Your home office should be a space where you can get a lot of work done. That “work” may be for your job, for your household, or both. In any case, you’ll want to work in an area that is conducive to productivity and efficiency. However, if your home office is chaotic and disorganized, then read on for these must-do’s to get your work space decluttered, comfortable, and calm.
1. Organize your paperwork
Set up a paper organization system so your paperwork isn’t in multiple piles that are impossible to find anything in. Get a filing cabinet system, or a desktop paper organizer—and tackle those piles. Color code when you can, use that label maker, and shred/recycle as needed. Not sure what to keep and what to let go? Our Paper Retention Guide will help you out. Imagine how much easier it will be to find what you’re looking for once you’ve got this set up!
2. Create a paper processing area
Once you’ve got your paperwork organized, you’re going to want it to stay that way. Paper is the one constant that keeps coming to us—from work, school, the mailbox, etc. Whether it’s your finances, autos, schools, sports, organizations, church…there will be paper. Have a spot where mail and any other incoming paper is consistently placed; you could use an Inbox/Outbox bin or color-coded, labeled folders. Whatever you choose, use it well and get everyone in the household to follow this system. Do a weekly processing of the incoming papers, and sort them into three categories: File, Shred/Recycle, and Action. Put this in your calendar say, every Wednesday night, to make sure it gets done.
3. Group and store items by category
Your office should not have a junk drawer, or random piles of items filling the shelves. Get rid of unnecessary items that don’t belong in your workspace; maintain this by not using this space as an extra storage or holding area. Then store things together as a group. For instance, keep your office supplies in one drawer, printer supplies in a bin next to the printer, reference books together on a shelf, and notecards together in a clear bin or basket. When you are searching for envelopes, for example, you’ll know exactly where to look.
4. Use the walls wisely
Definitely put up some attractive and decorative artwork on the walls. But also utilize some wall space for extra storage. A wall of shelves or floating shelves, hanging magazine racks, or a wall organizing system—there are many cool and practical ways to use your walls wisely. As with anything else in your home office, don’t overstuff or clutter it up.
5. Limit the hardware on your desk
Don’t let your desk be a pile-up of anything, and this includes hardware. Your desk is your main workspace in your office, and it should be cleared of extra items that can be strategically placed elsewhere. Your monitor, keyboard, and mouse should be on your desk—your hard drive, modem, and printer should be placed elsewhere, even if it means getting a small table or shelf unit to place next to your desk. If your whole desk needs some decluttering love, read our guide.
6. Label everything
As you know we are huge fans of our label makers! Label files, boxes, bins, drawers, paper organizers, and even shelves. It makes it so much easier to know where to put things and where to find them. My stapler even has a label that says, “Mom’s – Do not take elsewhere”.
7. Organize and hide cables and wires
It’s 2022, and there is no need for your cables and wires to be a scary, dusty jumble. HGTV has some great products listed to help you get that cord chaos under control and out of sight.
Spend a couple of weekends focused on this project and it will be a fantastic return on your investment of time and effort. If it gets overwhelming or you need it done faster, don’t hesitate to reach out for extra support. That’s what we’re here for!