Home offices come in many shapes and sizes — from a small desk in your kitchen or laundry room all the way to a designated room in your home. Whether you work from home or enjoy having space to pay bills and help your kids with homework, use the tips below to keep your home office organized.
Address Function and Flow
Professional organizing balances style and functionality. Optimize your floor plan to best utilize the space while you work. Strategically place furniture for comfort and productivity. Ensure your computer is at an appropriate height and choose a comfortable chair. Keep the items you use most frequently, like pens and notepads, on the top of your desk for easy access. If your file cabinet is across the room, use a desktop file folder for temporary storage.
Personalize Your Space
Whatever organization strategies you use, ensure it fits your style and works for how you plan to use your space. When choosing organizing products, opt for items that suit your personal style. If you like color, purchase colorful file folders, magazine holders and desk accessories.
Light your office with at least two light sources. Overhead lighting is ideal, but floor lamps are also a good choice. Consider putting a lamp on your desk — the soft light will counter the bright light from your computer screen.
Control Paper Clutter
The most common type of clutter in a home office is paperwork. Set up a paper processing station to handle incoming mail, school paperwork and important documents. If you have kids, create a folder or magazine holder for them to place permission slips and other paperwork from school that requires a signature.
As soon as paper arrives in your office, determine if it should be thrown away, filed, scanned or shredded. Take action immediately and you’ll prevent piles of paper from accumulating on your desk. Keep a shredder close to your desk or file cabinet so you’ll be able to quickly destroy items that contain personal information such as bank statements.
Make Organizing a Weekly Task
Tidy your desk often to prevent pileups of paper and other clutter. Mark time on your calendar to put away loose items and organize at least once a week. Designate a few minutes at the end of the day to tidy the top of your desk, file loose papers and put away items that belong in other areas of your home. When you enter your home office again, you’ll be amazed at how much more productive you are with a clean desk.