Home offices can become crowded pretty quickly if you do not have a plan for how to keep them in order. Fortunately, there are many options and resources for keeping your home office looking spick-and-span.
Best Storage and Organization Ideas for your Home Office
There are many excellent options to help organize your home office better. Some will cost a bit of money, some may be constructable with a bit of makeshift engineering, and others may just require you to move some things around.
1. Wall Organizers
Wall organizers can fit their way into any home office with ease, assuming you remembered to add walls to your home office. Some cork-boards here, some hung file organizers there, and you might be good to go. These can take tons of deadweight papers and reminders off your desk, and if you leave them next to the door, you can always remember to take care of whatever that last thing was before you leave the office.
2. Drawer Organizers
Drawer organizers take up next to no space and can easily reshape your organization mindset in the home office. Having everything in its place makes sure no space is wasted and also makes sure everything is always readily accessible. The most important plan with a draw organizer though is to make sure everything has its place, and then to put it back there.
3. Desk Organizers
Desk organizers can be both stylish and convenient. By placing a few well-designed shelves underneath your desktop monitor, you can make quite a bit of room for storage without continuing to strew things about the desk. This has the added convenience of lifting your monitor more to eye-level, something many taller individuals will find wonderful for looking down at your monitor too long can leave you with neck pain.
Improve your Filing – Improve your Home Office
A good filing system can do a lot for making your business more efficient and making your home office more organized. Part of this is just disciplining yourself into picking a system and sticking to it, and that discipline goes farther than any filing system ever could. After all, no filing system can combat your choice to not use it, whether by procrastination or simple forgetfulness.
1. Color Coding for design and success
A color-coded file system screams discipline to anyone looking into your home office from the outside. If you can put everything to a color and know what that color means to you, you will be miles ahead of the organization race.
Color-coding works for tabs in your file cabinets, for stickers or highlighter marks when putting papers away for later, and it can be taught to anyone using your system. If you need perhaps your spouse to find something in your office while you are away, saying “Look for a paper with a red tab on the top” will surely quicken the pace.
Colors draw your eyes as well, and that can make them good for listing items in order of priority. If you have many people to call each day, organizing business cards with red tabs for “Call today,” yellow tabs for “Call this week,” and green tabs for “Call this month” should keep your priorities in check.
2. Get Paper off your Desk
A cluttered desktop can create immense amounts of stress for many people, including me. Any time a paper draws my eye, it reminds me of something I need to do later but should not do now, which just adds undue stress onto my plate.
Every paper in your office needs to immediately have three destinations: the trash, the filing system, or the agenda.
If it is worthless, just get rid of it. Make a decision, and do away with papers you do not need. If you need it much, put it in its proper place in a filing system that helps you. If you can do something about today, do something about it today, then file or trash it afterwards.
3. Organize your Computer
Stop saving files to your desktop unless you are going to delete them immediately after. If your desktop has more than two rows of apps and files, it is completely inefficient. Put files inside of files, and organize them so that you never have to scroll or squint your eyes to find something. Keep files with less than maybe a dozen items on each screen so that you can easily navigate from one option to the next. Organize items by person they deal with, by date that you need to accomplish them or that you did accomplish them, or by any other option. You can organize your desktop however you like, but just as with organizing your office, you need to organize your computer.
Design your Home Office Stylishly
Making your home office fit your style has real benefits. It can set you at ease, reduce stress, and increase workflow. Make it a priority to make your home office actually feel like home.
1. Location of your Home Office
Put your home office where it will be most comfortable and most productive. If you have children, you do not want your home office near their rooms in case the kids distract you too often on accident or otherwise. Put it somewhere you have a good view, whether it is of your yard or the surrounding neighborhood, but not somewhere you will see too many distractions. Being able to open a window and enjoy the sound of chirping birds can ease your mind, but opening a window to hear an annoying dog might sour your mood.
Painting the walls the right color can do a lot for your workflow. Maybe a vibrant color like yellow or orange can keep you excited and gleeful throughout the day. Perhaps a softer green or blue can keep you calm and focused.
Add plenty of light onto the subject, and make sure your monitor is not facing glare from the afternoon sun. A little attention to detail on these small things can go a long way. Keep some homey accessories around the room. Anything from a desktop fountain to art of inspirational quotes can you keep in a good, productive mood.
3. Convenience and Comfort
Declutter your desk area, and get things out of your line of sight. If it does not need to be dealt with right now, why would you want to look at it? Put your file organizers on the wall behind you. Having to get up to grab something now and then will not ruin your day, but being stressed about your many tasks over the coming days may do just that.
A few family knick knacks and photos might really keep you motivated and energized. Is it a picture of your daughter? An old school project you remember your dad being so impressed with you for? A souvenir from your family’s last vacation? Whatever it is, keep it in your view. Little things like that can go a long way to keep your day going well.
Remember it’s Your Home Office
More than anything, whatever system of filing or organizing you choose, make sure it is something you understand and are comfortable with. No organizational system is useful if you do not follow it, so pick something you are comfortable using and can gladly commit to being strict and consistent with.
The most important part of making your home office comfortable is to make it fit your personality. No amount of style or design advice can match the value of making your home office feel like yours. Add your own personal flair, add colors and knick knacks and pictures that make you happy, and make it as natural or as controlled as you desire. Last of all, don’t forget to have some fun with it! This is your home office, so make it feel like home!