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Office Supplies You Need to Keep On Hand

Once you have found your office space and invested in furniture and electronic gear — phones, computers and the like — you still have some shopping to do. That´s right: You need to buy office supplies.

Sounds pretty mundane. All you need are a bunch of pens and some paper, and maybe some message pads. It turns out there´s quite a list of supplies you´ll need to set up a new office — and they are all pretty important to keep your office functioning.

To make sure you have everything on hand that you need, keep these five general guidelines in mind:

  1. Keep a small cache of supplies handy. You´ll save a surprisingly large amount of time if you keep essential supplies within easy reach — perhaps in a desk drawer. Otherwise, you´ll find yourself making two or three daily trips to the supply closet. That can break your rhythm and waste your time.
  2. Hide supplies you don´t use every day. Stacks of stationary, rolls of tape, piles of legal pads — it all adds up to an unsightly and distracting mess. Stuff you use monthly should be on a shelf; stuff you use less often should be in a closet.
  3. Compile and maintain a master list of the supplies you need. Note whenever an item on the list is running low. Once a month or so, replenish supplies so that you won´t run out of fax paper in the middle of an important message.
  4. Every couple of months, review your office supply expenses. Target one or two areas for savings and have a staffer do some comparison shopping. Check office-supply catalogues, Internet sources and local stationery stores for the best prices on various items. If you prefer to stick with one vendor, ask your source to beat the prices you´ve found elsewhere. When you can, buy in bulk and insist on a discount for doing so.

Compile a master supply list. Your master list should include most, if not all, of the items listed below:

  • Printer cartridges
  • Fax paper
  • Stationary
  • Bathroom and cleaning supplies
  • Calculators
  • Calendars
  • Computer disks
  • Copyholders
  • Cork boards
  • Custom stamps
  • Glue
  • Envelopes
  • Invoices
  • Mailing labels
  • Manila folders
  • Markers
  • Note and message pads
  • Paper clips
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors
  • Staplers
  • Telephone headsets
  • Tools
  • White boards