Reader question: Storing binders in a home office

A reader sent us the following question:

Love your site, your style, your ideas. I’m a professional organizer and have a client who uses binders regularly in his home office. However, they tend to fall over (since they’re not necessarily square, more triangular in shape when vertical) so they don’t work so well with bookends. Any suggestions? My client is a DWR fan and style is important. Let me know if you have any brilliant ideas for keeping his binders from tipping over!

In my experience, the best binder storage solution is the Binder Storage Carousel. The whole of the storage system is based on the idea that notebooks are triangular in shape instead of square. In addition to the tower model, there are also desktop styles. Unfortunately, though, all styles typically come with a high price tag commonly associated with corporate office furniture.

A google search for “binder storage carousel” will yield you dozens of companies that make similar products. The carousels usually look the same way, so I would find out about construction and materials before making a suggestion to your client. Personally, the mid-century modernist in me loves the sleek, metal, industrial look of these.

Let us know if this helps! Also, let’s open up the comments section for other suggestions from our readers …

11 Comments for “Reader question: Storing binders in a home office”

  1. posted by PJ Doland on

    You can also put the binders in slip cases which will effectively make their profile rectangular so they will sit properly on a bookshelf.

  2. posted by Jaclyn on

    So what about a large lazy Susan on a shelf?

  3. posted by Debbie on

    Another idea is to use smaller binders so that they are more full and thus more rectangular.

    Or you can slip something in with the pages, such as a narrow box (multi-pen pack? macaroni and cheese?), to hold the binder in a rectangular shape.

    Another idea is to store every other one backwards. This works best if you can tell what the backwards binders contain by context, without having to pull each one out, such as if the binders are in a series or if the backwards ones contain the older files of the frontwards ones.

    Or you can store them someplace where you have access to the top and can straighten the edges to make them perpendicular. This way each one holds itself up.

    Or you can store them on their sides in such a way that something like the back of a closed bookcase keeps them from sliding off each other.

  4. posted by roothorick on

    This looks like something that would be VERY easy to make, and cheaply. I’m thinking plywood discs on a PVC frame, and then paint it for style points.

  5. posted by Bamboozler on

    There are many corner shelves that would easily store binders. Just like the carousel but 1/4 the size. Plus they are much cheaper and use up normally unused space.

  6. posted by Bamboozler on

    Here’s a corner shelf for you anyone wondering what I’m talking about.

  7. posted by Carolyn on

    I really like Bamboozler’s corner shelf idea! You could put it at the end of a bookshelf, so it wouldn’t even need to be in a corner.

  8. posted by Scott Jones on

    Another quick tip – hit your local Staples, OfficeMax, or Office Depot around back to school time. Avery and other binder manufacturers usually produce “shippers” for binders very similar to the image you posted above. After the product is sold, or nearing the end of the back to school season, these shippers are tossed out. Make friends with the department manager, and he’ll let you leave with the shipper when they’re done with it. I used to work at Staples, and there was a friendly customer who I held a couple of these for each year for a similar DIY home binder storage project.

  9. posted by Perri on

    After I posted this question, another organizer sent this brand new product idea to me (grrrr…I always wish I had invented it first!):
    I haven’t tried it out yet, but it looks promising!

  10. posted by kate on

    I find binders a pain–having to punch holes in everything, little round bits of paper everywhere, awkward and not space efficient shape, etc etc. I have gone to the use of project boxes (sometimes called letter boxes if they stack flat). (If I really need dividers, I use the large envelope-style divided folders.) Can’t wait to get my Sharks so they’ll stand neatly, but I’ve been using them lying flat, which is not as big a hassle as you might think. When I’m sorting piled up papers, I just lay them in a row on the floor without their lids and toss in whatever belongs.
    Also I just bought Innohaus Aktiv file boxes at Office Depot or Max that will stack or hang in a file drawer.

  11. posted by Melissa on

    Now that unikeep binders exist, why use old-fashioned triangular binders? Unikeeps are rectangular and snap shut like boxes. They are the miracle of my existence on planet earth!

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