Keep your home office clutter free with these five helpful tips!
Clearing out clutter on and around your home office can lead to a better outlook and a more productive day.
Whether you’re selling homemade crafts or crafting language for online marketing companies, having a home office where you feel like you can get things done is invaluable. The unfortunate thing is that, as with most areas around our homes, our offices tend to get a little cluttered; and then a lot cluttered. Eventually you can’t really tell if that’s your laptop under a stack of sales sheets or the house cat.
Having a cluttered office can lead to distractions, especially if you’re looking for one particular piece of paper in the stacks heaped around your desk. And distractions lead to lost time. If you’re feeling uncomfortable in your home office, now is as good a time as any to step back and organize. Your body, mind and business schedule will thank you.
Make Yourself Comfortable
Even if you removed all of the papers and distractions in your home office, are you comfortable in it? Having a workspace in which you feel at ease is one of its most important aspects. Take some time to look at your space as a whole. Is the desk in an ideal location? Is your chair cozy and allow you to sit comfortably at your desk? Are you able to reach important items easily such as your printer, computer or monitor? Are there cords all over the place for your electronics?
Before diving into the surface clutter in your office, organize your main office items so that you feel comfortable and ready to focus from the moment you sit down.
A good majority of the clutter found in most home offices is paper. Whether it’s notes for work, bills, product descriptions or any number of random printed pages, unorganized papers can flutter and fester around a workspace and cause a good deal of confusion, frustration and lost time. Thanks to the growing technological industry, however, there are several options out there for paperless filing.
Most of the programs include a small desktop scanner. As you feed papers into it, it automatically sorts and uploads that data to a program on your computer. Your important documents become organized, searchable and most importantly, paperless. Make sure you dispose of the scanned paper documents appropriately, typically by shredding or through a document destruction company.
For those papers that you have to hang onto in their physical form, create a comprehensive filing system that works for you. By using a filing cabinet, wire filing racks or tastefully decorated filing boxes, make sure your system makes sense to you and that there’s a place for everything you have now and everything you expect to come in. Remember, if you don’t really need to keep that piece of physical paper, scan it, shred it and save that space for something you need to keep around.
Sometimes you need to get to documents quickly or you need to write down a note or appointment time where it won’t get lost in a hurry. Sometimes you just need to write down a list of all your to-do items for the day so you can cross them out as you go. Either way, it’s a good idea to have a memo board in your office that allows you to keep track of all of these things. Ideally, a whiteboard with a magnetic back should serve all of your needs. The magnetic back allows you to tack clip magnets to the surface and pin up important documents when needed. Otherwise, a combination of a chalk board and magnetic strip or even a cork board could work just as well depending on your taste and necessities.
Clear Your Mind…and Your Desk
Throughout the work day, those working from a home office or any office should remember to take breaks and step back from work for a bit. This time allows you to clear your head and focus on something beside the project at hand for a bit. Not only will this allow you to come back to your workspace with a clearer mind, it also allows you a moment or two to tuck a couple items away that might have gotten loose during the work day. Some proactive organizing steps throughout the day will save you plenty of hassle and clutter down the road.
Kenneth McCall loves to bike and hike. When he’s not busy with outdoor activities he is a managing partner at storage.com, a leading provider of self storage for homeowners and businesses. Ken designs systems and tools for homeowners and businesses that need storage in places in the southwest like self storage in Albuquerque and Phoenix.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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