Working out of a home office can be difficult, especially when you’re confined to a 10’x 10′ room and on a budget! I’m on a tight budget, so I haven’t invested in any kind of organization or even furniture. My desk is simply a fold out table. There are so many decisions when it comes to organizing I also have fear of investing in something and it not working out.
As a landscape designer, so I have art supplies for drafting and sketching. A few months ago I was trying to at least get my pens and markers in order because sitting down to brainstorm was difficult with a mess of art supplies across the table. I wasn’t able to find anything- too expensive, too large, too small, not functional. I gave up, but decided to go searching for ideas again this week.
I spent hours searching across Google. I used every search word possible that may help me get my art supplies in order. “Cubby, Bin, Holder, Shelf, Box, Tray, Pen, Pencil, Marker, Art Supply”. I didn’t want the typical ‘pencil holder’ which would not be a good solution for me. I found some products like this one that holds individual markers, but it didn’t have as much space as I needed. It had to also be economical, space saving, and allow me to see and get to my pens and markers easily.
Well, there is nothing like that out there!
I did find some office cubbies you can customize to hold your office supplies, but paying $10 a piece wasn’t an option for me since I’d probably need a dozen of them.
I then saw an idea using a wood wine rack. I ended up finding one at a bargain store, but it didn’t work out so well and I took it back.
Then, I saw one idea to make your own pen/pencil storage on the cheap for less than $10! Also, since you can make it yourself you can customize it! What did I use? A plastic downspout from Lowes!
You will need:
#1. If you can’t fit a 10′ piece of downspout in your car, use the hacksaw to cut it into two 5′ pieces.
#2. Measure your markers to see how long you want the pieces. I cut mine to 6″ long and everything from pens, pencils, all types of markers fit great.
#3. Determine how many pieces you will need to fit all the markers/pens/pencils you have. I could fit 8 charpak markers, 16 sharpies, and lot of regular pens in each one. So I would need at least 12 pieces. In the end I ended up cutting 16 pieces.
#4. Mark 6″ (or how long you need your pieces) increments on your downspout with a sharpie. I had a 2′ piece of downspout left.
#5. Laying the hacksaw blade flat across the gutter, cut each piece. While it’s not difficult to cut the pieces, it is hard to keep the piece from moving. I didn’t have help, so I held the downspout down with my knee while I cut the downspout on a table.
#6. Use sandpaper to make each end smooth
#7. Rinse and dry each piece.
#8. Stack pieces in a container. I searched online for a box like this that would fit my pieces, but I ended up finding a nice shoebox that fit the 16 pieces perfectly! The box measured 5″ deep, 12.75″ long, and 8.5″ tall. You could also tape the pieces together, but you would need to attach some type of backing like mat board or foam board to prevent the markers from sliding out the back.
#9. You could add a piece of wood to go across the bottom of the box to make the downspout pieces slant downward.