to the spare bedroom closet until they are wrapped.

  9. Martha in Georgia says

    I shop all fall and have to keep a spreadsheet of gifts purchased so that I don’t forget any! I also try to wrap on several occasions and as gifts come in so that wrapping is not overwhelming. I did my first wrapping session 11.13.12!

  10. Amanda says

    Perhaps the one most single Christmastime tip I have to share is that when I receive cards in the mail (not just at this particular time of there though either), I put the year, occasion, and address on the back of the card before tossing away the envelope. Saves time looking for new addresses when mailing a card back.

  11. Amy D. says

    For extended family, I can take my time shopping. For the kids, it makes sense for us to get a babysitter and get it all done in one night close to Christmas. This helps us not to forget what we’ve already purchased, and lets us keep our spending even between the children. (It’s too easy to forget, otherwise!)

  12. Janelle says

    Before I am getting anything out for Christmas I’m making sure that the house is as cleaned out and organized as possible. Then I’m trying to stick to my lists that I’ve made, wrapping everything as I buy it, and keeping it in one place so I don’t forget anything. Hopefully this will make it easier for transporting everything to my parents house.

  13. Jennifer says

    One of the things I’ve started doing in the past couple of years is use Amazon wishlists. There’s super easy to use, you can add items from Amazon (which has a ton of stuff) as well as other websites. There’s a button you can add to your browser so you can quickly add to wishlist directly from the website (not unlike the pin it button for pinterest) or you can copy and paste the url to the Amazon site (if you’re not on your personal computer, for example). I create a wishlist for myself so that my family members not nearby have a good idea of what I want, my boyfriend creates a wishlist, and my sister has created a wishlist for my three yeard old nephew (you never know what they’re into if you don’t see them frequently). I also create a private wishlist that only I can see where I keep track of items that I think might make good gifts or stocking stuffers for certain people, that way when I’m actually going to shop I have everything there I need, plus I can see who I haven’t founds gifts for and any information I might need to acquire before ordering (shoe size, etc.). It’s working for me so far!

  14. DC Adams says

    Christmas already?!? I haven’t thought about the Thanksgiving menu. At Christmas, I have a corner in my kitchen/dining area where I put all of the gifts (in a box). I cover it, in case the kiddos go snooping. Then I find time to wrap or move the box one afternoon while they’re at school. When they were younger, I hid gifts, wrappings, etc in the storage closet. But I would love some organization tips.

  15. Susie E says

    Christmas and Organization…now there is an oxymoron! Christmas used to be organized. When I had small children, I was usually DONE Christmas shopping by Thanksgiving. But as we all got older, and life got more complicated. I long for those days when baby dolls and Lego’s were the ideal Christmas gift, and my present included some sort of macaroni sprayed gold.

    I can’t wait to see your hints and tips!

  16. Lindsay says

    I wish I had a fabulous way to organize but I don’t. I am one of the millions who shop last minute and wrap quietly in another room the night before. I have read all of the good ideas above and might steal one or two to try and get on track in the future.

  17. Stephdip says

    I keep a little notebook where I list all the gifts I bought for everyone each year. That way, I don’t duplicate AND I can look back and see how my taste, and theirs!, have changed over the years!!

  18. danielle says

    I use my Droid to make lists. Since my phone never leaves my side I always have my lists. I can also email the lists to myself so I can shop on Amazon using my prime membership and take advantage of good deals.

  19. says

    Your new office looks fabulous and the chair is perfect. What a find! I have found it is easier to stay organized at the holidays now that my sons are grown and they and their sweethearts send us gift lists with links for online shopping! Makes my life very much easier.

  20. says

    The office looks beautiful! How nice to have a space to go that’s your own!

    I start shopping in October and by this time of year I’m always done (am now!) and I wrap each person’s gifts in a different paper, bag ‘em up and put them in the closet so I can pull them out for each get together. I don’t like shopping with everyone else because it’s the quickest way to suck my Christmas spirit! :-)

  21. fiona says

    While we were remodeling a few years ago, my husband built me a closet for all of our Christmas stuff (from wrapping paper/bags to boxes of tree decorations and lights). My husband usually hides the kids’ (8 & 6) gifts in the basement. He hides them so well even I can’t find them! Over the years the closet has become a little disorganized, but tackling that closet is on my ever growing “Need To Organize” list. I love your site for all of the organizational tips, yummy recipes and great DIY projects. I have done a few so far and hope to add “Organize Christmas Closet” to my DONE list. Thanks!!

  22. dee says

    I like to clean my home well and remove clutter before anything else! I can’t decorate around clutter! Also, I just keep a notebook with me with gift ideas, purchases and how much i am spending to stay within my budget. Your room looks wonderful and so bright!

  23. Betsy says

    I stay organized by planning early (like RIGHT NOW!) and simplifying. We dropped gift exchanges between adult relatives, and nieces/nephews/Godchildren now high school/college age get cash gifts. Shopping has been greatly reduced, shipping is a breeze and life is much less hectic in December. As a church musician the holidays have me busier than usual, so the early planning has really helped. First batch of Christmas cookies to be baked and in the freezer this week!

  24. Caroline says

    I always have good intentions to stay organized, but the craziness of it all usually prevails! The one trick that I do is no matter how tired I am after a shopping trip – wrap ALL gifts bought immediately! This keeps prying eyes away and saves on the Christmas Eve late night freak out.

  25. Katie E says

    I stay on track with the xmas organizer and since we make most of our gifts and own gift bags (we go ahead and put names on these as we make them) I know exactly how many we need and have a couple extras just in case :). Mainly we make holidays about family and not about gifts so that makes it much easier to get everything done and not get stressed out. :)

  26. Alicia Sparks says

    I keep a notebook with the names of every person I gift to, and write down ideas and acquired gifts in it. Once I get the gift, it goes into a big plastic tub with a lid (to keep my cats out). After a while I sort gifts by family group, wrap, and store in tubs by family, so I can simply take the appropriate tub to the celebration, or to the shipping office.

  27. says

    I’m afraid I’m not very organized, but I keep all my Christmas decorations in one corner of our attic. Our grands are all at the age that they don’t want gifts any more, so we don’t have much wrapping to do, but I keep wrapping paper in tall wastbaskets so I can see what I have and what I need.

  28. Brenda says

    In spite of all the great technological options available, paper and pencil are still my best Christmas organization strategy. I bought a journal almost 20 years ago that I use for keeping track of gifts. Each year, I list all the people (individually or by family, depending how gifts will be given that year) on our “gift list”. There are columns for ideas, notes about progress or additional steps needed (e.g. if we’re making gifts), whether it’s been wrapped. I include all the people on our list, whether they receive handmade gifts, cookie plates, or purchased items. As Christmas nears, I review the list, which has often reminded me to search for that great deal I bought in April and stashed *somewhere*. As a bonus, it’s easy to flip to previous years to make sure I don’t duplicate, AND to get great gift ideas.

  29. says

    My first tip is to shop the clearance sales at the end of the previous year. You can make yourself a folder for Christmas ideas, and include a list of what you got on clearance last year. Boxes, bows, gift cards, ribbon. What color did you get? So is there a theme you are goin with this year? Brown bag with colorful ribbons etc.. Also a list through out the year of people you buy for and ideas of what they mention they would like. Note that in your iPhone, or notebook. If you notice that they have already purchased it.. cross it off. Look for decor that coordinates with their house etc. Take note!! Don’t wait til December!!

  30. Becki Bostick says

    Love your new office. Martha and IKEA–what more could a woman ask????
    How do I keep organized for Christmas? LISTS! Make a list and check it twice. Keep the list with you at all times. You never know when an idea might come to you. Mark things off as you do/buy/finish them.
    Love your blog.

  31. Cim Allen says

    The only way I would make it through Christmas is by having my lists. I wish I could say I have a nice notebook with it neatly done, but it’s just loose leaf paper .. LOL But it gets the job done :)

  32. says

    This year, for many reasons, we are trying out the wear, want, need, read, gift method plus stockings (cause that is my favorite) :) I am hopeful that it will help to bring us back around to the reason our family celebrates Christmas :)

    Office looks great Jillee!

  33. Christine says

    I start shopping in probably Sept/Oct and put everything on the floor in my closet along with the receipts. Then about a week before Christmas I sort and wrap the items. If there is anything I decide I don’t need or shouldn’t have bought I return to the store. When my kids were young I made lists of what I bought them but I coded each kid with a number instead of a name and every year the number changed so they could never figure out my system just in case they found my list. Sorry I don’t blog or tweet so this will just be one entry for me.

  34. Cathy Grondy says

    Plastic storage tubs are my solution for christmas storage. I live in a small apartment so space for storing things is always at a premium, so a couple of years ago I purchased some plastic tubs from a home improvement store. When it’s time to decorate I just bring in the tubs from my storage room and decorate away. I even have a wreath shaped comtainer for the wreath I made several years ago.

  35. Laura H says

    To keep organized for Christmas I have a spreadsheet on my computer with everyone’s name I need to buy for. Then they each have an “idea” column and an actual gift column. There’s also a column for an “X” when they are done. I can easily look to see who does not have an “X” beside their name and know who I’m still looking for.

    With a pastor husband, December is even busier for us than for the average person. (Think: Normal Christmas stuff, plus extra church services that must be planned and attended, parishoners parties where you must make an appearance….you get the idea.) So, I make it a point to be done with my shopping by the end of November. It allows us to enjoy the Christmas season a little more.


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