If you work at home, you face a double threat when it comes to organizing your office — your work stuff and things from other parts of the home that migrate in. Taking some time to get organized can help you find what you need, when you need it and make your office space one that you can truly enjoy working in. Here are 5 simple and nearly instant ways to reorganize your workspace.
1. Set your mind to declutter regularly.
Make a decluttering routine. If it isn’t something you use regularly, need or absolutely love, it needs to go — or at least leave your office space. Tackle decluttering a drawer or shelf at a time and purge anything that is not directly related to your work. You’ll create more room for the things you do need and a more comfortable work setting, too
2. Keep a trash bin handy.
Put a small trash bin right next to your primary workspace or desk. Discard junk mail, printouts you no longer need, packaging and more as you work. These items can build up quickly and create a chaotic mess on your desk if you don’t get rid of them.
3. Go digital.
If you haven’t already, make the switch to digital storage instead of paper printouts. Not only will this dramatically reduce the amount of paper clutter you have, it will also make it easier to find what you need. When you store items in the cloud you can search by keyword to find what you need instantly, you can also collaborate more readily with others. Best of all, your workspace will be far more organized when you get rid of big stacks of printed papers.
4. Corral cables and cords.
Your laptop, phone, printer and other items all need cords – but if those cords are a tangled snarl they’ll be difficult to use. They’ll also make your office look like a cluttered mess. Cable minders or keepers are inexpensive and hold all your cables together in one tidy strip — you can also use zip ties to get the same effect and keep the cables where they belong.
5. Optimize your file storage.
If you have important documents you need to use regularly or that are essential for your business, make sure they are readily available. Throwing them all into a folder entitled “documents” with every other item you save will make it messy and tough to retrieve what you need. Instead, make a special folder just for these items and put it in an accessible place — and you’ll be able to instantly retrieve what you need, when you need it.
Each of the above organization steps for your home office takes just a few moments to do but has an immediate impact on the way your space looks and functions. Tackle one step a day and you’ll have a more organized and comfortable office space in a week, without spending hours cleaning. Once you’ve finished you’ll have a space that is far more enjoyable to use and more useful to your work.