*Guest post courtesy of 1-800-GOT-JUNK?
From endless distractions to unpredictable work hours, working from a home office presents some challenges. While it may seem as though those who can do their jobs outside of a traditional work environment have it made, there are some definite downsides to overlapping work and home life. With maintaining a work schedule and effective work environment comes a need for disciplineand organization.
Did you know that organization may be the key to productivity? If you are working from an office without a clear method of operation, you are likely surrounded by scattered papers, managing a hectic agenda, and suffering from a short attention span. Taking your space from cluttered to streamlined may be the next best step for your work life. Not only will it save time, it will boost your creativity, eliminate stress, and help you meet your deadlines.
This is the biggest component to creating a productive space. Are there things in your office that don’t belong? Are you holding on to things you no longer need? Streamlining your space will create a more peaceful environment that is conducive for working efficiently. If you’re struggling to eliminate clutter in your space, considering starting from square one. Remove the bulk of your things out of the office and re-introduce them as you need them. This will give you a clear idea of what is a necessity and what was just taking up space. If you have old computer monitors and other dated electronics, make sure to dispose of them properly, as electronics can contain hazardous materials for the environment.
2. Organize your drawers
After you declutter, you should know which items you need in your office to work effectively. Now it’s time to find places for them. Keep your desk and other surfaces as clear as possible by using your drawer space to its full potential. Remember that even though you may not be able to see inside the drawers at all times, it’s still important to keep them tidy so you can work efficiently. Invest in a drawer organization system for office supplies like rubber bands, paper clips, staples, etc. and use small containers to create homes for small notebooks, envelopes, and other paper materials.
3. Begin a filing system
No office is complete without a proper place to store important documents. Without a filing cabinet or filing boxes, stacks of paper are guaranteed to pile up on your desk, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and distracted. To do this effectively, first organize your documents by category and create a folder for each. Label them accordingly or use a color coding system. If it takes too much time to file throughout your work day, create a “to file” folder that will live on your desk and then file its contents at the end of each day.
4. Streamline your cables
In the modern day and age, it’s all too common for our workspaces to accumulate a nest of cables leading to our computers, printers, and phones. Not only is this unsightly, it also creates a sense of chaos in a space that should feel streamlined and peaceful. Fortunately, there are many options for organizing and concealing visible cables. While some people choose to create their own systems using unexpected materials such as rain gutters, there are prefabricated options available at Ikea or other office supply stores.
5.Get a desktop organization system
If you have many items that need to be withinreach as you work, shop around for the best desktop organizer for you. Whether you need multiple paper trays, separate containers for pens and pencils, small drawers, or a handy phone charger, there’s an organizer designed to suit your needs. After you purchase an organizer, get in the habit of organizing your desk in work zones.
6. Get a wireless printer
Owning a wireless printer will give you the freedom to create a separate station complete with everything you need for printing. Place your printer in a cabinet or on a table top so that supplies such as blank paper and ink don’t begin to encroach upon your desk space.
7. Utilize your wall space
An organized office takes advantage of all its available space, not only the most obvious. If you are working in a small room, consider getting hanging filing cabinets instead of one that will take up square footage. Rather than keeping paper to-do lists that take up precious drawer or desk space, paint a wall with chalkboard paint or put up a hanging whiteboard. For more storage, introduce shelves with labeled containers to keep your essentials easy to locate.
8. Organize your books
Whether you prefer to arrange your books alphabetically, by size, or by color, a streamlined bookshelf is guaranteed to make your space appear more minimal. Use our decluttering guidelines above to get rid of any books or knick knacks that you no longer need. This will create empty space for new essentials and make it easier to find the books you often reference, making your office feel more functional and productive.
If both your home office and actual office are overwhelming and you’re unsure where to start, we can help. Your productivity is important and should be treated as such. Good luck and let us know if you have any questions. We’d love to help!