People work at home in rising numbers. More than four out of 10 American workers do so regularly, according to the New York Times. Working from home can have many advantages, but sometimes space is not one of them!
Do you work from home in a tiny office space? We know an organized work space boosts efficiency, but a busy schedule can easily push decluttering to the bottom of your to-do list (if you can even find the list) and working in cramped conditions can add to the stress. Use these small home office tips to help you keep on top of things.
8 Ways To Deal With Small Home Office Space
1. Tame The Nest of Vipers
Lengthy, tangled cords can waste space and make your office harder to clean.
Monitor and keyboard cables are often much longer than necessary. Take the time to detangle them, and use cable ties to get excess power, phone and network wires under control.
2. Free the Paper Tiger
Excess paper takes up room, kills trees and makes it harder to find the documents you really need.
You can cut down on it in many ways. You can:
- Ask companies to send you information, invoices and receipts via email rather than mail
- Sign up for electronic deposits instead of receiving checks.
However, be careful not to compromise security to save paper.
- Print on both sides
- Opt out of junk mail
- Write on a whiteboard
- Take notes digitally
- Use a slow printer
3. Reduce Desk Clutter
To create an organized home office, only put objects on your desk if you use them often. Such items may include a computer, phone, pen, calculator and stapler.
Put things you occasionally need in a drawer or cabinet. Banish superfluous items; a collection of ceramic frog figurines or die-cast motorcycles probably belongs elsewhere in the home. Avoid a cluster of photo frames by hanging pictures on the wall.
4. Make the Most of Your Walls
A wall may provide just as much surface area as the office’s floor.
You could attach a clock, calendar, phone or cork board to it. Low-cost shelving and certain cabinets can be mounted on the wall. They provide room for books, office supplies and lightweight equipment. Other ideas include:
- Magazine racks
- Dry-erase boards
- Organizer units
- Audio speakers
- Corded phones
5. Use Space-Efficient Lighting
Avoid wasting square footage with big floor or desk lamps. You can install light fixtures on the ceiling or a wall behind your desk.
If you often need to read written or printed text, consider using a desk lamp that’s built into an organizer.
6. Store Extra Supplies Elsewhere
Don’t use your desk as storage space. A desk with enough supplies for 10 years is like a car with a gas can and spare tires on the back seat.
Extra pens, tape dispenser refills and staples can go in a cabinet or closet. Rather than buying an enormous box of printer paper, wait for smaller packages to go on sale.
7. Create an Unsorted Inbox
You don’t always have time to organize new items right away, but it’s best to keep them separate from things you’ve already handled. Find a wide, shallow tray and use it to store receipts, mail and other papers you have yet to sort.
Then, make a time in your calendar to deal with this inbox regularly. Perhaps weekly, or monthly, depending on the state of the inbox.
8. Move the Printer Elsewhere
If you work in a small office, your desk probably isn’t big. Don’t let a printer take up most of your workspace. You could put it on top of a filing cabinet or table. If it isn’t wireless, think about buying a longer cord. It’s well worth the money to boost your productivity.
These few tips are easy to implement straight away so you can get the most out of your tiny home office space. Don’t forget to think about taking advantage of empty vertical space, move items away from your work area or squeeze the same things into smaller places. If you have an item that doesn’t belong in your office space, consider if you need it at all!
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For more in-depth mindset and behavior changes to getting and staying organized join our 7 Day To An Organized Home Office program.