Why Office Supplies May Hinder Organization

My kids start back to school in just 4 weeks. While I’ve enjoyed the time we’ve had together this summer, I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine.

My daughter has been begging me all summer to shop for school supplies. You see, she is going into the sixth grade and will have a locker. She is so excited about being in middle school.

On the other hand, my son could care less about starting eighth grade. He would rather stay home and play computer games.

While shopping for school supplies with my kids, I got caught up in all the new designs, colors, and products that we saw. I admit I’m an office supply junkie.

I love post-it notes of all kinds, colorful pens, and innovative notebooks and binders. In fact, I have many of these items taking up space in my office right now. I’ve discovered that my love affair with office supplies is keeping me from being organized.

Office supplies

How so? Well, let me share three ways.

  1. I am pulled in by color, patterns, and unique designs. If something looks appealing to me or fits in with my office color scheme, I feel like I need to purchase it. Often, though, I don’t really have a need or use for the items. So, they end up taking valuable space by becoming clutter because I have nowhere to store them.
  2. New office supplies give me a false sense of organization. Purchasing office supplies is more fun than actually putting them to use. Organization takes work. So, to procrastinate my organization efforts, I go shopping for new items that I think will help me become more organized. In the end, I usually set these new items aside and they don’t always get used. Then, what I described in #1 happens.
  3. Playing with my new supplies keeps me from following through on my organization efforts. I’m currently trying out a new time management system. I’m going back to paper by using a planner. Sometimes it’s more fun to spend time color-coding and writing things on post-it notes then it is following through on what I really need to be doing. I may have a pretty calendar, but not much else is getting done.

Can you relate to any of these? If so, here are a few ways to make office supplies work for you in your organization process.

  • Consider your true organization needs. Do you really need another notebook or binder? Could you use something you already have on hand?
  • Set aside time each week to make use of your office supplies. If you’re like me and tend to spend more time re-arranging or playing with your office supplies, schedule a time to do so. Don’t waste time each day doing this.
  • Inventory the office supplies you already have. Figure out how each of them can be put to use. Pass along any unnecessary supplies to someone else who could make good use of them.

What are some of your favorite office supplies? 




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