How that Brown Box Can Help You Organize

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A big part of spring cleaning is organizing. And there’s no need to spend a pretty spring day shopping for expensive baskets, boxes and binders to organize your personal papers and office supplies. All you need is a basic brown box. Yes, THAT brown box, the one that safely delivers your orders from subscription box services and other retailers. It’s the perfect tool to tame your personal papers and more. We’ve rounded up five fail-proof ways to upcycle cardboard into productive organizing accessories with minimal fuss and expense.

Bankers boxes: Bankers boxes are perfect for hanging file folders, organizing paperwork and keeping private what you want to keep, well, private. It’s all in the perfectly placed lid. has a tutorial on how to create a bankers box with a basic brown box and some foam cord board. And best of all, you can make them your own. As Jane, the site’s blogger says, “You get a custom-sized and color-coordinated storage solution while helping out the planet. You can’t beat that!”

Magazine files: Magazines seem to pile up faster than we can read them. But do they have to look so unkempt until we do? Stacking magazines is messy and impractical. And we all know the one we want is always stuck in the middle somewhere. features a tutorial on creating the perfect magazine holder made out of used USPS boxes to keep those periodicals in pristine shape.

Stackable trays: OK, so you might not want to stack your magazines, but work papers are a whole different story. Whatever you call them – paper trays, in-and-out boxes, desk trays – they are useful at keeping your personal and professional papers separated and organized. features Instructables“make doable” desk trays on their site.

Desk organizer: For you more adventurous organizers, what do you do with all your office accoutrement? You know what we’re talking about: phones, staplers, tape, notepads, pens, scissors, the list goes on and on. No worries, just break out some glue, scissors and your closest cardboard box. has a step-by-step guide to create the perfect desk organizer, complete with drawers.

Organize cords: Using toilet or paper towel rolls are a great way to rein in messy cords, but what reins in all the cardboard rolls? That’s right, a box. Every home office includes myriad cords –  cords for phones, laptops, headphones and extension cords – and a productive and organized home office should have a place to put them. shares an obvious tip on storing those cords that wasn’t so obvious to us.