Whether you work from home or not, many of us have a home office. It can be a small space that is tucked in a corner of your home or like me, I use one of our spare bedrooms as an office. The home office can be grand central, especially in the evenings. Kids taking turns working on school projects, mom and dad catching up on emails and paying bills. Having an organized home office is essential so things like bills not get missed and projects get lost under a pile of papers.
After the kiddos are in bed, I spend late nights in my office. My office is also used to shoot my photos so things can get pile up quickly. I try to keep it as tidy as possible, but something when I am in a hurry to get photos done before the kids wake up from a nap, things can get tossed around.
If you have a home office or setting up a home office here are some tips and ideas to help you keep your home office organized.
Toss the paper– One of the biggest things that can make an office cluttered is piles of paper. Like I mentioned in Organize Your Files, scan and save these items you may think you want to refer to on your computer.
Invest in a paper shredder– Mine sits right next to my desk and after I scan an item to my computer I shred it to eliminate paper clutter.
Store items– Use mason jars, or what I like to use Lock Ups that you can buy at the craft store to hold rubber bands, staples, paper clips etc… They are see through and they stack on top of each other so you can easily find what you are looking for.
Toss outdated items– If items have been sitting in your drawers that you haven’t used or looked at, it’s time to part ways.
Keep your desk as clean as possible– Remove items such as pictures and hang them on the wall or a bulletin board to free up space.
Start with a clean slate– Remove everything from your desk. You’ll think twice when putting things back if you really want it to take up space.
Keep it close– Place items such as your phone, printer and computer within arms reach.
Bin Station– Set up trays or bins on your desk that keep papers organized. Use one tray for incoming mail to look at, another for things you may need to do and follow up on, one for outgoing mail and one for items that need to be scanned and/or filed. Most importantly, don’t just use this to start collecting papers. Go through your trays daily to keep it organized.
Say bye, bye to sticky notes– If you have sticky notes decorating the edges or your computer, collect them all and make one list that you can check off and add items as you go.
Hide the cords– Tuck cords and cables out of the way to keep the office looking tidy. Use cable ties to keep cords together.
Pin it– If you have papers you need to refer too, hang a bulletin or pin board to keep those items.
Recycle– Don’t waste paper. Use whatever paper you may toss and use it for scrap paper or turn the paper over and print on the other side.
If you own a lot of books, CDs and/or DVDs it can be overwhelming. I like to store these items in a closed storage cabinet so things look tidy. DVDs are placed in drawers in the TV cabinet and books are tucked in a book shelf. We don’t have a lot of CDs but the ones I do own, I keep in a CD hold near the CD player. I toss the plastic cover and just keep the CD.
Gather it up– Gather up all these items you may have around the house.
Sort– Sort through these items and if you no longer use them sell or donate them.
Line it up– Store books on a bookshelf organized shortest to tallest.
Keep it together– Keep all your CD’s in one location in the house. Sort them alphabetically and arrange them on a shelf or cabinet lined up vertically or piled on top of each other with titles facing out.
Put it away– Develop a habit of putting these items away when you are finished using them.
Consolidate– Transfer your CD’s to a MP3 player. They take up a lot less space.
Review– Once a year review your collection and sell or donate itmes you no longer use.
I hope you enjoyed the ORGANIZE NOW! series. It was so much fun to do. A big thank you to the talented Jennifer Ford Berry for putting this series together. For more tips and ideas on organizing visit Jen’s site at jenniferfordberry.com.