A common pain point we hear from many clients is their disdain for their home office. Reasons range from outdated furniture, inconvenient placement in the house that slows productivity, and having no systems in place. Oftentimes It seems easier to simply limp along with what you have rather than take the bull by the horns and make some changes.
While it definitely takes some planning and doesn’t happen overnight, it’s always worth the end result.
If your home office is in need of a little love or a total intervention, we want to encourage you to get started today! With just a little focus and determination you can have your office a place you want to be.
Continue reading for our quick Home Office Organizing Tips so you can say goodbye to your home office nightmare and say hello to the office of your dreams!
If your home office has become a nightmare that you can’t seem to wake up from, you’re likely facing some common pitfalls:
+ Your office has become a dumping ground for things that don’t have a home,
+ Paperwork is multiplying at an alarming rate and piled wherever you can find space,
+ Your digital file system is like a black hole that sucks everything in and doesn’t return it,
+ You haven’t decided where your office space will be and there are bits and pieces all over the house.
Decide on the purpose and location of your home office.
Ask yourself who will be using the office and where it makes the most sense to set it up. If you have a home business, you should have a separate, dedicated space that won’t become cluttered with other people’s stuff. If it’s for personal computer use to do paperwork and pay bills then it makes sense to have it in a part of the house where this happens naturally; for many people this is the kitchen area. But do yourself a favour and avoid the bedroom. Your bedroom should be your place of reprieve at the end of the day. You risk compromising that if your office is located in your place of rest.
Compile everything you own that is office related so you can see what you have.
Purge what you no longer want or need and sort the remainder into categories. Prepare to create homes for these items. You’ll need zones for the following:
- Paper Filing System- Perhaps you may want a filing cabinet, or, if you have just a handful of categories you deal with on the daily, a small file box may suffice. We also suggest having a mail system like this (minimal!) that sits on your desk and includes folders for incoming and outgoing mail, bills to pay, invitations, take-out menus, paper to file, and a personal folder for each family member; whatever captures your day-to-day best. Set aside a few minutes each week to action these folders.
- Office Supplies- Have your office supplies nearby. You can hold the basics in your favourite mug on your desk or, if you prefer a clear desktop, in a drawer; compartmentalised in trays.
- Recycling Bin, Garbage, Paper shredder- You shouldn’t have to travel far from your desk to reach these. This helps prevent paperwork pile up if you can ditch the papers right away.
- Bookshelves and Personal Touches- This can include your favourite or frequently used books, keepsake items for display, picture frames.
- Printer - make sure your printing supplies are zoned near the printer for easy access.
- Digital Files- This can be a headache on it’s own! Check out this quick and simple digital decluttering video to learn how to manage your photos, files and keep your inbox down. We also have a handy “DIgital Photo Storage” blog post here.
Take a look at the furniture and storage you have available for a home office.
Make sure you like using what you have and that you have enough storage to house everything. Consider whether you need a large work surface to allow you to spread out or if something small will do. Research options for furniture and storage that you need, purchase these items and get them set up. You’re ready to start putting things into their homes and once you’ve purged, this is the easy part!
Remember to set realistic goals for yourself. De-cluttering and purging take time especially when it comes to paperwork and digital files. Make a list of tasks for yourself and break the tasks down into manageable chunks of time. Stay focused on your goal today, and recognize that pieces of this may be fuller projects to take on next weekend!
If you’re eager to have an office that promotes productivity and efficiency but the task feels too daunting to tackle alone, connect with us. Room to Breathe loves a good office challenge and we’ll work with you to ensure it functions uniquely for you.