10 Amazing Ways to Organize Your Home OfficeJanuary 19, 2017
For some people, organizing is a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. These people become professional organizers. For the rest of us, organization is a challenging activity that generally gets put off in favor of something more important, or more enticing.
Luckily, you aren’t the only one to procrastinate when it comes to organizing, and there are countless tips and tools to help you on your way. Here are a few amazing ideas to get you started with organizing your home office.
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” – A.A. Milne
Start with the Right Office Furniture
In order to make the best use of available space in your home office, you need the right tools and equipment in place. This means measuring first to make sure you get office furniture and storage solutions that fit.
You should also look for scalable solutions. Even if you don’t need tons of shelving right now, you may need more storage capacity down the line, and options to add to existing storage will prove invaluable.
Hit Up Your Local Container Store
Sure, you can cram everything into drawers and shelves if you have to, but this is a recipe for a cluttered and disorganized office space that will hinder your efforts to find things later on. Instead, visit a local container store or warehouse discount center to find suitable bins to help you organize your office space. Make sure to measure cabinets, drawers, and shelving ahead of time to ensure that containers you select will fit with existing storage.
Use Your Label Maker
If you’re like most people, you purchased a label maker ages ago with every intention of getting organized. Now is the time to put it to good use. If you go to the trouble of purchasing bins and color-coding storage, take the next step by labeling individual storage containers so you know exactly what’s in them.
Try Color Coding
There are countless ways to organize items in your space. You can group by category or opt for alphabetical or chronological order, depending on what you’re trying to organize.
However, your home office may house more than tax records, work files, and personal correspondence. It might also host your home-based business, your craft supplies, your literary and media libraries, and more.
Although you can always group like items together, coding your storage with different colored bins is a great way to quickly and easily identify just what you’re looking for, making your space more efficient, not to mention visually appealing. Don’t forget, you can color code your filing system, as well.
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” – Benjamin Franklin
The modern home office doesn’t necessarily need to rely on an outdated system of loose-leaf paper copies of documents. These days you can manage nearly all of your finances and other concerns online.
With online banking, you can get your bills delivered electronically and pay them from your computer, as well as receive digital bank statements. You can file your taxes online. You can even access health records in digital form.
This means you can significantly cut down on the paper in your home office, reducing the need for storage space, cutting costs for stationary and stamps, and saving a few trees in the process.
Keep an Open Mind
When it comes to organizing your home office, you might be tempted to hide clutter in a closing desk, drawers, cabinets, and closets. Out of sight, out of mind.
A clever alternative that may motivate ongoing organization is open cabinets, shelving, and desk space. In addition to revealing clutter and giving you a reason to remain organized, this strategy ensures that the items you need are always visible and easy to find.
Audit Your Office
Every so often, it’s best to go through your office space with a fine-tooth comb, to see which items you can get rid of in order to open up space and reduce clutter. For example, you should shred outdated documents annually.
You can also donate books and media you no longer use, and get rid of software and manuals that are outdated or belong to electronics or appliances you no longer own.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo DaVinci
Use Non-Traditional Storage Space
Home offices tend to be remanded to leftover space in the home, including small bedrooms, lofts, or nooks and crannies. As a result, space may be limited. Get creative by utilizing overhead space with high shelving, adding hanging storage to doors, and doubling up on function, say with a rolling file cabinet that could also serve as a stool for extra seating.
Adopt a FIFO Strategy
Capitalism compels us to buy more stuff, but it doesn’t necessarily have a plan for the old stuff. As a result, your home office may become more and more stuffed with…stuff. In food service, there is a first in, first out (FIFO) mentality. What this means is that when new items come in, older ones are moved to the front of the line for use.
In your home office, this could mean reaching a point where purchasing something new means getting rid of something old, every time, without exception. This will help to cut down on the clutter and ensure you don’t hang on to stuff you aren’t really using.
Schedule in Upkeep
Once you’ve got your office clean and organized, it’s tempting to assume your job is done. However, a tidy and efficient home office requires some amount of ongoing attention. The best way to ensure your hard work doesn’t fall by the wayside is to schedule in a few minutes for organizing efforts each day or each week (depending on usage).
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” – Olin Miller