Home office organization is something most people struggle with. It’s so easy to allow paperwork, bills, and mail to pile-up that eventually begins to take over your workspace. And, among all other daily housework and chores, it sometimes feels impossible to find any time to begin decluttering and organizing your home office. But the little time and commitment you put towards these tasks will save you a lot of time going forward.
People all across the country, from Philadelphia, PA to Sacramento, CA, have found themselves working from home. Everyone’s workspace is different. Maybe yours is a makeshift desk in the kitchen, or perhaps the bonus room turned home office upstairs. But we all have one thing in common – we could use some decluttering and organization. We’ve asked experts to share their best organizing tips so you can keep your office space clutter-free.
Banish everything that doesn’t belong in your home office
Your home office should not be the dumping ground for the mail or when you’re doing a quick clean of the house because company is coming over. Minimizing clutter in the first place will help you stay organized. – Home with the Kids
Reduce visual clutter with closed storage
Incorporate closed storage to limit visual clutter and create a calm space that helps you focus. Open shelving might look nice in photos, but closed storage will keep distracting items out of sight. Think outside the box by using a dresser or media cabinet to store lots of items while keeping them accessible or add baskets to bookcases to corral items and declutter your space. – All the Best
Create an in-case-of-emergency (ICE) plan and action center
A brief strategy for dealing with challenging situations. Include essential paper and account details. The information a loved one will need to access your records—if you’re not available. An action center is a short-term filing station to capture incoming papers, keep clutter off countertops, and put responsibilities in check. – Just Organize Your Stuff
Reimagine your space with transformable furniture
We’re all so used to thinking about rooms as having one main purpose, but this needn’t be so. Are there places around your home that could offer different uses at different times of the day? We’re not all digital warriors so having space for papers and work is important. We’re great fans of transformable furniture, which works really well especially where space is limited. A fold-out wall/murphy bed, which frees up a spare bedroom for another purpose altogether is an obvious example, but cupboards that drop down to form a desk may be another practical solution. – Neat Living
Paper should stay vertical
Make a rule to have all paper items in your office kept vertically at all times to avoid the dreaded pile. When you put paper flat on a surface, it’s an invitation to be stacked upon and you end up with an intimidating pile without reference or order. Create vertical files to maximise space and encourage in-the-moment sorting, actioning and discarding. – Bask Life Coaching
Stay productive in an orderly workspace
While it is true that an office with some clutter is synonymous with that the person is working, it is also true that a more orderly workspace will help you work more efficiently. Scan papers so you can dispose of them. Take a photo of the document, save it in your cloud, and discard the paper. Use acrylic organizer boxes. They’ll help you keep everything more organized in drawers and save space. Enjoy aromatherapy. Some aromas help you concentrate, like lavender for example. You can also include natural flowers to give your space a beautiful and fresh touch. Or, you can opt for aroma diffusers. – First Class Cleaning FLA
Avoid creating a “to file” pile
A “to file” pile just postpones the task and it will simply become another growing pile to deal with later, which often doesn’t come. When a paper needs to be filed, toss it on the floor between your office chair and your filing cabinet. When you step away from your desk, pick up that paper and put it in the right file folder immediately. Don’t convince yourself to do it later. Home office spaces often become the dumping ground for everything that everyone in the family doesn’t know where to put it. Let your family’s “junk” take over your precious money-making space, ask them to leave the item in a basket outside of your office door. Once a week, you can take the time to sort through the basket’s contents and decide what to keep and put away, or what to donate, or toss. – Organize. Thrive. Monetize
Eliminate your sticky notes, papers, and files. Then, organize it all with a workflow automation software. – Pyrus
Utilize binders for organizing papers
Use a binder for your important papers and shred the rest. Get rid of the filing cabinet, most of those papers can be found online. – Own Your Space professional Organizing
Find inspiration in your office space
How do you want to feel in your home office? Inspired, relaxed, creative. Pick an emotion that you want to feel in your space and design everything around that. – Dale Potts at Connected Coach
Your office should only include the essentials
Reduce distraction in your home office by limiting what lives there to only the essentials needed for work and adulting activities. Everything that lives in your office should have a home near the area in which you intend to use it and practice returning it there every time you are done. A cluttered office is an unproductive office. – Kristen Totten
This article can also be found on the Redfin Blog including links to each of the experts websites. Click here to access that version.