It’s unusual for the whole world to be sharing in one event, but 2020 has changed that. This year everyone has been keeping watch as the Covid-19 pandemic impacted every country on each continent. In the U.S., the virus has been causing a number of trends to develop. Some are changing how businesses operate and others have been created by how much time people are spending at home with their families.
Two current U.S. trends are employees taking advantage of space as they work remotely at home and families taking on remodeling projects. One project which combines both trends is organizing your home office. Since you may be spending more time in your home office, anything you do to make it more efficient and comfortable will encourage you as you work.
Everyone can agree that work can be very difficult if you are sitting in the middle of a mess. Consider these ideas in order to create an ordered office space:
Clutter builds up quickly especially when you don’t practice getting rid of unnecessary or unused items on a regular basis. Take the time to go through every item in the office space getting rid of anything that is unused, broken, or outdated. Organize paper with piles for shredding, filing, or to do. This action alone will feel good as you begin getting rid of clutter.
If you are unsure about how long to keep important documents, here is a handy guide:
- Credit card statements: one month
- Bank statements: one year
- Medical bills: one year
- Pay stubs: one year (until you receive W-2)
- Investment statements: one year (until year-end statement arrives)
- Tax returns and supporting documents – seven years
2. Lease A Nearby Storage Unit
If you choose to remodel a space to create a home office, consider leasing a self storage unit to clear everything out before remodeling or painting the space. This step would ideally be done after you declutter. You don’t want to pay to store items you will simply be throwing away at a later date.
3. Move Personal Items
Get rid of anything in the office space that is not pertinent to work. This includes photos, mugs, books, magazines and more. All of this will serve as clutter and distraction during the work day and with the office at home, those items can be relocated to another room. Only items used regularly should be on your desk.
4. Create A Printing Area
Take printers and other office equipment off of your desk. Choose a space in your home office to organize your printer and supplies. It can be on top of another work area or, if wireless, it can be placed in a cabinet. When a desk is cluttered with bigger items, it’s not easy to stay organized and the machines can be a constant distraction.
5. Organize Binders
It is possible your work space at home still needs to be the home office as well. Organize home and work paperwork in different colored or labeled binders. A few ideas for home binder organization include one for each of the following topics: house, personal, auto, pet and medical. Keep these separate in your office from your work binders which can be organized by topic according to the work you do.
6. Add Shelving Or Cabinets
Throughout your work day, there are tools you repeatedly use. Organize a shelf or cabinet with these tools like your books, hole punch, pens, scissors and more. Putting these items in a dedicated area will keep you from putting them on your desk and recreating the clutter that you have spent time removing.
Read more: Budget friendly tricks for home office
7. Use Wall Space
Using your wall space is an easy way to keep clutter down. You can organize the items in a formation like a gallery wall with calendar, boards, shelves and filing systems. Going up the wall with these items is a great use of space keeping things off of the floor but still out where you can reach and see them readily.
8. Keep at It
These ideas can be implemented over a few days or weeks, depending on how much work you want to put into the space. It is important to spend some time each day making sure the office remains uncluttered with everything in its proper place.
Whether your office space has been taken over with your remote work or remains a space for home use, taking the time to implement these ideas will lead to a clean, organized workspace the entire family can enjoy.