A pristine and organized space is what most people need to work successfully, whether they’re at the office or working from home. Austin is one of the cities where working from home had picked up steam even before the pandemic. The current situation only amplified this trend. But how easy is it to adjust to this new reality? Recreating the functionality of the work office at home might feel like an impossible feat but doesn’t have to be that way. Organizing and keeping your home office is part science and part art. You want to be able to find your documents or the push pins when you need them while enjoying a pleasant Zen-inducing workspace.
Here are some ideas to help you get your home office organized and functional:
1. Start by decluttering your office area
It’s easier to start organizing if you declutter your area first. It will allow you to decide which items you will end up using. Watch out for duplicate items – if you realize you have lots of pens and two staplers, stick to what you will use. Instead of throwing away the excess items, you can make a donation box for your local Goodwill.
2. Get the right desk for your needs
First and foremost, a desk is what makes the home office “official.” There are several routes you can take when choosing your desk:
- Go for a tech-friendly desk
If you don’t already have one, you can go for a tech-friendly desk. Some come with handy built-in organization features, such as a pull-out keyboard tray to a space-saving sconce. A monitor organizer could help by using the desk space in a practical way, especially for PC users.
- Add DYI features to your desk
If a regular low-tech desk is more to your liking, there are a few things you can do to make it more efficient. You could install casters on its base to make the desk mobile and make reorganizing so much easier. Additionally, you can use one of your sturdier boxes to turn it into a monitor stand. Your neck will thank you, and you add extra storage space for your desk knickknacks.
- Install a Murphy desk
This type of desk is perfect when your living arrangements do not include a dedicated office room. You might have turned a corner of your home into your office, and using a Murphy desk is the perfect solution to add that extra functionality without sacrificing space. The desk folds up for easy storage when your workday is over.
3. Adjust your lighting system
Do you usually use a lamp on your desk? There is a better way to make use of your space and still keep your light source. Hang pendant lights above your desk – it saves your precious desk real estate while adding an elegant touch to your workspace!
4. Create a command center
Assuming your desk is close to a wall, you can install a bulletin board that can help you stay on top of your tasks. You can add to-do lists, reminders, and a working calendar. You could even add a docket-style notepad where you can keep your daily to-do lists in one place. If there’s extra room on the wall, install a magnetic memo board to work as an erasable sticky note. Make sure to also leave room for your printer and other critical office supplies.
5. Set up an organization system
Add cubbies or bins nearby to hold your larger office supplies so that your desk can take a breather from clutter and you can have enough space to work. Documents, notes and other small office essentials can all fit into clear trays. If your desk is on the small side, find trays that attach to the wall.
6. Go old school with filing cabinets
Not everybody enjoys the luxury of a large desk. Why not turn to filing cabinets to keep your documents neatly put away? If organizing is something you feel passionate about, you might enjoy filing your documents by categories as you see fit. On the other hand, if you need a little more flexibility with your space, you can opt for a rolling cart beside the desk. You can keep all paper-related items there, and you can easily move them to another room when you need that extra space.
7. Take on a small DYI project with your small container
Who says you need to spend a fortune on office organizers? With a little creativity, you can reuse or repurpose some items that you already have at home. Pushpins and paperclips can go into an old spice rack. For your pens and pencils, a mason jar or a repurposed can do the trick.
8. Carve out a designated area to put things
Consider it the only space where you allow yourself to put things that don’t already have a home. When the area fills up, you can take a break to place each item where it belongs. This way, the rest of your desk stays organized and free, so you can work unencumbered by clutter. Use a tray or a decorative mat to mark the area.
9. Use paperweights
For the papers you need to temporarily keep on your desk, use a paperweight. Make sure to pick one that matches the décor and the color scheme of the room, as these items can add to the room’s aesthetics.
10. Tuck cords away and label them
With all the devices plugged in at the same time, the underside of your desk is most likely a jungle of cords if left to its own devices. Make sure to secure them and even label each cord so you can easily identify to which device they connect to when you need to unplug. You can even use binder clips to group them together and keep them organized if your desk doesn’t have a slot for them.
11. Find local organizers
If organizing your home workspace feels like a drag to you, why not turn to a professional? Austin benefits from a wealth of local organizers that can whip up your office into shape in no time! Besides, this saves you the effort and time that you can use to do the things you feel passionate about!
12. Turn to self storage
Putting your office together might mean that some of your other furniture needs to be rehomed, especially in cities where homes are less spacious. You can always put those extra household items in storage while you rethink your home’s design. Austin has plenty of self storage options, so finding a storage facility near your home should feel like a breeze.
With your home workspace now organized, you can better focus on your work. Let us know which idea you found the most inspiring in the comments section below.