More Australians now regularly work from home in their main job or a standalone small business located at home. According to analysis by the Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals that the number of employed people who work from home has risen from 20% to 30% in the span of 15 years. That’s nearly half of the 3.5 million working from as of 2016.
Since you work from home, maximizing productivity is critical. Most people don’t maximize their home office performance and give little consideration to areas that can make a big difference in productivity. For many successful businesses, experts optimize layout, office design and lighting among other things. But for you who do business in your home office, it really matters that everything should be well organized.
Why Your Office Has Clutter
There are different reasons why there is clutter in your home office, although it may depend on the individual. In general, your office clutter may fall into these factors:
- Possessions as Security. Some people may view their possessions as a type of security which they see and feel as an insulator against change. As long as these people have stuff around (even the worthless things), they have some barrier against change.
- Don’t Like Making Decisions. Some people prefer to put off or delay decision making as long possible like dealing with stuff piling up on their desks.
- Lacking Time Management. Some may want to declutter, but they manage time so loosely that there is no spare window where they can sit down and declutter their home office.
Below are some tips on decluttering your home office to ultimately improve your productivity. Once you have started decluttering, you’ll find your flow and it’ll feel easy. Now let’s start.
Purge is a strong word, yes, but it works. Purge means that you sort through everything in your home office and determine what you need, what you regularly use and what you need to get rid of. Sort items using the following categories:
- Trash. This is actually garbage that you need to get rid of. Double check that you’re not disposing of documents that contain sensitive information.
- Tools. Office items like printers, computers, office supplies, couches, tables, chairs and cabinets. They need to be kept (or possibly updated) but you need to make room for them to be properly organized.
- Transients. Items with value, but don’t actually belong in your home office. Stash them in a place where they are needed.
- Trimmings. These are the things that decorate your office space. It can be posters, artwork or memorabilia. Anything that can stimulate you can stay, but limit trimmings since office tools are more important.
2. Improve Office Lighting
Natural light is the best source ever and if you’re fortunate to have access to natural light, place your desk in a spot that takes advantage of this wonderful light source. But unfortunately, not everyone has access to natural light so install some nice lighting prevent you from feeling dreary while working.
3. Keep Things Where You Use Them
One of the best ways to declutter is keeping things where you use them. The more you move around to find the things you need, the more things will pile up on your workspace and will lead to clutter. Check on the things that you use most often when working in your home office and find a place for them in your desk or drawers. If you have some spare space, put items that you need close by.
4. Take Advantage of Vertical Storage
Vertical storage saves space because it goes up and not sideways. Vertical spaces can be a number of fixtures in your house or home office:
- Wall shelves. Fill a blank wall using wall shelves and make sure that they are sturdy enough to support whatever you intend to store on them.
- Tall furniture. A tall wall cabinet or a tall bookshelf can take advantage of every inch of available space in your office.
- Pegboards. Pegboards with lots of removable hooks or bins are good for storing different office supplies.
5. If You Can, Go Paperless
Every month, your monthly bills and work documents will pile up if you don’t have it organized. If you want to minimize your paper clutter, go paperless as much as possible. Have your bills sent through email and pay them through your credit card or auto-debited to your bank account. It will save you time, money and space.
6. Muffle noise from other rooms.
If you can have your home office soundproofed. Add curtains or use heavy doors to muffle outside noise – but not too heavy as to deafen the sound outside so that you don’t know what’s happening around you.
These are just a few examples of how to declutter your home office. Start now and don’t wait for it to look like a warehouse!