Home office organization doesn’t come naturally for everyone. And nowadays, many of us are working or studying from home – usually in a home office. Making sure that your space is clean, clutter-free, and inviting will make your work time much more productive and enjoyable.
Whether your home office is a small desk in the corner of the living room or a spacious room with a view, read on for our top nine home office organization techniques to get your home office space organized and keep it that way.
Who Needs Home Office Organization?
Anyone that sits down to work or study needs an organized home office space to focus and get things done.
If you have young kids, a stressful job, or you struggle to concentrate in general, then it is even more important to make sure that your desk and the surrounding area is orderly and clean. That way you won’t have to spend unnecessary time and energy on looking for things, worrying about the kids getting into your things, or getting distracted by all the messy clutter lying around you.
Benefits of Home Office Organization
There are many benefits to an home office organization, including:
An organized office space is warm and inviting. You’ll enjoy walking into your office every day and you won’t have any reason to feel embarrassed when you have company over or a virtual business meeting.
Being able to walk into your office, sit down, and focus on the task at hand will greatly improve your productivity.
Saved Time and Money
If your home office space is organized, you’ll save time because you won’t have to spend time looking for things you know are in there somewhere. And because you’re being more productive, things shouldn’t take as long as they used to.
You’ll also save money because you won’t buy things you already have just because you forgot you had them.
When you have less stress and more time and money, there’s more space to breathe and be creative.
Whether it’s craft projects, writing, design, or simply coming up with solutions to problems you’ve been struggling with, home office organization gives you the space to get your creative juices flowing again.
Less Risk of Injury
Without things lying all over the floor or tangled cables everywhere, there’s less chance that you or someone in your family could trip or hurt themselves in your office space.
No Missed Opportunities
It’s easier to keep track of things when you’re organized, especially upcoming events, sales, meetings, special occasions, and other exciting opportunities that arise.
Top Home Office Organization Tips
If you don’t know where to start organizing your home office, take a look at the following tips that you can get started with right away. Your home office can become a wonderful place to work in practically no time at all!
Store Items in Containers
Clutter happens when things are left lying around, whether that’s on flat surfaces where you can see them or shoved into a drawer. To organize your home office space, start by grouping similar items together.
Once you see how many categories of items you have, get a container for each category and pack the items neatly into the containers. This way everything in your home office has a home.
Be creative with the types of containers you choose: you can use drawer organizers, magazine holders, bins, trays, baskets, plastic containers, a cubby bookshelf, or even cardboard boxes.
Purge Your Papers
Paper is one of the quickest things to pile up and get out of control in any home office space. It’s far too easy to lose an important piece of paper or miss a bill when you’re disorganized; and it’s time consuming.
Did you know that it takes about 10 minutes to find a piece of paper when it’s in the wrong place or lost in a pile of other papers?
Now’s the time to get rid of as much paper clutter as possible. Pick up each piece of paper and decide if you need to shred it, throw it away, or keep it. Once you’re left with a pile of papers to keep, and hopefully this pile is much smaller than the pile you started with, it’s time to organize them.
Use color-coded files to keep your papers ordered in categories, or use paper holders to keep all your papers in one place, so you know exactly where to look when you need something.
Use a Label Maker
A secret tip from the most organized of home office organization pros, is to invest in a label maker, which can be a game changer for you and the rest of the family.
Take the time to put labels on your storage containers, files, and drawers. Whenever you or someone in your household needs something, you will all know exactly where to find it and where to put it away.
Bring in Plenty of Shelving
You might be trying to squeeze everything into drawers and containers in your home office, but have you looked around the room at how much wall space you have?
Bringing shelving into a room can create a lot more space in a small area, and it’s very affordable these days.
Decide what you’d like to store on these shelves, then take some measurements and choose cabinets that go with your office decor. Alternatively, choose neutral shelving that you can dress up with some artwork, bookends, or photos to personalize it.
If you don’t want open shelves then consider getting closed cabinets, which can also look very professional and neat.
Here’s a little tip: Put the things you use most often at eye level, heavier items on the lower shelves, and containers or items you don’t use often on the higher shelves.
Use a White Board for Brainstorming
Mount a white board to one of the walls in your office and have some whiteboard markers handy. This makes a great place to brainstorm ideas and keep your to-do list up to date, writing down things that need to get done and erasing them once they’re completed.
Because it’s on the wall right in front of you, it makes it easy for you to see what needs to be done and prioritize things each day.
Hide Cords for Electronics
You probably have quite a few items in your home office that need to be plugged in, which means they have cords. These cables can become messy and get tangled, causing an unsightly jumble along the wall and on the floor (never mind this being a fire hazard).
Undo any tangles in the cords and use cord clips to secure each cord at the back of your desk or neatly along the wall. Plug these into a surge protection power strip, so your electronics don’t get destroyed if the line gets hit by lightning, and sit back and relax your soothing new space.
Implement a Regular Cleaning Habit
Part of being organized is keeping things tidy and clean, and if you’ve purged the papers, set up storage containers and hidden cords, then it’s going to be much easier to build good habits from here on out.
At the end of each day, take a few minutes to prepare for the next day by packing things away and removing anything from your office that doesn’t belong there. You’ll go to bed each night knowing that you can look forward to walking into a nurturing space in the morning, and that you’ll start your day off on the right foot.
If you work in your home office daily, it’s a good idea to give the room a thorough clean from top to bottom about once a week. Wipe down all surfaces, especially your desk and any areas that you touch a lot, then vacuum the floors and empty the bin.
Create a Mail Station
Take control of the mail coming in by setting up a mail station for your home office. Use folders or paper holders to keep mail that has come in and mail that needs to get sent.
Whenever the mail arrives, simply put it all in the incoming folder. Once a week, when you have time, go through the mail. This is the time to pay the bills, give other family members their letters, shred or throw away what you don’t need, and file any papers that you want to keep.
Install Floating Shelves
Floating shelves are a very cost-effective, quick and easy option to add storage space to a home office. Mount the shelves directly onto a wall, making sure the shelves can carry the weight that you want to use them for.
Use these floating shelves to store books, craft supplies, or any other office items that you need to be able to access easily.
Getting a home office organized does not have to be difficult or expensive, especially if you use our top tips above. Purging papers and categorizing items, then assigning places to things with containers and labels are the simple steps to getting more done, and with less stress.
Look beyond your desk at the space above it and below it, then look all around the room for ideas on what to organize and space to use.
Over time, you will find out what works best for you and try new ways to organize your home office.