Do you dread working at home because the space feels undefined and disorganized? If your answer is yes, then here are some solutions. Before we jump into some amazing products that will help you recreate your space, let us examine the “bare bones” of your work zone.
Home Office Basics
To reclaim your space it is important to assess what does and does not work for you. Analyze the basic components of your home office and focus on correcting the dysfunctional elements. These components include:
- Office supplies
One of the most common home office challenges is an overflow of paperwork. In order to tame the paper monster, it is necessary to create a logical filing system. When sorting through paperwork consider two categories: items to be filed (stored in a filing cabinet) and action items (temporarily stored out in the open). The action items can be separated out even further by the day or month that the action needs to be taken.
Here are some product options and creative ideas to keep in mind while designing your filing system:
- Ottoman = file storage: This is a great option for both action items and items to be filed because the files are easily accessible yet concealed. Action items stored here should have more than a week’s expiration date.
- Clothes line = this week’s action item holder: String a clothesline over your desk and use clothespins marked with the names of each day of the week. You can clip all your appointment papers, bills, etc. on the day of the week they are scheduled for.
- Plate holder = file holder: Hang a two-plate display holder on your wall and use different colored folders in place of the two large plates (one for each location). One folder is labeled “incoming” and the other is labeled “outgoing.”
- Repurposed shutter = card holder: When cleaned off and mounted near a workspace, a shutter proves to be an excellent card holder. So instead of letting things like save-the-dates take up valuable desk surface area, put them on display.
Cords and outlet locations can be frustrating for organizing your office electronics. Luckily, there are two creative items that can help in these areas:
- Cord organizers: The organizer sits on top of your desk and has a spot for each individual cord to clip in. It keeps your cords neatly divided and easily accessible for your convenience. Check out your local home office supply store to find this handy item.
- Pivot power strip: In my opinion, this item is ingenious. Instead of tucking a large power strip in a hard to reach place, you can wrap this pivot strip around one of your desk legs where it will always be right at your fingertips, or should I say toes.
It is ironic how disorganized office supplies can get when their purpose is to keep us organized. Fortunately, there are many options for decluttering and grouping all of our task tools. Here are a few:
- Spice containers = drawer organizers: They are sold at kitchen supply stores, but they are the perfect solution to keeping loose items contained. The height of the jars will fit in almost any drawer, and the clear lids allow you to grab at a glance.
Sometimes you have to revamp the furniture in your office in order to create space for a more efficient storage system. For example: Your desk might be too big for the space, which is preventing you from purchasing that much needed filing cabinet. Whatever the issue is, I am certain there is an innovative solution. Below are some of my recent finds to address this matter:
- Trunk desk: This is such a cool idea for those of you who like to separate work life from home life … even if you work from home. You can simply fold up your trunk desk after work to create more space for family and friends, and your computer and files will be safely stored until later use.
- Spiral drawer unit: Adding this piece to your office would be wise if your desk is lacking in drawer space. The swivel drawers operate independently from each other and the piece can stand alone or be mounted to the wall.
- Bookshelf: Placing a neutral-toned bookshelf behind your desk can provide you with all the storage you need while also creating a customized look. Add a few large wicker baskets to a lower shelf to serve as extra drawer space if needed.
Working from home should bring joy to your life, not anxiety. The true essence of a home office is accomplished by combining function with comfort and efficiency with style. The easiest way to accomplish this is to add home office storage products with all these necessary elements. I hope you feel as inspired by the products above as I did when I first found them. Good luck and happy organizing!
Laura Leist, CPO
Organizing with Laura