If you work from home, a cluttered office can not only cost you time and productivity, it can also cost you a chunk of your paycheck, whether in the form of late fees on bills or billable hours. We’ll show you the biggest offenders and the best ways to banish them for good with easy-to-maintain office organization ideas.
Home Office Organization Offender: Paper
Despite the efforts of many companies to encourage paperless billing and notifications, paper still reigns as the top way to derail home office organization. Therefore, the first step in learning to declutter your home is to get rid of as much paper as you can.
- Trash it: Scan the papers you need, shred or recycle the ones you don’t. Do this especially if you can find the information elsewhere, if you’ve already done as much as you can do with it, and if you can’t benefit (really) from hanging on to it.
- File it: If you just know you’ll need that document/bill/information again, create a filing system that you can easily maintain. Make it color coded and easy to access. Create piles before you file—this will help you visually see how you organize information, and will help you in your future efforts to declutter your home.
- Do something with it: Is it a bill? Pay it. Is it an event you need to remember? Log it. Is it a child’s artwork? Hang it (or send it to Grandma). Is it important? File it. Is it completed? TOSS IT.
- Shelve it. Make sure your books serve a purpose. If you haven’t cracked a book in over five years, consider donating it.
Home Office Organization Offender: Lumps
Do you have lumps in your office? If you are constantly working on decluttering your home office, you probably do. It happens when separate functions, projects, and supplies are “lumped” together instead of separated by station and use. Take a moment to figure out your ideal working environment and structure your desk, technology, filing systems, and flow from there.
Here are some stations our clients have found useful.
- Printing station, which contains the printer and all paper and toner products.
- Mailing station, which contains envelopes, stamps, and supplies.
- Reference station, which includes tools, books, necessary files, etc.
- Home base station, which includes all non-business information regarding the home, family schedules, medical information, financial information.
- Work space station, which keeps client information, current projects, and more within easy reach and organization
Home Office Organization Offender: Mastering the Desk
Make no mistake; working in tight quarters space-wise will make you tight on quarters money-wise. The general goal for decluttering your home is to create as much space as possible where you function the most. Above all, this means clearing off your desk.
These home office organization ideas help create a clean workspace.
- Harness your power. Hide your electrical cords, which are inherently messy and distracting.
- Keep the “write” stuff out. Keep only the writing utensils you need in a pencil cup or Mason jar.
- Hit a wall. Install bookshelves, open shelving, magnetic files, bulletin boards, etc. Use your walls to give you a place to put things (neatly and strategically) to free up your desktop.
- Divide and conquer. Make the most of tiny desk drawers with expandable dividers that can allow you to organize and corral loose items in an easy-to-find way.
Even if you don’t work from home, these office organization ideas will declutter your home and make sure you pay your bills, attend events, and complete projects on time. In other words, when your home office runs smoothly, so can the rest of your life.