If you have a home office, chances are your work space could use some attention.
Maybe you weren’t planning on working from home and had to make room where there was none, or perhaps you do have a designated space, but it’s overrun with clutter.
Whatever the case, a home office that isn’t organized only adds more stress to the already tough task of managing a job in your own home. It can be difficult to find what you need, and it just doesn’t feel good to be surrounded by chaos when you’re trying to focus.
Ready to take control over the home office organization situation?
Let’s start creating a beautiful home office space that boosts productivity and looks great!
First, divide and conquer.
Tackling any home office organization project is much easier if you start by sorting everything by category. When you try to organize as you go instead of grouping items into categories, the task becomes pretty overwhelming. Start here, then organize later.
You can use empty boxes destined for the recycling bin as temporary containers for each category, not worrying too much about what it looks like at the moment. What’s important is that your brain can make sense of what you have.
Manage papers, books, and files.
Every home office has its own unique array of items, but almost all of us have stacks of paper. Separate papers according to what needs to be filed away, what requires action, and what you need to keep handy for reference.
Think about adding new shelves and cubbies, as well as things like a discreet, designated printer table. Additional shelving is a great way to use vertical space to your advantage. It doesn’t have to be strictly business: you can find more decorative or modern pieces that reflect your taste. The Kallax Series at IKEA is one of the most versatile systems we’ve seen, and with all of its inserts, dividers, drawers, doors, and more, the storage and style options are endless.
If you lack floor space, consider wall-mounted floating shelves, cork boards with pins for keeping important documents or inspirational images visible, and hanging file organizers.
Using labeled, color-coded file folders can make finding documents easier. Just be sure to separate personal and home-related files from documents you need for work in their own containers.
Keep papers you need frequently stored nearby or within reach of your desk, and others you don’t need as often (or are only keeping for records) elsewhere.
Stow away small items and office supplies.
Drawer and desk organizers are an easy way to keep your sanity intact. Snag more than you need, because you never know if there’s another way they can be useful (hint: your bathroom).
Find bins for storing loose items like office supplies, too. Different sizes are fine, but try to stick with one color and style to create a sense of cohesion in your home office. Some retailers stock attractive options crafted from sturdy material covered with fabric or patterns that are much more charming than standard plastic tubs. We love browsing The Container Store for attractive, sturdy, stylish options.
This is especially helpful if your home office is also your crafting area or a part-time playroom. Give recreational items their own area and shelves as far away from the desk as possible, prioritizing work materials in your direct vicinity.
Now, it’s all in the details.
Reducing stress isn’t limited to taming the assortment of papers and supplies.
Invest in cord covers for both walls and floors to conceal messy wires and avoid annoying tangles.
Add labels to storage baskets or bins so you can quickly and easily find what you’re looking for. Check craft stores for options more stylish than ordinary white stickers if you’re looking for some character.
Finally, make it your own.
Think about a color that inspires you and refresh the area by painting the walls if possible.
If you don’t have them already, choose decorative accessories you love. But keep them few in number and spread out in thoughtful clusters on shelves, not the desk. We talk about this same concept in our article about creating a cozy winter home, too!
Tips for success
Avoid feeling overwhelmed by tackling one category at a time, and taking breaks as needed. It’s helpful to take a few days for an organization project to avoid burnout and stay motivated.
When it comes to keeping your desk or direct workspace organized, avoid using it for storage and keep it as clear as possible. You can still have what you need by keeping items you need frequently in drawers and on a shelf within arm’s reach.
Last but not least, be sure to maintain the results of all your hard work. Create a system for sorting incoming papers and mail. Set aside a few minutes each day to do damage control by putting away items that have piled up during your day. It’s worth the effort!