Working from home sounds like a dream come true — until you see your home office is a hot mess! Home Office Organization is something some people struggle with.
Between all the files, paper, important documents, and overall general clutter, it can be hard to keep your whole home office neat and organized, especially if you work in a small space. I recently just had to stop everything and reorganize my office, and it helped me feel so much more focused!
11 Home Office Organization Tips & Tricks
That’s why I decided to share these 11 Home Office Organization Tips & Tricks! I knew how much it helped me get things in tip-top shape!
A disorganized home office makes you less productive. Would you believe that according to the National Association of Professional Organizers (YES! It IS a thing! lol), the average person wastes 4.3 hours every week searching for papers? That’s a lot of wasted hours! I think I can definitely attest to that, too! lol I am guilty.
The mess and the clutter can even contribute to your stress levels. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a neat freak, keeping an organized home office space and having everything at easy access can really pay off.
If you don’t know how to begin, I prepared some helpful tips for your organizational systems and on how you can organize your home office with a little inspiration and turn it from a hurricane into a beautiful Pinterest-worthy photo shoot – well, that might be a stretch, but, you get the idea :).
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1. Start From Scratch
Begin organizing with what you have. The first step to begin the decluttering process is to start with a clean slate by clearing out the filing cabinets, drawers, and especially that junk drawer and organizers, and start over.
My desk drawers… oh my – I am actually STILL cleaning them out – one by one. It can be a daunting task. I personally have been dreading this chore for a few years, so you can envision what they look like!
But, I LOVE opening the ones I have done so far – they look so clean and organized and much less like the chaotic mess they were before and give me way more peace of mind.
To have a fresh start, take everything out of your cabinets, and put them in a pile. Then begin sorting your things in three different piles:
- What You Need
- What You Don’t Need
- What You Can Donate
This is a great way to get extra storage not just for your home office but for your entire home and the whole house, but let’s leave that for another day!
This might take a lot of work, but you’ll be surprised at how much stuff and clutter you have and what you can get rid of! This is an easy way to not only give you enough space to work with, but it will also give you extra space and plenty of empty space to do with as you please.
2. Throw Things Out
For the next step, throw things out. This is a hard decision to make for a lot of people. But, you need to ask yourself: Do you really need 30 pens, 5 staplers, and a dozen paper binders?
If you haven’t used them in 3 to 4 years, it’s unlikely you’ll need them again.
Do you really need those old magazines? Are those pens still working? If, No. Get rid of them. This will give you a more organized space.
3. Organize Your Drawers
Drawers tend to be dumping grounds. Are you guilty of clearing off your desk by sweeping everything into the drawers? Now is the time to break that habit.
Take everything out of your drawers and sort through the contents. Throw out whatever is no longer needed or useful. Move whatever is misplaced back to it’s proper location. This will give you way more storage spaces to work with.
Use a plastic organizer tray or storage containers for your storage solutions and place things such as office supplies, business cards, and craft supplies back into the drawer. Use the different sections of the organizer tray to keep everything separated.
Another great thing you could do is keep your daily use items in a designated spot in a proper place. This way it’s easier to find what you need. You can even go the extra mile and use labeled bins, so you remember where things go. Like these:
4. Clean Your Desktop
Look at your computer desktop. Are there a lot of files all over the place? Can you easily find the document that you created last week… or yesterday?
It’s now time to declutter and clean up your digital desktop. Set up directories on your hard drive and start moving the files off your desktop.
It’s also a great idea to take advantage of free services from Google Drive or Dropbox. This can seem like a huge project, but it’s more simple than you think. It just takes a little effort.
Sort those pictures. Do you have thousands of pictures all in one folder? Take some time to sort them into folders that make sense. Like Holidays: Christmas 2018, Thanksgiving 1999, Chloe’s 9th Birthday.
I actually have a folder for each person I often take pics of and I sort them into their folders: kids, grands, friends, other family.
5. Get Rid Of Tangled Cables
The more electronics you have, the more cables there are – I, personally, think they must be duplicating themselves. I often find a few that aren’t even plugged into anything! And don’t even ask me about the “cords box” I keep in the office closet….
Besides being a fire hazard… tangled cords look terrible, especially if they’re exposed and in plain sight.
The good news is that there are a lot of cable organization systems out there. It can be as easy as cable ties to tame your cable mess. Like these:
6. Keep Your Desk Clean
What’s the most important place for productivity? Your desk (although some report it’s the shower for them…).
Keeping specific areas such as your desk clean is one of the best organizing ideas. It can be tempting to place a modern looking and cute stapler, tape dispenser, or pen holders on top of your desk, but that can add to the clutter.
I haven’t used tape in years at my desk… yet I have prominently displayed this adorable tape dispenser <—.
Make sure to keep your desktop clear. Keep all your supplies, especially those small items, in storage bins that are in your drawers. This is the best way to make the entire room look like you hired a professional organizer.
You’ll be surprised at how clean your desk will be after all your hard work and there are no random household items lying around, such as paper clips on it.
7. Create A Mail Station
To maintain control of the paper coming in, create a mail station. You can make a folder for incoming and outgoing mail, or you can also use a letter holder.
This way, all your mail stays out of the bottom of the pile of your junk drawers. You could set up any blank wall with a hanging pretty basket like wicker baskets or wire baskets.
This works great if you only have small spaces or tight spaces to work with, or you could use bins, in any storage space, or area where you have dead space that’s in easy reach.
As soon as the mail comes in, file it in the mail station. Once a week, go through the folders and throw away anything you don’t need anymore. Check these out:
8. Categorize Your Things
Organize your home office into categories. Place like items together and make a designated area for them to make and keep your home office organized and more functional. This is a fantastic way to keep things in their proper place all the time.
9. Use A Bigger Trashcan
An overflowing trashcan is a sign of an unorganized home office.
A larger trashcan will also remind you to throw things out instead of placing them in a corner, drawer, or on your desk. Which, in turn, will make Home Office Organization much easier.
10. Scan Them
Paper can result in a big clutter. You don’t need physical copies of receipts! If that 5-year old fridge invoice from Walmart is important to you for warranty purposes, you can scan it.
You can buy a cheap scanner and do it yourself. You can also take everything you need scanned and go to a copy center and let them do the job for you.
You can also use your phone and download a scanning app. This will save you a whole lot of space.
Once you’re done scanning all your documents, make sure that you save the file and create a backup. You can either save them on multiple flash drives or back them up using Dropbox. These might help:
11. Stop Over-Organizing
If you love to organize, always remember that you don’t need to run to the container store to pick up those trays with a dozen dividers, that cubby, and that bin. Those organizing tools can eat up so much space that it will no longer be an advantage to keeping your home office organized.
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When it comes to cleaning and Home Office Organization, there is no better time than now. Go ahead and get started. Start looking around you and throw away, scan, or shred what you don’t need.
Also, take your time – Rome wasn’t built in a day – you didn’t accumulate that mess in one day. Give yourself a break and tackle a few things at a time.
Do you have other Home Office Organization ideas you can share with us?