Many people have recently begun working from home, while others have been doing so for years. Some have converted a room to an office, but others were only able to carve out a workspace in a corner of a room. No matter how big or small your home office is, keeping things organized can help you find what you need when you need it and be more productive.
Get Rid of Things That Don’t Belong in Your Office
It’s easy for a home office to get cluttered with objects that shouldn’t be in an office at all. Look for dishes, toys, magazines, and other things that should be in different rooms and put them where they belong.
Go through documents in your home office and shred or discard ones that you don’t use now and won’t need in the future. If you have documents that you don’t use regularly but need to have access to, store them in a filing cabinet or a box in a closet or a different room. If you don’t need those documents in paper form, consider storing them digitally to save space.
Create an Organizational System That Works for You
Assign a specific location to everything in your office. Think carefully about the type of work you do and your individual needs. There may be some files that you need to keep on your desk since you use them frequently, or you may be able to lock files in a cabinet and only pull them out occasionally. You may need to file documents by category, by client, or by some other criterion. You may decide to print labels and organize files in alphabetical order, or a simple color-coded system may work for you.
If necessary, buy items that you can use to help you organize your office space. You may need one or more free-standing shelves or filing cabinets, or you may want to hang shelves, filing bins, or a bulletin board on a wall if you have a limited amount of floor space. Cubbies and bins can be useful for storage, and their design can make the room appear more organized.
Minimize the amount of clutter on the desk so you can maximize your available workspace, avoid distractions, and stay productive. Store office supplies, such as paper, printer toner, labels, pens, and paper clips, in desk drawers or in containers on shelves. Use bins on the desk to keep essential papers organized.
Take It One Step at a Time
Organizing your home office may seem like an overwhelming task. If so, breaking it down into a series of smaller, more manageable steps can help you transform your home office from a cluttered mess to an organized workspace where you can be more focused and productive.