Your home office is a sanctuary where you can have a professional and clear mindset, but if it’s cluttered and messy, it really can influence the way you work. Clutter can decrease productivity as well as your energy so declutter your home office to get organized and regain your effective work space.
1. Start by sorting
The first thing you need to do is to go through everything, whether it’s in a heap on your desk or crowding up the filing cabinet. Divide the items into three piles – the trash, tools, and transients.
- The trash can be actual garbage, or just stuff you no longer need or want.
- The tools are office supplies like laptops, printers, files, and other necessary equipment. These items also get top priority when you divide up the room space.
- The transients are things that have value, but just don’t belong in the space. A lot of home offices become a spot to stash stuff that doesn’t have a place anywhere else, but all these things must go if you want to have a neat and organized office.
2. Give everything a specific place
Your office will definitely be cluttered if you have a bunch of stuff sitting around that doesn’t really belong anywhere. Designate a home to return each item to after you’re finished using it.
3. Create a “maybe” space
You might have some stuff on your hands that doesn’t really fall into any of the three categories. If you’re going through a pile of items that isn’t really trash, but not an obvious necessity like your laptop, then you should designate a desk drawer or box to be your “maybe” box. This is for all those things that you want to put into use or think you might need in your home office one day. Observe your workflow over the next month or so, and toss those items in the maybe box/drawer that you haven’t utilized during that time.
4. Designate a spot for incoming papers
How much of your clutter is made up of paper? Whether it’s invoices or just scribbled reminders on sticky notes, you need a designated place for incoming and outgoing. Other essential paper items should be stored out of sight so they don’t add to the visual clutter of the room. Filing cabinets are made for this, and they needn’t be a metal eyesore! Check out these gorgeous ones below
5. Buy more storage
If you really just do have too much important stuff that you need, then it might be time to add some extra storage, or even enlarge your work space. You can never have too many bins, shelves, or filing cabinets, as long as they’re kept neat and organized and full of essentials. The goal is to optimize your workflow and keep your business running smoothly. If that requires storing 7 years of tax info and check stubs then don’t beat yourself up about it. The IRS auditor isn’t going to give you a free pass because you went all KonMari Method on your records so do what you have to do! There are quite a few fun options out there that you can use to make organization a part of your home office decor.
6. Go Digital
There are programs that can help you to keep things running smoothly, while keeping the clutter down and saving you time and money! Consider keeping your calendar/planner online through Google Calendar and signing documents digitally through DocuSign or EchoSign, et. al. There are also apps and software programs to help you stay on top of your records digitally by scanning in receipts and other information.
7. Organize cables
Tame those cables with a few simple tricks. Use a wireless mouse, keyboard, and printer if you aren’t already. For the unavoidable cords, keep them wrangled with sleeves, ties, or my personal favorite…cable clips!
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8. Straighten up every evening
The clutter will never be able to build up too much if you take the time to clean up every evening. It’s okay if things get messy during the day, as long as you don’t keep it messy. Take five or ten minutes each night to straighten, so every morning you’ll be able to come to a clean office, ready to work.
Now that you’ve decluttered an organized, I think you’ll be surprised at how your motivation and productivity increase in your home office space. If you’re feeling bit by the decluttering but, check out these 20 things throughout the rest of your home that you can toss right now!