What makes a great home office? You need a space where you can focus, relax, and enjoy your work. Most of all, you need an area where your work stays organized so you always have mental and physical space to tackle the next task. The challenge is organizing your home office in a way that will stick. How do you fight back the piles of clutter or the disorganized shelves and surfaces?
It turns out if you use the right techniques keeping your home office organized is easy! These simple steps can make your home office more organized, more attractive, and more enjoyably productive during your remote workdays. Give these a try.
1) Delegate Desk Clutter
Don't let your desk become the surface of universal clutter. Instead, make it a rule to keep your desk surface clean. Delegate desk clutter to other spaces, even a "drop chest" space that you'll need to sort later. Give yourself one or two bowls or boxes on the desk (or in a nearby drawer) for at-hand things. Otherwise, keep stuff off the surface of your desk, or it will only act as a magnet to attract more stuff.
2) Give Yourself a Shelf
The best way to keep your desk clear and your entire office organized is with a shelf to offload and organize office clutter. A tall bookshelf is ideal, but you can use any kind of shelf as your offload point. The shelf can be sorted with organizer boxes and baskets, labeled, and kept as your all-purpose office storage. You can even put the shelf in the closet or mount floating shelves on your wall for a modern and stylish no-floorspace look or use shelves already built into the wall if you have an older handcrafted home.
3) Use Desk and Drawer Organizers
Make use of organizer technology. Use bins, shallow boxes, bowls, and pencil cups to keep all your office supplies in the most efficient and attractive storage configuration possible. You can use baskets for larger items, cups for writing utensils, and silverware organizers for a collection of tools or supplies. You can hang organizers from your wall or set them into your desk drawers. The more compartments you have available to sort into, the more organized you can be.
4) Make an At-Hand Work Caddy
Give yourself a caddy for the things you use regularly through the day. This might be rubber bands and paper clips, ink pens and pencils, your tablet's smart pen, even a trusty collection of hair ties or lip balm. These at-hand items are part of what anchors clutter to the rest of your desk. Identify what you really need every day so you can let go of the rest. Designate one caddy for your daily stuff and all the extra clutter will be easier to move away. You might set out a small bowl under your monitor or one organizer compartment along the side of your desk.
5) Cubbies and Cube Storage
Cube storage is a great way to organize an office, especially if you have several types of equipment that don't look like a tidy collection on an open shelf. Cube storage is cloth-wrapped-cardboard cubes that fit perfectly in rows along the right shelf. You can have dozens of cube-compartments each hiding part of your office supplies. Need to store extra cables or keep an emergency supply of cat toys near your desk? Cube storage makes your office look sleek and organized no matter how strange your shelf storage may be. Every cube looks the same (same color and design or mix it up) and they maximize the capacity of your shelves by adding deep containers on otherwise flat surfaces.
6) Label Your Storage Containers
With all your organizer compartments and cube storage, your office probably looks sleek, but it might be hard to find what you're looking for. Choose one unified labeling system and label stickers or plaques to apply to every hidden container. Label each cube, compartment, drawer, and box with subtly useful monikers. Then, no matter how much clutter you've sorted and hidden in your home office, you'll always be able to find what you're looking for. And so will others if you send them delving into your office closet for some supplies.
7) Bind and Hide Your Cables
Cables are such a literal drag in the home office design. They form an unattractive "squid" coming from the back of your computer and your power strip. They're also often difficult to wrangle, channel, or make attractive. But you can, with effort. Here's what you do: Start by using cable ties to bind as many 'snakes' of cable clusters as possible along shared paths. Then use cable socks to wrap these snakes of cables and reduce the cluttered look. If there's still a mess, use fabric draped over the back of your desk to hide the mess. Believe it or not, hiding messy cables can help keep your mind organized and focused on work.
8) Increase the Light Levels
Whatever room you choose for a home office, there's a good chance it has an underpowered residential light fixture. Bedroom light fixtures are often soft, shielded by a frosted flush-light cover or upturned chandelier. However, home offices need better light to see your work and maintain a clear head. Don't be shy about placing lamps or even changing out the light fixture for something more illuminating.
9) Take Over Your Desk Wall
One of the things we often forget is that the wall above your desk is your territory as well. Give yourself a hanging shelf right above the desk for some off-surface storage. Hang a whiteboard, a screen, a corkboard for charting ideas, or more shelves for better organization. That wall is yours to command and you look at it all day. So, make sure your takeover is both useful and nice to look at.
10) Make a Space for Visitors
Don't forget to design your home office so that others can visit with you. Whether a coworker swings by or (more likely) your spouse pops in for a lunchtime chat, you want to be able to welcome others. Set out a chair or two, place a loveseat, or throw some cushions into a bay window to ensure even a small home office can also be a warm social space. If you have pets, place a pet bed near your desk so your furry friend can share your company during the quiet working hours. If you have children, make a quiet play or nap space for them where you can see each other when you're working. Often, the right work-life balance for a home office lies in that one extra space for someone else.
Ready to get your home office organized? All it takes is a few easy steps and your office will be clutter-free, and ready for some great at-home productivity. Organizing your office is a fun way to truly make the space your own. Place everything where you can find it while also choosing containers and storage solutions that make your home office feel like a productive and uplifting place to work at home. After your office is organized, you might want to move on to the kitchen. A new farmhouse sink can increase your productivity in the kitchen as well the office. Contact us for other great home design insights.