You may be one of those lucky people who can work from your home office. Maybe you have your own business. Whatever purpose your home office has, you have to be diligent about keeping it clear of clutter. The person who said that a messy desk is a sign of intelligence must not have got a lot of work done.
While you are doing your annual spring cleaning in your house, do not forget to pay extra attention to your office. Here are some useful hacks for home office organization and creating a space conducive for work:
Paper, Paper, Everywhere!
Even though we are striving toward a paperless society, we are still bogged down with paperwork. No matter what type of business you run from your home, there are bills, schedules, reports, and a plethora of papers that wind up on your desk.
While you are de-cluttering, you can sort through your mounds of paper to see what can be shredded and recycled.
There are some tax forms and client records that you may be legally required to keep for a certain amount of time (usually 7 years). Update all of your filing and shred everything that is outdated. Organize a system where you can quickly go through your mail and toss junk. Try to get as many receipts and other statements via email. You will find that your paper mess will be substantially reduced.
Just Enough Supplies
All home offices need office supplies and other necessary tools for the business; however, do you really need a box of 50 ink pens on your desk? Only put enough of what you need on your desk, and store the rest. If you have duplicates of common supplies such as paper punches or staplers, give them to your kids to use on their homework desk. Reserve a special place in your office closet to organize all your supplies. You can just take a glance and see what you need to replenish in the future.
How long has it been since you used that old dot matrix printer in your cabinet? Unlike fashion, technology goes forward and does not revolve. Get rid of any outdated computer equipment in your office. Dump that drawer of antique cell phones you have been storing “just in case” your new one breaks. There are charities that will refurbish newer computer equipment and phones to help needy people. Have a heart and donate all the outdated equipment you can find.
Everyone would expect to see a nice picture of your family on your office desk or hanging on the wall. It becomes a problem when the office turns into a museum of every family vacation photo and pictures of the cat sleeping. While it is good to make your home office feel “homey”, too much stuff can get in your way and even be a distraction. This is especially true if your clients visit you at home.
The same goes for collections and knick-knacks. A small display of things you love creates beauty and joy. If you walk into your office and it looks like you are setting up your own thrift store, then it is time to de-clutter. Keep only those few things that you absolutely love, and donate or pitch the rest. Go through your bookshelf and get rid of anything you do not read. A minimalist office creates space to breathe and be creative.
If you do bits at a time, you can spring clean your home office efficiently. You will find that you have more space and a better attention span. Simply surround yourself with the things you truly need or love, and get rid of the rest.