We can’t deny that stress has captured a large part of our life. Especially when you are working from home, the additional demands of clients and your boss can drive your world upside down. Moreover, if you can’t get to the essentials at the right time, you might freak out. What you can do is, take a look around your home office; if it lacks organization, then it is definitely affecting your productivity.
On the other hand, the environment might look quite unprofessional during video calls and conferences. Don’t take a chance with your reputation and create an impression by taking some time to organize everything accordingly. When you remove the clutter, you clear your mind and stay sharp and calm. If you don’t know where to start, here is a guideline to sort the mess in your home office.
1. Start with a Cleaning Routine
Your agenda for home office organization should start with a neat and clean desk and other peripherals. There is no point in getting things arranged for your video calls if your desk is under piles of papers and dust. Start by cleaning the desk, purge paper, files, and stray bills. Throw away whatever you don’t need anymore.
Do the same with the accessories, pens, and other essentials that don’t work. Now, sweep the desk after you have gotten rid of the junk. You can also use a vacuum cleaner to deal with the layers of dust. Make enough space for your laptop or desktop, printer, smartphones, or tablets. To keep the clean vibe consistent, make sure that you continue weekly cleaning around the desk. If you are short on time, invest your time working and book a cleaning service for your home office.
2. Scan Papers
Once you have purged your files, you may still have quite a heap of files. However, you still might be unable to decide which files to keep. If you find any official documents that are older for more than fifteen years then you might discard them.
You can use scanning technology to cope with such files. Scan all those important documents that contain bank, property, office, and tax records. Don’t forget to include your insurance papers, as well. Save all those scanned documents physically on a USB flash drive. However, flash drives can become corrupt, so you can use cloud storage systems in case you don’t want to lose access to your documents. When it comes to USB flash drives, store them in a cool and dry place.
3. Make a Separate Printing Station
The printer and printing accessories can occupy a large area. And, placing a printer on the home office desk can lead to chaos as you might run out of space. On the other hand, all the connected cables of the printer to your computer can result in a tangled mess. It can be a real struggle when your printer doesn’t come with wireless functionalities.
So, make space for your printer and printing accessories, separately. You can use the cabinet under your home office desk to place the printer. Apart from the printer, try to move all the papers and related printing essentials to that area. Now, with the right organization, you will never run out of stock and need to spend hours getting things printed when an emergency knocks on the door.
4. Use Shelves
It’s not necessary that your home office have a closet to keep everything organized. When you can’t find enough space on the desk, you can adopt a clever shelving system. The wall against your desk might have some space for creating shelves.
You can place shelves beside your desk and keep everything you need during office hours. Apart from office essentials, you can place potted plants, artwork on the shelves. Along with stand-alone shelves, you can try floating shelves to keep your surroundings minimalistic and non-cluttered.
5. Play It Safe with Furious Cables
We understand your daily struggle with tons of cables. Sometimes, you encounter a black-out computer when you pull out the wrong plug from the power supply. Or, the sight of tangled wires might drive you crazy. Don’t fret, there are numerous ways to tackle cables.
For an instant solution, you can buy commercial cable managers that are easily available on online e-commerce sites. As an alternative, you can use paper binding clips to keep cables straight and align them along with the desk. Or, you can switch to a wireless mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals to reduce the cable clutter. For power cables, you can mark them with corresponding written sticky tapes. Thus, you can save your electronics from power disasters.
6. Get Rid of Personal Commodities
We love the way you adore that family photograph on your home office desk. But, when you are short on the functional space, you can relocate that photograph to a new place to save you some space. Find a new place for your favourite coffee mug, magazines, photos, and greeting cards instead of your desk.
By adjusting the placement of your souvenirs, you can definitely create more space. If you can’t find a place for the precious photo, then hang it on the wall. Or, just put those items on the shelves.
7. Make Use of Drawers
Keep your accessories out of your sight in drawers to keep a clean space. However, you can’t hide every mess in the drawer. To ensure that the same mess doesn’t get repeated inside the drawers, use drawer dividers. You can use utensils or containers to make separate rooms for your dedicated accessories. This way, your USB flash drives won’t get mixed up with business cards or markers.
8. Clean up the Computer Desktop
Apart from your desk and shelves, your computer desktop should be properly organized. So, stop for a moment and have a look at your computer desktop. Can you easily fetch a file that is important for the current project that you are working on?
If not, then make time for rearranging the files and folders on your desktop. Keep similar files in the same folder. Create new directories to retrieve files and information easily. If there’s not enough space available, make use of USB drives or cloud storage options. Additionally, sign up for cloud backup processes to keep your files safe. As a result, you need not panic if your computer becomes faulty and you lose access to data; your files are safe on cloud servers.
9. Keep a Trashcan and Recycling Bin Handy
When you are planning something, you might be drawing the path again and again. And, while working with a pen and paper, you might be producing much more junk. So, you need a dustbin where you can dump all your trash. Rather than allowing papers to remain scattered here and there, you better find a dedicated destination for your throw-outs. Besides papers, you can throw out all those non-working accessories into the dustbin. If your dustbin doesn’t have the capacity, get a bigger one.
10. Create a File System
In case you are still left with several files and you need to access them now, then you can use this hack. Grab a file manager or station, arrange files according to the colour code that you have set for the system. For example, you can keep all health-related documents in a green filing system. Or, put all your tax details in an orange one. Choose whatever categories help to organize your filing requirements.
Finally, Don’t Over-Do it
Organizing things to keep is pretty cool, as long as it doesn’t bother your working process. Keep it minimal, otherwise, home office organization can make it harder for you to access the right thing at the right nook of time.