Take a good look at your home office. Is it a haven of organization, where you can find everything in an instant and be really productive? Or is it a nightmare of clutter on the desk, so much so that you are constantly losing important documents and office supplies? Everyone in your house will be so happy if you can turn your office into a den of comfort and efficiency. With these eight home office organization secrets, everything will have a place and you can work from home, stress-free.
1. Utilize Containers for Storage
When you only have a few office supplies or files to store in your office, it seems to make perfect sense to just keep it on a shelf or shoved in a desk drawer. After a short time, however, this turns into a mess. You knock the paper pads off the shelf to get to the pens, and the drawer turns into a junk pile. Start smart with containers of varying sizes for your home office organization supplies. Use bins or baskets for larger items like pads of paper or ink cartridges. Smaller containers with lids are ideal for pens, pencils, staples and more.
2. Create Labels
If you are not the only one who uses your home office, it is absolutely crucial that everyone in the house can figure out where things are supposed to go. You may think that your organizational system is perfectly easy to remember, but your kids probably will not. Give them no excuse for disorganization. Take the time to create labels for everything, from binders and folders to bins and trays. Do not hesitate to adjust the labels as your needs change, as well. If you add a new shelf and reorganize your books and binders, you may need new labels to accommodate it.
3. Make Common Items Easy to Find
Write down a list of the 5-10 things you use every time or almost every time you go into the office. With this list, you can determine where best to place these important items. The things you use the most may not need to be stored where you keep similar materials. For example, you might locate extra pens in a box in the closet, but select one or two favorite pens for a cup on the desk. If you regularly transfer equipment from home to work and vice versa, set up a station for your briefcase, messenger bag or backpack. That way, you do not accidentally leave your laptop charger at home when you go to work.
4. Build Paper Space
You may decide that you want to dedicate a small amount of desk space for paperwork. Work hard to ensure that this spot does not start to take over the desk with clutter, as the mess will make it harder to do everything in your home office. Use a set of trays to maintain important invoices, bills or anything that you want to have readily at hand. Consider getting a filing system and storage that allows you to keep your other files neat and tidy, without sacrificing valuable real estate on your desk.
5. Utilize Mason Jars
It is surprising how many home office organization solutions are readily available in your home. Mason jars are just one great example. Clear jars with or without a lid are ideal to store pens, paper clips, markers and highlighters. The best part is that you may not even have to buy new jars for this task. Just take clean jars you used for jam, pasta sauce and more. If you stack them on their side, they will be easy to see inside and grab quickly.
6. Hide and Detangle Wires
Wires running across your desk could knock things off when you move your keyboard or reach for something. Loose wires under your desk become a terrible trip hazard. Get these cables under control and out of knots with binder clips. The clips easily attach to your desk and keep your cables and wires running right against the desk to the outlet. You may even be able to customize the back of your desk to run the cables through instead of having them take up space on the desktop.
7. Designate Mail Space
If you prefer to sort your mail in your home office, you must have a place to put it. You may think that you will keep it organized and that you will not let it pile up. However, mail comes in almost every day and it accumulates quickly. Make sorting your mail a snap with a mail organization system. Start with a bin or box to hold your mail before you sort it. Set aside a tray for outgoing mail. Position these near a garbage can or recycling bin, so you can get rid of junk mail before it starts to mess up your office.
8. Dedicate a Printing Area
Everybody in your house needs to use the printer from time to time. Make this task much less of a hassle by creating an organized printer station with everything you need right at hand. Place the printer on top of a table, cabinet or shelf. Set aside space for spare paper, photo paper and ink cartridges in the cabinet, in drawers or right next to the printer. With this setup, you will never waste time hunting for the ink or paper when you run out.
It is actually pretty easy to get a home office that makes your household more efficient and productive. All you have to do is try these home office organization ideas, perfect for your custom home office. If you are ready to dive into home organization, come explore our home organization eBook to create an effective organization game plan and discover the best home office organization products for your needs.