Because of the nature of a home office, it's all too easy for your domestic workspace to accumulate the detritus of daily life. Our desks can become littered with bills, papers, cups and books, and the items we really need can get lost among everything else that finds its way into the office. A well-organised office — one with plenty of bookcases, filing cabinets, folders and pencil holders — will ensure that every item has a place, and in turn lead to a stress-free workplace. Why not avoid the hassle by following these helpful organising tips.
Take the time to create a comprehensive filing system.
A paper collection is one of those things that can easily get out of hand. Instead of trying to find a specific bill in that mound of paper, invest in a filing cabinet, hanging file folders and labels, so that you can create files with specific subjects for every item you need to keep. Once that's done, you won’t have to deal with that paper search again!
Buy a calendar - and use it!
Staying organised is key, and there are few better tools than a desk calendar or planner. Write down family events, doctor’s appointments and trips to ensure you stay on schedule. Placing important events on a cork board or whiteboard that you can see is a great way to keep the whole household informed. You can also keep yourself in check by creating to-do lists for smaller, everyday tasks.
Avoid having a junk drawer.
When you’re in a rush, it’s easy to stuff those documents in the closest drawer, regardless of where it really belongs. As this happens over and over, an once-organised desk can turn into a disheveled mess. Instead of creating a junk drawer, use drawer organisers and a desk tidy to ensure that each office item has a place — and that it always goes back there. Next time, you’ll be able to find those sticky notes right away, instead of frustratedly scouring piles of office supplies.
Use a bookcase (or two) to store trinkets.
Desk space is valuable, so even though that picture frame, stuffed animal or figurine might look cute next to your laptop, it likely takes up too much workspace. Although bookshelves are primarily used for storing books, they’re also a great place for displaying mementos and accessories. Leave the desk for things you need, such as your computer, printer and desk lamp.
Invest in a sturdy, storage-filled desk.
When you have lots of supplies to house, it goes without saying that your desk should have plenty of drawers and cabinets. When making a purchase, think about what style of desk will work for you. Bow-front desks and U-shaped or L-shaped desks will give you plenty of room to spare, while hutch desks, secretary desks and corner desks still provide some storage while fitting nicely in small spaces.
Tidy up those office electronics.
The home office is a hub for every plugged-in electronic gadget imaginable; with printer cords, computer cords, lamp cords and chargers, it's easy for even small electronics to have the run of the office. To keep cords organised, you can strap them down with a cable tidy or cable ties. Confusion can be avoided by using labels to differentiate your desktop computer’s plug from your shredder’s.
Think about comfort and design.
Whether you use your home office as an all-day workspace or a weekends-only haven, making the spot feel more like home is a must. The smallest touches can make a difference - investing in an ergonomic desk chair, a few photographs, personalised mug, children's drawings or accessories and a well-placed task light can make your day (and maybe your work) more enjoyable.