Sometimes there just isn’t room for a home office. Other times the only place for a home office is in a remote corner of the house, so far from all the action that your kids have to call you on the phone to ask a question about their homework (maybe that’s not such a bad thing). A home office may be a necessity, but the size, location, and even contents are dependent upon your lifestyle (and budget).

My last home was tiny, but I still had a dedicated home office. Unfortunately, as my kids got older (and their fighting more intense) I decided to give up my office so that they could have their own rooms. I couldn’t get much work done anyway with all that fighting.

I wasn’t exactly sure what to do next; there wasn’t even a spare corner in the living room for a little desk. From that day forward I started wandering looking for a little area that I could claim for my own.

I didn’t mind working from the kitchen table or counter, but every night I had to shove my projects into a nearby cabinet so we could eat dinner at my “desk”. Some nights I would work from the sofa or even bed while my hubby or kids watched T.V. The main problem with this arrangement was that I didn’t have supplies nearby. I was running back-and-forth to grab a pad of paper or a pen or a staple-remover. What do you do without desk drawers let alone a desk?

I decided to create an office tote. I filled a canvas bag with office supplies in small pouches, project envelopes, and file folders. My office supplies are now organized and ready to go wherever I decide to work.

Here is the end result:

The canvas bag is from LL Bean. I even spent a few extra dollars to have the word “office” embroidered on the front.

Inside I put everything that I needed to get my work done, pencils, pens, highlighters, a stapler, clips, a pad of paper, sticky notes and even work-in-progress and bills-to-pay. I organized current projects and bills using file folders and project envelopes. I organized office supplies in pouches.

The canvas is so sturdy you can even clip notes or to-do lists to the side.

Here is what you will need:

Medium Canvas Tote from LL Bean

Baggu Pouches

Project Envelopes or Thomas Paul String Folios

File Folders

Susy Jack Clips

10 replies
  1. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    I am going to get starting working on my “office” this weekend! I live in a tiny apartment and don’t have room for an office. I have a very small “workspace” which takes up most of my dining room table right now. But with the new year approaching, I need a new system. Thanks for the idea!!

  2. rachel
    rachel says:

    Love this idea! Can you say what size the LL Bean Tote is? Looks like medium maybe?

    I have two part time jobs with shared offices and this would be ideal to go back and forth between spaces.

  3. Cason
    Cason says:

    I love the idea! I am interested to know what size tote you went with. It appears that you might have chosen the medium size, but not really sure.

  4. Leann
    Leann says:

    Wow thank you so much…I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to set up a nice calm workable office space in my very tiny and easily cluttered apartment. This is the perfect solution to gather all my scattered office supplies and make my work portable at the same time. Thank you for posting!!!

  5. karen
    karen says:

    Great idea! A few years ago I bought a scrapbooking tote for the same purpose! My laptop and all of my supplies fit in it. Lots of pockets for supplies.


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