August 25, 2020
5 Easy Tips for Organizing Home-office Clutter
Filed under: Work at Home Hacks
There are many reasons to organize home office clutter. Logistically, every minute you spend searching for a document or reference in a messy office is lost productive time. On a deeper emotional or psychological level, clutter can overwhelm and lead to procrastination and a loss of productivity.
Whether you are working from home because of COVID-19 or telecommuting for other reasons, organizing home office clutter and keeping things functional is key. With our five tips for arranging your home office, you can keep your space clean and navigable.
Outfit Your Space for Organizing Home-office Clutter
Especially if you are suddenly finding yourself working from home, your workspace may be a jumble of items that worked in an emergency. If you are planning to work from home for a longer period, investing in real office and storage furniture is key.
A work desk, rather than a table pressed into service, will come with drawers, shelving and other features designed to help keep you organized. Shelving, storage units, filing cabinets and other fur-niture designed to keep your items in place and accessible is just as important. Mimic whatever furniture you required at an onsite office.
This is a great time to remove any personal or household items that do not serve a purpose within your home office. The boundary between home and work is hard to hold so keep household objects out.
Cut Down Clutter with a Clean Desk
In most situations, the desk is the focal point of an office of any type. Whether at home or on-site, a clean desk is conducive to getting work done. Of course, as the focal point and one of the larger furniture items within an office, desks attract clutter.
Keeping a clean desk is one of the quickest ways to manage your home office space. If you have gone ahead and invested in the workstation items you need for storage, you have taken a big step toward organization.
Take a step back and look at your desk. You may immediately identify some items that do not serve a purpose. Whether a coffee mug to be washed, old files for shredding or mail to be sent out, now is the time to deal with it. Make decluttering a scheduled, routine task.
Deal With Mail and Paperwork Right Away
Paper-based clutter is one of the biggest mess offenders. Even in our digital worlds, paper piles up quickly, especially in a home office where personal mail and documents might get mixed in. A simple mailstation set-up is a great way to organize this home office clutter.
Every person’s control system for their paper piles will be different. A good place to start is with incoming mail and documents, as well as outgoing. If something arrives and needs to be dealt with in some way, it can go into incoming. From there, it could be filed into a specific folder or filled out and put into outgoing.
The key to a mail system for decluttering your home office is making a system that meets your needs and sticking with it. Just like clearing your desk, set a scheduled time to handle your paperwork and mail.
Separate Your Office into Categorized Spaces
The typical office environment has various spaces for different purposes. A home office may not have the same footprint, but you can organize it in a similar way.
One part of your workspace will be designated for actually handling work, likely a desk area. Try to keep this space fully focused on your work at hand, with relevant files and information available. You may wish to use this area to deal with mail and paperwork and other scheduled tasks, too.
A reference area may be helpful, depending on your particular field of work. Whether it is additional equipment, reference books or other details needed to supplement regular daily tasks, group it all. A filing cabinet is often a good addition to this space, holding seldom-accessed but nonetheless important files.
You may also need an area full of supplies to be restocked as required. If there are printing, scanning, faxing, or similar needs, also create a space for that in the supply area or elsewhere as space allows. Ultimately, a home office layout that delineates specific areas for the most common essentials is easier to manage and keep organized.
Take Things Slowly if You’re Overwhelmed
Decluttering and organizing a home office can be overwhelming. Even if your office is a mess, the clean-up does not need to be handled in a single day.
Work on the most pressing area, such as your desk. Clean and file things a bit at a time. Before you know it, little by little, your home office clutter will be a thing of the past.