Posted by on 1/4/2020 to Let's Talk: Relax, Soak and Unwind after Work
Reducing Stress the Old Fashion Way - Part IX: How to Organize your Home Office
Let's be honest, maintaining organization in every aspect in your life is tough, and if you're new to this concept it can be confusing trying to get the most out of your spaces. However, once you get your own systems down, it doesn't matter if you're trying to organize your bedroom or trying to organize your kitchen, you can take savvy ideas from one project to another.
How to Organize your Home Office in Steps:
Dedicate your Space: If at all possible, keep your home office separate from your bedroom, living room and dining room. Dedicate this space for time to concentrate on exactly what home offices are used for. Whether you work at home, or simply spend time in your home-office for bills, mail, browsing your computer, it's hard to concentrate and keep things organized when your office shares a space with another. It becomes cluttered quickly.
If you have no choice but to use shared space, there are ways to maximize and keep things as separate as possible, we suggest using some sort of room divider as one option.
Clear It. Clean It. Toss It: If you already have a dedicated space then obviously you can start with Step 2. Easy, clear everything out. There is an option here to do one drawer at a time, but let's be honest how many people can dedicate their days to do one drawer at a time, set time aside and clear everything out at once. Next, clean, don't start thinking about where and how you are putting your items back, how to organize your office desk, or how to organize your office drawers, until you have completely cleaned things out.
Finally, toss it, throw things away. There are papers, items, containers, old stationary, notepads that you own in your home office that you have not used in years or is just plan junk at this time. Don't waste your time with those items, toss them or donate them if applicable. After you're looking at a blank canvas, then you can think prioritize, one drawer at a time or one space of your home office at a time. You will be amazed at how much space you will save!
Smart Desking: What do I mean? Well simply, know your space. If you have limited space or even if you have a large home office with a lot of furniture or pieces, think about how to maximize your space, or even how to make your space seem bigger then it is. Use space saving pieces of furniture. Here are some ideas:
- Clear furniture: Clear chairs or glass desks make a space feel bigger. If you have limited space think about this option when organizing your home office.
- "Tuck Away" Chairs: Be smart with the size of you chair. Your office chairs don't have to look like typical business chairs. They can be small, colorful and compact. Find chairs that fold away, can be stored easily or tuck under your desk.
- No "desk" at all: Another cool design option and space saver is to use shelving as a desk.
Measure: Don't be afraid to pick up that measuring tape and make sure the furniture pieces you're using actually fit your space. This will go a long way in making your space feel right and not to cluttered. This is crucial when thinking about how to organize your home office. Ask yourself, "would this piece fit better in the corner?", "Will this desk hold the supplies I need?", "Can I also fit a file system with this desk?"
Office on Wheels: Another great tip is to either buy furniture that is on wheels (which you can) or make sure you have some moving coasters under the legs of your office furniture. Try out different ways of arranging your furniture. With wheels or coasters it makes this process must simpler on you.
Use Stations: I love this concept. dedicate certain spaces in your office to common items. For example, set up a small area just for printing. Have drawers, cabinetry, shelving, or an area to your desk just for printing materials and accessories. Choose like materials when storage in this area to give it feel of cohesion. Do the same for your mailing station. Dedicate a potion of you wall space and buy a designer or trendy accessories to hole and sort your mail. Again, choosing similar materials in each part of your office will keep your home office looking and feeling more cohesive.
Labeling: Stay more organized by using labels. You can purchase cool labels or even purchase your own label maker and get creative. This is an easy way to identify your spaces and areas of your home office, and make it look really cool and fun.
Importance of Filing: For me this is the most crucial part of my home office. When discussing how to organize your home office, you simply can't leave this concept out. Whether you keep a filing system on paper using a filing cabinet or use your computer to scan and organize your important documents, there is no way to feel completely in sync without it.
I'm old school and still prefer to print anything I need out and keep it in a physical filing cabinet. I like to color code my files and arrange them by categories in alphabetical order. The nice thing about this is you can always create new categories or files and add them as needed.
Neutral Colors & Pops of Color: So this idea is totally personal preference, but I prefer to keep my home office as neutral as possible, and then add in pop's of colors or decor, like wall art. This keeps things cohesive, but also fun. Who said your home office has to be a boring space, spruce it up a little, while also keeping in mind you don't want it to feel chaotic. With neutral colors, it's easy to change the look and feel, bring in new furniture pieces without changing a whole lot.
Vertical Space: A common theme in all of our blog threads around organization, has to do with the use of vertical space. In your home office the use of wall space, shelving, and peg boards can be used to maximize your space. Don't just focus on your furniture pieces to store all of your essentials, use your vertical space, get creative. There are tons of ideas to get huge value out of your home office space.
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