If you struggle to stay organized, make 2019 the year you turn it around – especially when it comes to your home office. No matter your line of work, a cluttered mess of a home office doesn’t garner much in terms of productivity. As it relates to work, organization can save you money, help you reduce stress, and give you more time to finish your pressing assignments. According to ACP, the average manager wastes almost 150 hours each year just searching for lost information – cut down on this time-suck and gain back the hours you need to get your work done.
Spend a few hours this weekend putting your home office in order – you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes (and you’ll finally get to see the top of your desk again). Turn your home office into a centre of productivity with these essential tips.
Keep Personal Items Elsewhere
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to let little pieces of your personal life leak into your home office. Maybe your little one’s toys have somehow found their way into your storage containers, or perhaps your office became the makeshift gift wrapping station during the holiday months. Whatever the case, make sure the only items in your home office are those that you need to get your job done.
Invest in the Right Storage Furniture
Before you start moving clutter from your office desk, invest in storage containers. Whether you need a file cabinet to keep all of your important paperwork, shelves for your business literature, or even a recycling bin, make sure you’ve got these essentials in place before you get started on the purging process.
Ditch the paperwork and purge your home office of documents. Follow these steps to cut down on the papers currently spread across your desk:
- Toss what you don’t need
- Shred what has personal or sensitive information
- File away important documents in a specified storage file
Taking your documentation online will cut down on clutter quickly. Scan important papers and keep in a cloud-based folder that you can (securely) access from anywhere.
Keep it Clean
Organization doesn’t just mean creating a place for everything – it means respecting the space (and everything in it). What does this mean? Make sure you do more than “pick up” your home workspace. Clean your home office regularly; wipe down all surfaces, pull out the vacuum every couple of weeks, and try to steer clear of clutter. When it comes to cleaning, don’t stop at vacuuming the floors and dusting the shelves – look towards your electronics before you take off those cleaning gloves! For example, learn how to clean your laptop screen and monitor correctly. According to HP Tech Takes, you need to use microfiber cloths – no liquid solution necessary! Just rub down regularly to get dust and any accidental screen splatters from that morning cup of Joe.
Organize Your Cords
If you’re wired in and have cords going every which way, take the time to organize them. Electrical cords can quickly tangle and create a mess, whether they’re tucked away in a drawer or on your desk in plain sight. Funnel your cords into a closet rod that can be tucked up against the wall (paint the rod a similar colour so it blends into the background). Check out this DIY tutorial and banish those cords from sight. If you want to go a step further, consider cutting down on cables altogether. Invest in wireless devices: keyboards, printers, and your computer mouse all are available in cordless varieties.
Take Advantage of Drawer Dividers
Have lots of little knick-knacks and essentials you use in your everyday tasks? Store small desk items in divided sections within one of your desk drawers. You can find great drawer dividers at The Container Store in a variety of styles – and you’ll be so glad you did when it takes you two seconds to find something that used to take you 5 minutes.
Final Notes on Home Office Organization
If your home office is currently a disorganized disaster, start slowly by implementing one or two of the above suggestions and work up to all of them. With a bit of diligence, you’ll soon find your workspace is a productivity oasis.