Keeping a home office organized is tough. You have to balance your personal life as well as navigate the challenges of working from home. Those who succeed do so because they find ways to keep their work space organized. Keeping your home office organized doesn’t need to be an onerous task, but it does require some planning and dedication. Unfortunately, many people who work from home give up on the idea because their desk is too cluttered and messy with papers flying about everywhere. Your home office doesn’t have to be like that, though. Here are ten simple tips for keeping your home office organized:
Have a dedicated place for your computer and work supplies.
If you have a computer in your home office, you need to have a clear and dedicated place for it. If you keep it on your desk or on a side table, you’ll end up with a jumble of cables and wires and the rest of your work will become cluttered too. First, see if your computer comes with a docking station. If it doesn’t, you can buy one. Next, locate a clear space in your home office that is free of clutter. Plug the computer into the docking station and then use the desk space for your work. If you need to store a printer or scanner, take care to locate it where it doesn’t create a mess or become an eye-sore in your home office space.
Organize your most important tools and items.
Keep the things you use most often close at hand. If you have a home office, you need a place for your computer and desk supplies. Keep a few of your most-used tools and supplies on your desk so that you don’t have to get up to fetch them every time you need them. If you have a filing cabinet in your home office, you can keep your important papers and documents there. Alternatively, you can use a file box, drawer organizer, or bin to keep them close at hand. If you have a stack of books nearby, keep them on a book rack or cabinet so that you can access them more easily.
Keep the tools you use most close by.
You can organize your desk space by keeping the tools and items that you use most often close to your work area. Put a bin or basket on your desk to store those items that don’t have a specific place: pens, pencils, scissors, sticky notes, paper clips, etc. Find a tray or basket to keep your computer cords and wires organized and off the floor. If you need extra table space, consider a standing desk or a standing table. You can keep your keyboard and mouse on a keyboard tray or use a stand-up desk that comes with a built-in tray and lets you keep your keyboard and mouse on it without having to place them on the table.
Add storage wherever possible.
Keep the most frequently used items near your work table, and keep less-regularly used items in storage. If you have a large bookshelf nearby, you can use it to store your books, journals, and binders full of papers, notes, and other information. You can also use your bookshelf for decorative items that are not work-related. If you have a closet or cabinet nearby, you can use it to store your extra papers, notebooks, and binders, extra computer cables and wires, your printer, and other supplies and equipment that would otherwise be taking up space on your desk or table. You can also use a rolling cart to keep your supplies organized.
Don’t keep everything in its spot.
Some people feel that everything should be in its place, but that doesn’t work for everyone. If you keep everything in its space, it will make it harder for you to find what you need when you need it. Try to keep your most important tools and items in their place so that you can easily access them whenever you need to use them, but don’t worry about other items. If you have papers or items that don’t have a specific place, store them in a file cabinet or drawer organizer. If you keep them on your desk, they’ll get in the way of your work and make it difficult to find what you need when you need it.
Create a home office cleaning ritual.
Cleanliness is essential to staying organized and productive. You should clean your desk and the rest of your home office regularly. The exact frequency of your cleanup will depend on how messy your office is. If you let your desk get super messy, it’ll take a lot more effort to clean. Clean your desk at the end of each day. Make it a habit to clear your desk off at the end of each day, and keep your desk clear at all times. If you have a messy desk, it’s difficult to stay focused, and it’s also a major source of frustration and stress.
Establish working hours and desk-clearing times.
Keep a desk-clearing schedule and stick to it. Some people like to clean their desks at the end of each work day. Others prefer to do it first thing in the morning, or right after returning home from work. Find a schedule that works best for you and stick to it. If your desk becomes very messy, take a few minutes to clean it and reset it so that it’s clear and organized again. You’ll find it much easier to focus when your desk is clear and organized and you’ll also be able to follow the tidiness and cleanliness ritual more easily and consistently.
Commit to a habit of storing things away immediately after using them.
When you’re working, you’ll invariably use a lot of papers, files, and other items. Once you’ve finished using them, make it a habit to put them back in their place immediately. If you keep everything on your desk and don’t have a filing cabinet, you’ll likely have everything but papers and computer cables flying about. If you have a large and messy desk, it’ll be difficult to find what you need when you need it and will also be very frustrating to work at. Commit to putting things back in their place after using them and keep your desk clear at all times.
Keeping a home office organized is tough. You have to balance your personal life as well as navigate the challenges of working from home. Those who succeed do so because they find ways to keep their work space organized. Unfortunately, many people who work from home give up on the idea because their desk is too cluttered and messy with papers flying about everywhere. Your home office doesn’t have to be like that, though. Here are ten simple tips for keeping your home office organized: