Everything You Need to Stock Your New or Growing Small Business Office

Before setting up a new office or expanding your existing one, you’ll want to get a handle on how much it will cost to fully stock the space. The lists below serve as good starting points for everything you may need: from budgeting one-time expenses like furniture and equipment to recurring costs like paper and everyday supplies.

Most office supply companies carry a wide range of office essentials. In most cases, you can order online and get free delivery, which saves time and money and frees you up to take care of business.

Keep in mind that there’s no need to buy in bulk unless the discounts are really significant. Put one person in charge of ordering regularly from your preferred office supplier, and take advantage of next-day delivery at no extra charge.

Office Furniture and Decor

Furniture should be functional first and foremost—but also comfortable. Consider modular furniture that can be reconfigured as your office grows and your needs change.

  • Desks and chairs
  • Filing cabinets
  • Work/conference table and chairs
  • Reception area/breakroom chairs and tables
  • Shelving
  • Cubicle or room dividers
  • Office decorations (art, posters, photographs, etc.)

Technology and Electronics

A multi-page scanner is one of the best investments you can make to keep your office organized. Less paper to file and maintain means less work, not to mention fewer filing cabinets needed.

  • Computers (desktops or laptops)
  • Monitors and keyboards
  • Mice and mouse pads
  • Software (software applications, accounting, anti-virus, etc.)
  • Wireless printer(s)
  • Multi-page scanner
  • Copier
  • Printer/copier ink and/or toner cartridges
  • Storage (hard drives, thumb drives)
  • Automatic backup (UPS)
  • Surge protectors
  • Telephones

Reception Area/Breakroom/Conference Room/Kitchen

What will you provide for the comfort, safety and well-being of your employees and guests?

  • Water cooler
  • Coffeemaker
  • Coffee and tea
  • Hot beverage condiments (sugar, creamer, stirrers)
  • Paper and plastic products (hot and cold cups, plates, cutlery)
  • Coat hooks and/or hangers
  • First-aid kit
  • Fire extinguisher

Meetings, Planning Sessions and Presentations

What will you need to conduct meetings, planning sessions and presentations?

  • Projector
  • Flip chart easel and paper
  • Wall calendar or planner
  • White board with markers and erasers

 Everyday Supplies

Every employee needs his or her own desk supplies. Store extras in a designated office supply storage area—a closet, breakroom cabinet or filing cabinet. Create an inventory reorder checklist to hang in your supply closet. Train employees to check items that need to be reordered when they take the last one.

  • Writing supplies (pens, pencils, markers, highlighters)
  • Paper clips
  • Staplers and staples
  • Staple removers
  • Adhesive tape
  • Rubber bands
  • White-out/correction tape
  • In/out/filing baskets
  • Scissors
  • Recycling and trash bins
  • Calculators
  • Paper shredder
  • Pencil sharpener
  • 3-hole punch

Paper and Filing Supplies

If you opt for a combination printer and copier, then only one type of paper and toner cartridge is needed. Most offices will purchase one carton at a time. Set up a paper recycling station in your shared printer and copier area.

  • Business cards and letterhead
  • Copy paper
  • Printer paper
  • Ruled notepads
  • Post-It notes
  • Hanging file folders with tabs
  • Manila folders
  • Pocket/project/presentation folders
  • 3-ring binders and 3-hole punched plastic protective sleeves

Mailing Supplies

Set up an account with your preferred postal carrier so you can create labels with postage and take advantage of mailing discounts.

  • Letter envelopes
  • Catalog/brochure/proposal envelopes
  • Mailing tape
  • Postage

Bathroom

You’ll want to stock your bathroom with basic necessities.

  • Toilet paper
  • Tissues
  • Paper towels
  • Air freshener
  • Toilet scrub brush
  • Plunger
  • Hand soap

Cleaning

Even if you have a cleaning service, accidents happen. Some everyday cleanup is needed to keep your office looking good—and to keep dirt and germs at bay.

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sponges
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Paper towels
  • Computer cleaning spray (for screens and keyboards)
  • Microfiber dusting cloths
  • Wet mop with microfiber head
  • Vacuum cleaner

Donna Smallin Kuper is a professional organizer, cleaning expert and writer for Quill.com. As The One-Minute Organizer, she helps people organize their homes and businesses.

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