If a clear space makes for a clear mind, why not make sure your home office is organized for efficiency—so you can have more free time away from work.
To start, first make sure you have the basics down: adequate lighting, a desk that’s large enough to spread out comfortably and room for storage, whether your “office” is in a dedicated room or a corner of another area of the house. So say our friends at the Container Store, who also shared savvy tips for specific office challenges.
Clear Your Desk
There are three primary rules for desk organization, according to the Container Store:
Visibility – Choose a desktop storage solution with labels to easily identify contents. This will also help other family members know where to find and put things.
Accessibility – Make sure items you need most, such as notepads, sticky notes, pens and scissors, are easiest to access.
Flexibility – Select a storage solution that can adapt to your changing needs. That way it can be reconfigured and reused to solve a variety of organization challenges as they come.
Leave some empty space for writing and sorting papers as well as computing.
Organize in Tight Spaces
Many people don’t have the luxury of a spare room to dedicate to an office. When an area such as a guest room, has to serve double duty, it’s especially important to hide clutter and private documents and maximize space. Items can be stored in decorative boxes like these colorful Oskar boxes. Shelving, such as the Container Store’s customizable Elfa system, can be a good way to use existing wall space.
Managing paperwork such as mail, receipts and important documents is a major challenge for most people. To stay of top of things, consider creating a three-category system: “To Pay,” “To Review/Act On” and “To File.” Process paperwork as soon as you get it, say experts at the Container Store.
It’s also important to figure out your workflow personality. Are you a: “piler” or a “filer”?
Pilers should focus on setting up a stackable or vertical filing solution that allows them to stack and sort important documents. Stackable letters trays work great for this purpose.
On the other hand, a “filer” will want to designate a drawer or storage cabinet, like this Stackable Storage & File Drawer, to put away documents.
Our experts note, the key for both systems is to clearly label your storage!
Keeping cords and chargers from becoming an unsightly tangle is a modern-day challenge. To help, set up a charging area for mobile devices via a docking station that holds devices and hides cords. Round up cords behind desks with a cable zipper. Use colorful tape or labels at each end of a cord to ID what device it’s for.
Junk Your Junk Drawers
Desk drawers that are a jumble of office supplies will just slow you down. To get organized, start by taking everything out. Then determine what will go back in each drawer based on priority, what you need and where. Select a designated area within each drawer where each supply will live and use drawer organizers to corral each item. The Container Store offers drawer organizers in metal mesh, clear acrylic and bamboo wood to suit your style preference.
Taking time to get your office right will make you work smarter and in a more relaxing space. How do you organize your home office? Let us know in the comments below!