Wondering How to Declutter Your Home Office and Maximize Productivity? Check out these easy tips.
How to Declutter your Home Office
For many of us, working from home is our reality. In recent years many companies have adopted more flexible work arrangements to accommodate the busy and ever-changing lives that we live. Or for some of us, we have the privilege of running our own business, blog, or influencer lifestyle that by nature, didn’t come with a 9 to 5 schedule and an office cubicle. In our cases, having a practical, efficient, and organized home office is an absolute must. Not only will it feel better to work in a clean area but it will also help to increase our productivity so we can do our jobs better than ever before. Read below for some tips on how to do just that.
Stick to a Decluttering Schedule
Organization is necessary for any workspace no matter what field you work in. To make sure your office space is consistently tidy, you may find it helpful to start an organization and cleaning schedule. Set up a time that you will sit down and go through your office’s documents and supplies to make sure everything is in the right place. Depending on your habits, you may need to do this on a monthly or even weekly basis. Mark your calendar like any other appointment so you won’t be taking away time from important work that you have to do or consuming your precious free time. It will also give you a chance to mentally prepare and schedule other engagements around it. You will be much more productive in your work when you have everything planned out from your big work projects, all the way down to your weekly cleaning schedule. This free weekly plan worksheet can help you plan your week.
Utilize Practical Storage
An all-time favorite in any home office is storage! It wouldn’t be practical to have all your paper, tools, and supplies just stacked in pile on your desk so that’s where storage saves the day! Try a range of different storage containers, baskets, and bins so that you can customize them to your space. Large storage baskets are great to use under or beside your desk. They can be used within shelving units or by themselves on the floor. They are also a great place to store some of the bigger office supplies or serve as a “catch-all” basket for miscellaneous items. For your smaller supplies like pens, paper, and notebooks, try finding smaller desktop organizers that are both effective and go with your office’s aesthetic. Even try a less popular storage solution like carts. Depending on your office needs, carts are great for a workspace that requires a lot of hands-on projects. As you move around your work area, you can bring your cart filled with your supplies, too. Find what works best for your space as there’s no one storage option that is better than another. It all depends on your needs. I have a few carts, similar to this one, in my office and they are great for organization.
Take Advantage of All the Space You Have
Although we all dream of a large, established home office, many of us only have a limited amount of space to work within our homes. So, you may be wondering how you’re going to fit all these different storage solutions in your space. In these cases, storage may not be your best option as it can take up more space than needed. So, you’ll have to get creative with the little bit of space you do have to help declutter and make your office more functional. A great way to do this is by thinking about your space vertically, not horizontally. In other words, use all that free wall space instead of your precious floor space. Try installing shelving above and around your desk space. This is a great way to declutter your desktop and place items higher up to avoid taking up your work area. The shelves also come in handy for all you decor lovers out there. You may love filling your desk and office with small plants and decor accents but they may also be taking up unnecessary space. Instead, store your decor higher up on the shelves so that there’s room for the necessities on top of your desk. This is just one way to take advantage of the vertical space in your office but it can ultimately help you to clear some of the clutter as well.
Separate Your Office From the Rest of Your Home
When working at home, sometimes lines can get blurred between what’s your office space and what’s your living space. When you have a home office so close in appearance and nature to the rest of your house, you and other family members are more likely to clutter it with the mess from other rooms. Before you know it, you may be finding the kids’ toys in your office chair or tucked away in your file drawers. Not only does this blurred line cause difficulty in maintaining a clean workspace, but it also can cause issues for your productivity as well. With no clear separation between your office space and living space, kids especially, are more prone to come into your office area with distractions making it harder to successfully get work done.
Ideally, your office space should be separate from the rest of the house in its own room. But, if this isn’t the case for you, try using a bookshelf or room divider to show a clear separation between your office and the rest of the home. Although it seems like it wouldn’t stop the kids from coming in or creating clutter, you’d be surprised at how even your young kids will subconsciously develop an understanding of what is and what isn’t your workspace.
One of the largest forms of clutter in many of our home offices is the abundance of paper. We all deal with it and it can become extremely overwhelming to sift through and declutter. But, as we get farther and farther into the digital age, it’s becoming much more popular for individuals to go paperless when it comes to their work documents. In many on-site offices these days, you will rarely see the use of a pencil and paper because nearly everything is done digitally. So, given that established companies find success in this, why not try adopting this system in your home office as well! Try using an application like Google Drive where you can create word documents, spreadsheets, and presentations all in one place. Not only does this eliminate the clutter of paper that would have existed if it wasn’t for this system, but it will also help you to stay organized even more. You can simply look up the title of the document you are looking for instead of having to sift through piles and piles of papers to find it. Going paperless can also help with official documents that you need to keep track of. Keeping these documents in the digital world lessens the chance of it getting lost and eliminates the opportunity for it to be thrown away accidentally. You will have a record of essentially everything that your computer or device can hold. Ultimately, the organization and decrease in clutter that comes with going paperless can help you to stay productive and on top of your work instead of wasting your time sorting papers.
Decluttering your home office can be difficult but as you know, it can have a direct impact on how productive you are in your office. But, don’t worry! There are plenty of methods like these that you can try to finally get the clean and organized home office that you’ve always wanted. Try some of these tips and continue to strive for your dream home office in 2020. Comment below which tips were your favorite and how you tried them in your own home.
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