Simple Organizing Tips Using Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™{and a Giveaway!}

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™

MS Office Avery Products Oh my goodness guys, am I excited to share this post and awesome giveaway with you! I’m honored to be among a group of bloggers chosen to receive some products from the Martha Stewart Home Office™ with Avery™ product line AND to be able to give away a $100 gift card from Staples (where the line is exclusively available) to one of AOC’s readers!

I’ve been pretty much stalking Staples since this line came out and even did a quick update in our kitchen a few months ago using the cool chalkboard labels, so it was kind of like Christmas when I received a box full of the products you see above. And I think you’re going to be amazed and hopefully inspired by all the ways I found to use the various items throughout our house to make simple updates that solved a number of problems that had been bothering me:

  • clutter and papers had overtaken my work desk
  • a messy (and very public) kitchen family desk
  • a way to organize canned food so that the oldest would be used first

All that, and I was able to get a jump-start on our holiday wrapping and shipping by setting up our traditional wrap station! In order for you to get the full impact of the difference, I’ve got to show you some before photos. Notice I say I HAVE to, not that I WANT to. Oh dear … just file this under “keeping it real:”

Sigh. My attempts to organize my work desk fell by the wayside during the 31 Days of Thrift Store Transformations in October. But in all honesty, things often revert to a mess like this for me after a few months. So this time I wanted to implement these tips:

  1. Organize the papers scattered around the desk and create a place for these near the computer – obviously where I used them most.
  2. Make a place for the things used daily closest to the computer – weekly or monthly further away.
  3. Use less sticky notes and more to-do lists or files. I obviously got carried away with the sticky notes.
  4. Probably the most important: USE the new files and to-do lists and keep on top of filing and putting papers away. Which I think is a life-long learning lesson, don’t you?
Okay – let’s get these pictures out of our minds and replace it with this much better photo:

Isn’t this great? It looks simpler to use and keep up – and definitely does it with style. And how awesome is it that I already had things that coordinated with the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line like the file folders and a thrift store oil painting?

A few simple items made a big difference here:
  • A Shagreen (what a lovely, sturdy material, by the way) magazine file which I filled with coordinating 6-pack Vertical Files to become my go-to idea box. The built-in metal bookplate is a nice touch – for looks as well as usefulness.
  • A standing Accordion File (also Shagreen) where I was able to create new files for blog information and notes – all within arm’s reach of the computer.
  • A single Shagreen Pocket to store inspiration photos on the bulletin board – I love that I can fit more without overwhelming the bulletin board (it holds up to 50 pages!)
  • Color-coded file labels that I used on my old dollar-store decorative file folders. I don’t know why I haven’t jumped on the color-coded band-wagon before now, but I already love how I can tell at a glance which files are blog related, which are financial, and which are personal.
  • Chalkboard labels for the Shagreen Pocket and Accordion File so I can change the contents if I need to, since it’s so easy to erase the chalk.
I’m loving the change there, but also that I was able to make a HUGE change for our kitchen desk:

This desk is in the middle of our great room and is seen by everyone who visits our house. The large file box had worked well while our kids were younger and bringing home daily papers from school, but now with one in college and one in high school, that many files weren’t needed anymore.

Enter the The Stack+Fit™ Shagreen Organizer and Pocket in white that coordinates with everything in our great-room. Seriously, that sounds like an ad, but I can’t believe how they fit all the things we need so beautifully – and how clean and clutter-free our desk looks now. Plus, it took only two items and 10 minutes – love.

4 tips that guided me in creating a clutter-free family desk:
  1. Keep items used multiple times a day on the desk for easy access – pens, pencils, and sticky notes (and my glasses, ugh) are what we need available.
  2. Find a place for the calendar. It’s not lovely and since it can’t be hidden, the organizer works great to minimize it at least.
  3. Make a spot for those little notes, reminders, and small pieces of paper that invariably accumulate. Which, again, the organizer accomplishes with the front pocket. We can still see it, but the paper is no longer on the desk (or if it is, I know where to put it!).
  4. Keep only the most used and current papers in the desk area. The double Shagreen Pocket fit perfectly in the spot under our photo board and now houses our daughter’s papers and the most-used of our papers.
I also was able to organize some of my home canned foods with the pre-printed kitchen labels:

This solved two problems:

  1. Knowing which jars to use first (because the date is easily seen on the front now).
  2. Quickly telling the difference between similar items like tomato sauce and pizza sauce.

However, the absolutest, most wonderful aspect of the kitchen labels is this: they come off cleanly (and easily!) with NO residue!! For any of you who have canned and applied those “canning labels” for gift giving, you know that the residue takes FOREVER to come off – if at all (which you can see clearly in the “before” photo on one of the jars…). All I can say is – it’s about time.

One of the things I do each November is to set up a wrapping station in a corner of my workroom. This, combined with my wrapping system for Brian and the kids, has been the reason I’m not up until the wee hours before Christmas and makes it easy for the rest of my family to wrap whenever they need to.

I was impressed with the new Holiday Shipping products in the Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery line; they are durable enough to mail and pretty enough to go right under the tree. There’s also wrapping paper, bags, tags, and ribbon – all coordinating of course, these products are available in-store at Staples.

I have to admit, though, that I love the printed Kraft paper so much I plan to use it for gifts under our tree and for decorations – won’t it look great with the book-page ornaments and some burlap ribbon?

You can browse all the products at Avery, purchase them at Staples, and follow Avery on Facebook.

Now it’s your chance to win a $100 Staples gift card to score yourself some lovely Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery products to “simplify in style” and organize your home – woot! To enter leave a comment answering the question: What areas of your home need to be organized? Read the rules below for more ways to enter.

Sweepstakes Rules and How to Enter:

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 bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


  1. My desk and computer area definitely need some organizing!

  2. Everything looks fantastic! What a difference having the correct tools to make the job easier. I think you’ll have no trouble keeping things right at your fingertips. I’d love to tweak our
    bill-paying area. Thanks for the chance to win some great stuff!

  3. Valerie Barber says:

    Love what you’ve done with your two desks using the new products! Also am looking forward ot setting up a wrapping station in our basement. Thanks for the idea!

  4. I just love what you’ve done with all your new goodies! My desk needs some serious help and so does my pantry. You have inspired me!

  5. My entryway could use some help!

  6. Hahaha… What areas of my house DON’T need to be organized might be an easier question. But my biggest problem area is definitely our general workdesk / papers… Thanks for the giveaway, that would certainly make organizing it all fun !

  7. my desk is a mess(and I love those colors!)

  8. Your desk looks great! Mine could use a similar makeover. Thanks for the chance!

  9. Tanya Hulbert says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! It looks great!

  10. My kitchen pantry is desperately in need of organization! While I don’t have the ability to do the wonderful home canning that you demonstrate so well, I am totally envious of your pantry. Would love to have these tools to give my pantry a much needed boost!

  11. These items would be great since I am starting to organize my office from all these great ideas.

  12. My desk is an ongoing issue — I will get it cleaned up and before I know it, it is a disaster again!!

  13. I need all the help I can get when it comes to organizing. Your desk was inspiration.

  14. Love what you did with your desk. I’ve been looking at the Martha Stewart collection at Staples for 2 months!! I would love to win the giveaway to finally organize my desk. Thanks for the opportunity!!

  15. My craft area desk is so bad that you can’t identify that it is a desk. You gave great pictures of ways to improve a desk. Thanks

  16. I love anything Martha Stewart designs! I think that your desks and pantry rock!

  17. I found your blog through Faun and I LOVE it!!! Your pics and ideas are so inspiring! And of course I could use some help organizing/cutifying in my desk area!!! :)

  18. Bedroom, kitchen and seasonal clothing/shoes. My husband has many areas that need organized.

  19. The thought of being able to find something when I need it is amazing. Sounds like it could really happen if I invested some time into it.

  20. My desk is a nightmare! It was my grandmother’s so I would love to honor her by keeping it neater!

  21. I TOTALLY need some help in my office! Thanks for the article info and the sweepstakes chance! Fingers crossed! :-)

  22. I would LOVE to win this giveaway!

  23. Melissa Miller says:

    I really need to organize my office and my kids desks. This would be a wonderful present for all of us. Thanks for sharing.

  24. I have been stalking, too. Checking out all this fun stuff!

  25. With five kids and a self employed husband paperwork is a constant “CHORE” I would like to update and streamline my poorly run system. This looks like the solution.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Be Blessed

  26. My desk/craft table needs A LOT of help. These colors are perfect.

  27. It’s all in my favorite color!
    I really enjoy getting your blog posts in my email. They never make me feel stressed about not doing enough like a competitive friend. They’re more like a kindred spirit kind of friend. Thank you for your efforts!

  28. I’m hopelessly disorganized–I found out I have ADHD about a year ago. That diagnosis explains the disorganization, but doesn’t fix it. Martha can help fix it.

  29. Cindi Smith says:

    My office is just a disaster — maybe this would movitate me to get things organized because thing would stand a better chance at staying that way.

  30. Lorilyn Tarr says:

    I really love the color scheme!! : )

  31. I really need to organize my important paperwork section that is in my kitchen, love the labels too. I have used other things in the past but removing them is so annoying that I stopped. Would love to try them out

  32. What area doens’t need organizing? Unfortunately, we live in a small bedroom and don’t have much money. So pretty much everywhere needs some help. Thanks for the giveaway!

  33. My studio/office needs some help!

  34. Would love to organize my desk. Great ideas!

  35. The “office” :) which is really just a junk room with stacks of very important papers/photos covering every surface.

  36. I really need to get all my paperwork organized and my recipes too!

  37. It was good to see how you organized your desk and other areas. I need inspiration to get my craft area and other working areas in order. Love your helpful info and encouragement.

  38. Love the ideas!! My home office needs lots of help. Could use it in my craft room also.

  39. Barbara Droney says:

    What area in my home needs organizing? Find me one that doesn’t. Well ok sometimes I have the flatware divided properly. Realistically I need to organize the desk I share with my husband and learn how to store the off season cushions from both a camper and a small (17 foot Siren) sailboat. The boat has ropes and sails. Thank goodness bill paying is done on line or I would need more help with that. I would love to win the home organizer kit. But I would cheat and use it my cubicle at work. Work cubes need love too.

  40. My pantry and garage.

  41. I just started trying to (re)organize my desk. These products would be a great help! I could use the gift card to finally get it all together!

  42. Ack! What a great giveaway!
    I love your framed spools of thread by the way. Too stinkin’ cute.

  43. Our computer room & desks need to be organized because there is a lot of paper clutter.

  44. I would love to organize my desk! I especially like your ideas about how to organize things that we use everyday and would like to leave out.

  45. Teresa Vanselow says:

    My whole house needs some major organizing, but I’d have to start with my desk first.

  46. My entire house needs to be organized…especially as we are starting a house search now and will be needing to have things ready to move when the time comes! But specifically my desk and scrapbooking areas need an overhaul!

  47. Christine M says:

    I would have to say my buffet. I no longer have a desk and the buffet is a clutter magnet!

  48. What areas of your home need to be organized?

    My office supply cabinate
    My closet
    My bedroom

  49. Ooh, love the chalkboard labels.

  50. Jennifer Barker says:

    It seems I need to revisit my desk area and re-organize it each season. i am going to try some of these ideas!

  51. My desk and our home office definitely are the worst at the moment.

  52. I have been so trying to organize my desk area!!

  53. Seeing your before & after pictures has given me some motivation to get our desks organized. The Martha Stewart Home Office collection would such a great added bonus. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  54. We will be setting up a home office soon so it would be nice to start with the right products :) I love all of the different colors and organizational ideas.

  55. Your changes look beautiful!

  56. I love reading your blog and I love the chance to win! I have an Etsy shop business at home…actually I have 4 Etsy shops! So…my desk seems to be a constant mess! I could definitely use these products to help organize and spruce things up! Thanks so much for a chance to win! ~~Pam

  57. Can’t wait to check out this line of labels at Staples. Just got a coupon in the mail a couple of days ago for 40% off of Avery labels at Staples – woo hoo! Seriously need to organize my home office.


  58. Ahhh … I love the after pictures. They just make me sigh with peaceful feelings. LOL – seriously – you have such a nice uncluttered look, awesome organizations stuff, and I love the colors! What an inspiration!

  59. Definitely my desk; I still have my files in a bank box on the floor…

  60. Our computer desk needs some organizing. But, actually I could spread that organizing into other areas too.

  61. What wonderful ideas! I could definitely use some desk help!

  62. Keeping the craft supplies organized for both me and my kids is a big challenge…I’m sure that most rooms in my house have at least one area that could use some additional organization though! Thanks for the chance to win!

  63. I would love to have this set. I drool over this at Staples!

  64. Our office!!! Thanks for a chance to win and have a great day!

  65. Pretty much every area of my home needs organizing. I’m beginning to work on it, but it’s a long, hard road.

  66. Renee (ratnay) says:

    Love to be organized, Thanks

  67. Jennifer S says:

    I could really use some organization in my Pantry and Craft Room! I love Martha’s labels and have already picked some up. I hope I win so I can pick up even more to spread around my house!

  68. I’m so needing these products :)

  69. My desk probably needs the most organization, but my hair/cosmetic products are a close second!

  70. Oh, how I would love to win this….because our gigantic desk, that everyone who enters our home sees, is a mess. An awful, cringe-inducing mess. Help? :)

  71. My desk and my craft room need organizing help. I love the aqua color in the Martha Stewart line.

  72. My office is in desperate need for a makeover. Winning the giveaway would be so helpful!!

  73. My dining room table with all the mail clutter

  74. What a great giveaway! I love Martha’s organizing line! And I too love to wrap presents with the extra touches that make it unique! Thank you for this opportunity!

  75. Papers are my nemesis and therefore so is my desk. Your spaces look great! Love MS office products. Thanks for the opportunity.

  76. Home office and the kid’s room.

  77. We have a spot in the laundry room that doubles as our mail area and really needs some organization. It’s always a disaster.

  78. My desk could use some serious organizing and I love how pretty these products are! Thanks for hosting the giveaway Jami!

  79. I have been drooling over these items at Staples for the last couple of months. I am in the process of reorganizing my kitchen/dining/school area and desperate need help. These products would be fantastic!

  80. Here’s my tweet.

    (Not sure how I got the m in my last initial in my previous comment.)

  81. My homeschool room is in desperate need of organization! We have craft supplies to organize, toddler hands-on stuff to organize, desks, bookshelves and more!

  82. What areas? Oh, you know…all of them! We’re not so organized around here lately.

  83. My desk and dining room table, and the kids school work.

  84. My DESK! So much cute stuff!! Thanks for the opportunity!!

  85. So many areas: my desk and school area are the worst! Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to check all of this out at Staples!

  86. My husband’s office needs to be organized

  87. Tiffany Christian says:

    I’m about to by a business so my home office is in serious need of some organization!

  88. Count me in the giveaway! All areas need organizing here :)

  89. My desk is an absolute disaster. Lots of projects started before my oldest (3 1/2) was born and slowly worked on before her little brother was born (now 13 months). I’m also finishing up grad school so it’s total chaos.

  90. Tammy Foster says:

    I could totally use a little organization in my office, in my kitchen, in our learning area…….*sigh*

  91. Nancy Burg says:

    I love the before and after pictures you posted. I would love to improve my own desk and other areas in a similar way! You are so creative!!

  92. Tammie Yak says:

    I need this more than you could know. I love the way your desk looks. Hope you can keep it looking great!

  93. Joan Clapp says:

    My clutter seems to be everywhere!! I could so benefit from being your contest winner!

  94. Stephanie O says:

    My desk and sewing room need some organization.

  95. I would love to be more organized with my office/craft room. These products look amazing.

  96. Leah DeLuzio says:

    love your blog and love the before and after pics! My office and my craft area for my little one could really use some help. Thanks for the chance!! :)

  97. Kim Stewart says:

    My creative space needs a major overhaul of epic proportions!

  98. Stephanie Davis says:

    I would love to win the giveaway, I am in love with Martha’s products!!!!

  99. Karen Medlin says:

    the are we need help on is the craft area, now the tweens and teens like to do craft projects, it gets a bit cluttered with beads, ribbons, different rolls of tapes, scissors and the glue guns.

  100. My desk is such a mess!

    chambanachik at gmail dot com

  101. Your desk spaces look so great now!

    My work area is in a large corner of our bedroom and could really use some TLC from MS! Thank you muchly for the opportunity. :)

  102. The living room, there’re too many things laying on the floor, and the stack of documents need to be filed instead of piling on tables. I love the hanging folders and magazine files, they would help in this situation. Thanks for the review and giveaway.
    songyueyu at gmail

  103. Somebody I know has a bar covered with stacks of paper and a desk in serious need of organization…they might need a little dose of Martha!

  104. My home office needs help!!!

  105. I would love to win some Martha supplies. :)
    I think I would tackle my home school area first.

    Thank you for the chance to win!

  106. My home office and our “arts and crafts” area could really use a touch from Martha Stewart!
    I would love to try those new removable labels. They sound awesome.

  107. I need to organize my home office!

  108. I love these products and with three small kids and loads of paperwork coming at me from every direction, I could use a little organizing help! Thanks for the chance to win!

  109. Oh, what doesn’t need organized around here?? LOL! With all of the things I have going plus paperwork I am keeping track of for hubby, plus me finishing school, things are a hot mess! I could use some organization badly!

  110. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to win this!

  111. The place that needs the most organizing in my house right now would have to be my craft room. And I also have to say that I feel so blessed to have found your blog! I absolutely loved following your month of thrift store transformations as I am a thrift store fiend also.
    I love just about everything on your website. My daughter and I have made your pizza dough and love it too!! Thanks so much!

  112. Love your before and after pictures! I love organizing, thanks for the great ideas!

  113. My desk desperately needs an organization makeover like this!

  114. of course, so many areas could use organization. but the one in most need of help would be the desk for sure. I’d like it to be a functioning family paperwork/mail/etc station, instead of the ignored catch-all that it usually is!

  115. Like you, my desk could always use organization help, Jami! (And the same could be said for my pantry as well–I don’t even want to think about *that* disaster area right now. :)) Thank you for the chance to win–Martha always has such lovely products!

    Take care,

  116. My paper needs to be organized. It’s everywhere! Piles of this and that that need to be sorted and corralled!

  117. The front table by the front door needs to be organized, its where everyone drops everything that they don’t know where to put. projectgadabout at gmail dot com

  118. I an constantly trying to get organized. Winning this would help :-)

  119. My sewing/craft supplies need the most organizing, but so does my pantry.

  120. Wow,
    That desk looks familiar! I mean the cluttered one of course. With 6 kids, 4 in school, we are in the paper pile up phase for sure. We have a beautiful kitchen with a built in desk that has unfortunately become the drop zone. Any thing we are not sure what to do with goes here. All things for me to read from school, random toys that fit in no set bin, mail, etc. I would love to have an organized life. This would be the first step.

  121. Oh, gosh — with two young kids the whole house needs organizing! But I think I would start with the kitchen pantry. Well, and my office. And….

  122. My kitchen, definitely. I think I use it too much. hahaha…

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  123. my office

  124. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    my room and den need to be organized

  125. Amanda Sakovitz says:
  126. Janice Cooper says:

    The office and basement

  127. Janice Cooper says:
  128. Maria Cantu says:

    My desk and kitchen drawers are a mess.

  129. Our pantry really needs some organization!

  130. Wild Orchid says:

    My pantry could use a makeover and some organization.

    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  131. Wild Orchid says:


    wildorchid985 @ gmail dot com

  132. My workroom which doubles as my home office and craft area could so use a totally new organization method. I keep having to search for stuff and clean it often.

  133. Aimee Brittain says:

    This would help me organize my desk that doubles as my daughters homework area. We could make it cute and girly for both of us.

  134. My desk needs a major transformation along with my craft and sewing areas. I would be thrilled to win this.

  135. Heather Speaks says:

    My home office is in a section of my living room and I would love for it to be organized better and get the maximum use out of such a small area.

  136. My home office / craft room is in need of fixing last year’s organization attempt! The use of the space has changed from my expectations and is now out of organizational control!

  137. Heather Speaks says:
  138. Great ideas! I have the shagreen accordion file and I love it for tax purposes.

  139. I’m a dog trainer and take many of my records with me to visit clients. I need to organize my home office and have professional looking files when I hit the road. I especially love the gift wrap, it would be lovely for the home-made treat bags I’m giving away this year. Thanks for sharing great tips and pictures!

  140. benjamina says:

    I love organizing things and always need more.

  141. Lonene Harbison says:

    My desk and craft area need to be organized. My entire house needs to be revamped. I lost my daughter in June and my eldest has cancer and I need a new system for handling mail and bills since I run home 2 days every 3 or 4 weeks. A set of organizing tools would be great as things are in flux. Thanks

  142. Definitely my desk surface. I want it to look clear and organized. Also, all the paper I use for crafting.

  143. Thomas Murphy says:

    my office def needs to be organized.

  144. Thomas Murphy says:
  145. lorrie geer says:

    This would be s great ot help me organize my scrapooking. Can’t get anyhig done because I can’t find anything!!!!

  146. My home office is in most serious need of de-cluttering.

  147. oh how i need some organization help lol thanks for the chance! lol

  148. I really need to organize in the worst way! Thank you for the inspiration to do so!

  149. My kitchen needs better organizing.

  150. My too small built in desk really needs organizing!

  151. love the before and after photos, great inspirations!

  152. My office!

    It’s actually the office, the pantry, the workout room, the computer room and the catch-all room.

    Luckily it’s a big room. But, it really needs some help!

    Samantha D
    dull2000 at cox dot net

  153. The biggest need for organization is in my kitchen. I simply do not have enough pantry space, counter space, or cupboard space for my food and appliances!

  154. We need a better method of dealing with incoming mail and papers – instead of dumping everything that needs to be dealt with on our dining room table.

  155. My home office is the worst, but I could use more organization everywhere.

  156. Kitchen
    Thanks for the contest.

  157. Rebecca Graham says:

    My home office and den need to be organized.

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