Small business

9 Surprising Uses for Unloved Office Equipment

Desk brightWe've all been there; you just had to have those cute paperclips/bulldog clips/drawing pins/pencil toppers that you never had any intention of using and now you have no idea what to do with them.

And in our increasingly digital world there are old filing cabinets, shredders and other office paraphernalia that are rapidly becoming obsolete and forgotten.

It's up to us to keep the unsung heroes of the office furniture and supplies world from gathering dust with these nine surprising tips:

Extra home storage

It's not uncommon for businesses to offer old cupboards, desks and drawers to employees, but without a vision for the item, employees may be reluctant to take them on, dooming perfectly good items to the tip.

But you don't need to turn down a preloved piece just because you don't need it in your home office.

You may be short on storage elsewhere in the house, like your kitchen. If an old filing cabinet happens to come your way, take some time to add a little paint, some wheels, hooks and a prepping board on top and suddenly you've got yourself an attractive and practical kitchen add-on.

Zombie experience days

No, really. An exponential rise in popularity for Zombie apocalypse boot camps means an increasing number of businesses are on the lookout for abandoned office spaces, factories, schools, asylums and laboratories, along with all the equipment that goes with it.

It doesn't stop with zombies, either; you'll find all manner of supplies lying around tactical-led experiences, from hay bales in fields for paintballing games to metal school lockers in warehouses used for airsoft military simulations.

Free Wi-Fi booster

While the rise in digital has freed us from constant printer jams, the number one First World Problem we're now contending with is rubbish Wi-Fi signal.

But before you head off to scrap your printer or buy a new router, did you know that you can print yourself an antenna to boost your signal? That printer's not looking so defunct now, is it?

Lunch hacks

Before you chuck out those rubber bands the postman always wraps your company post in, keep them handy for keeping sliced apples from going brown on your way to work. Although, you probably already have a sizeable rubber band ball knocking around at home…

All the organisational hacks. Ever.

From organising cables and headphones to replacing broken keyboard feet, there is literally no problem that a bulldog clip can't solve.

Honestly, have a Google and be glad if your office is overrun with unused, unloved clips.

DIY hacks

In most offices there's hardly going to be a queue to give a home to the photocopier. Give it some love and curb management's temptation to bin it off by using it for your home renovation projects:

Eco-friendly hacks

Besides confidential documents there's not much use for company shredders these days.

While it's great to put junk mail and newspapers in the recycling, consider reusing them yourself by shredding it for free, eco-friendly mulch, or small-pet bedding.

You'll be saving the planet, your purse strings and the poor old shredder all in one hit.



I've had masses of drawing pins sitting in an old ceramic pot I made as a kid for years now, wheeled out once a year to tack Christmas decorations to the ceiling.

So, imagine my alarm, when I recently discovered a huge new plastic tub of them sitting in the office.

From putting this list together I've finally found a purpose for these completely unnecessary newcomers; shove them into a Styrofoam ball and spray paint them to get vase fillers that match your décor, like so:

And if that won't use them all up, this pretty typography idea is giving me plenty of Pinspiration for gifts and alternative cards:

Mood boards

Who need clipboards anymore? Your creative team does! Give your old clipboards a refresh with some scrapbook paper or washi tape and use them to create your own real-life version of Pinterest, perfect for brainstorming inspiration.

If you have any questions, please ask below!