While it might have felt novel and exciting at first, working from home for over a year now can take a toll mentally and physically. Chances are you’ve even experienced work burnout with the blurring of the boundaries between life and work already. Couple that with the possibility of virtual schooling for your kids, professional and kids sports on pause, layoffs and furloughs, businesses closing, and more - no wonder people are stressed and anxiety is through the roof.
Since many of us will continue to WFH for the foreseeable future, it might be time to organize your desk and think beyond the standard home office setup. Try the below 4 tips to organize your home office to allow for less chaos and more creativity.
Home Office Organization Step #1 - When in doubt, clean it out
It’s tough working in a cluttered office! I bet you’ve even spent time thinking about how much you need to declutter your space. Limiting the number of items you have in your space will allow you to enjoy a little more breathing room. Promise. We like to use the REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE philosophy here (you can call us Captain Planet if you’d like).
Removing any duplicate items. Are there two staplers tucked in your home office drawer? Yep, you definitely don’t need two staplers.
Get rid of office supplies you don’t use. If you haven’t used something within the last year, it might be time to get rid of it.
On a budget? You can still organize your office without spending a lot of money! Shop your house for unused containers or get creative by washing out old food jars to use for pencil holders, for example.
Donate books you’ve read already or books you won’t read. Check your local library or schools first, they will probably gladly accept them! And if you still have that huge Managerial Economics book from college in 2004, trust us, you don’t need it anymore. For the books you’re keeping, they can be organized on your bookshelf by topic, color, or size.
Digitize paper files. There will be papers that you still need like contracts and invoices. Now is a great time to start scanning them and saving them in Google Drive or Dropbox. It’s much more time efficient to use the search feature than flip through a stack of papers. Brother Scanners are always an inexpensive and reliable option. Then you can recycle all the papers you now long have a need for!
Home Office Organization Step #2 - Only keep the essentials on hand
Do you really need a printer, binders, planner, pencil sharpener, old mail, and calendar sitting on top of your desk? This only increases the clutter in your workspace. Organize your home office so only the essentials are left out.
Your laptop, your phone, and a coaster for your 64 ounces of water daily (you’re drinking it, right?) or cup of coffee are probably all you really need on your desk. Maybe a pen and paper too if you’re a lil old fashioned. Everything else should be organized in shelves, bins, or on the wall. Keeping your desk super utilitarian will keep your office tidy and free from distractions.
Home Office Organization Step #3 - Contain it, label it, and hang it
Your space might still feel chaotic even after your initial declutter. If that’s the case, try storing items you don’t use as frequently so they’re out of the way and out of sight.
Store related items together, like pencils and pencil sharpeners, in smaller storage boxes. If you need to keep paper documents on hand, get an accordion file folder and label everything for easy reference. Your file folders can be organized like:
Medical for forms and benefit statements
Client contracts, invoices, and receipts
Tax documents like W9s
Personal for everything else!
Amazon is always a great place to look for home office supplies (hellooooooo 2 day Prime shipping!) or check out The Container Store for chic containers. Magazine racks and plastic bins from your local dollar store can make a huge difference, too.
You might even want to invest in a label maker to really kick up your organizing game!
Don’t forget to use your walls! Limited on square footage? If you have a small home office, build a command center on your wall. Here are some helpful organizational items that can be hung on your wall:
A dry-erase board for notes, important reminders, to do lists, or brainstorming
A mail basket to organize loose mail
A bulletin board for important documents
Hanging baskets for pens, scissors, etc.
A lamp or string lights
If you’re worried about damaging your walls, Command Strips are an easy and cheap way to hold everything in place without the holes.
Home Office Organization Step #4 - Be inspired
Your home office is a hub of productivity: It’s a place where you spend the majority of your weekdays (and maybe even some of the weekends). Your home office should be an inspiring, fun space where you enjoy working.
Bring in a few objects that give you a little zen, things you find beautiful, or that give you joy. That might be a picture of your family, a live plant or flower vase, an essential oil diffuser, your favorite art, bright paint colors, or an inspirational quote board. Or maybe a combination of all of those things!
If it’s too much or too stressful to tackle your home office decluttering in one day, take it slow! There’s no deadline. Or check out our ways to destress blog for a couple breathing exercises, stretches, and other ways to clear your head.
Home Office Inspiration
We're visual people over here. Give us all the pretty pictures. We're here for ya fellow visual people! Check out the below for a few of our favorite Architectural Digest home offices:
This home office by Steven Grambel utilizes the bookcase to clear the tables and bright green to lighten the mood.
Designer Tracey Winn Pruzan beautifully used every sliver of space in this Manhattan home office. Just imagine working and watching the snowfall while wrapped in that cozy blanket. Serious home office goals.
Do you dig farmhouse vibes like we dig farmhouse vibes? If so, you’ll love this one. Jon and Rebecca Bonds’ Hamptons house was renovated and it's got me in the feels. Our home offices are in our bedrooms too (if only Southern California wasn’t so expensive!) and they do a great job of separating the two spaces.
Kourtney Kardashians’ home office seems to be just her style: Classic and a little edgy with darker colors. They also show pictures of Khloe’s house so if you have an extra second, check out her closet. Wow. Just wow.
Notice any similarities between these home offices? Do you think they followed the same organization tips we follow?
The bottom line
It’s important to draw a line between your business and your personal life, especially when a lot of people are still working from home. Your home office is the perfect place to do just that. Make the most of your space by decluttering, reorganizing, and adding elements that bring you joy. When your space is organized and less chaotic, you’ll feel that way, too.
Now that your area is organized and you’re feeling motivated, let’s take your business to the next level with Thrive Marketing Consultants! Contact us for a free quote on social media influencer marketing, paid ads, SEO, and more!