Our home offices became the nerve centers of our entire house when the world went remote back in 2020. Since then, our most important projects and business deals have come from that little space in our homes. However, as we progress into adjusting to this ‘New Normal’ we may tend to collect things without us even realising. With monitors, supplies, pictures, plants and gadgets in our home office, we may find it extremely inconvenient to rummage through things when we need them.
This Organise Your Home Office Day, we bring you eight super easy and quick steps to getting a cleaner home office that is a pleasure to work in! These tips will save you time, money and make your WFH life convenient!
Step 1: Group things together in your home office
Do you have a large desk and a dedicated office space but still find it hard to find things when you need them? If you said yes, this step is the perfect way to help you move from being overwhelmed to being organised. Grouping like materials together helps you find what you’re looking for without having to spend too much time. For example, you can keep all your stationery together, your chargers in one place and your papers in a file. This way, you will be able to figure out how much space each category needs and it will also help you eliminate duplicates if you have any.
Step 2: Evaluate personal items
You can’t help but adore a picture of your family and your pet basking in the sunshine, but does it really need to be on your desk? Like we have said before, think of the space on your desk as valuable real estate. You need all the space you can possibly get, and if a frame is taking up this valuable space, you will need to relocate it. These items include greeting cards, souvenirs, mugs etc.
Don’t get us wrong; you can still have these items in your office. Just not on your desk. You can hang your photos on the wall above your desk, so it isn’t taking up any extra room. You can put your plants on the windowsill and use a shelf for all your souvenirs.
Step 3: Move your equipment off your desk
Stemming from the previous point, where are you going to work if your desk is covered in computers, printers and phones?
Invest in a 3-in-1 printer and place it on a shelf beside you. Instead of using a desk lamp that takes up a significant chunk of your space, use a freestanding lamp and put it on the floor next to your desk and aim it at your workspace. If you have a giant monitor that is half the size of your desk, recycle it and buy a lightweight flatscreen monitor for yourself.
Step 4: Keep important things handy
Now that you have cleaned the clutter from your work desk, it is time to move on to keeping them handy. You waste valuable time when you have to get up and walk over to the other end of the room. You can keep your most-used items close by, by placing a bookshelf beside your office desk. You can also fit your desk drawer with a tray or an organiser to hold your sticky notes, tape, staplers and paper clips. Remember to keep an eye out for pens with no ink, paper clips that are bent and other supplies that are either broken or that you won’t use.
Step 5: Reduce cable clutter
We’re all working from home with our monitors, laptops, keyboards, mice and phones. This means that the snaking mass of wires and cables is the real enemy of a clean workspace. Having too many cables is not only a tripping hazard but can also pose a fire threat to your home office. The first step to getting rid of cable clutter is to evaluate what wires you don’t need. You can also switch to a wireless keyboard and mouse set, if possible.
Bind the remaining cables with cable ties or a cable management system, so they stay out of your way. You can also route them behind your desk to get rid of visual clutter.
Step 6: Purge
One of the many reasons our homes and office spaces get so cluttered is because we don’t take enough time to toss the things that don’t serve any purpose anymore. Take a few minutes today to purge everything in your home office that you no longer use. These can be pens, paper clips, old magazines and pieces of paper, broken office equipment, and outdated documents.
Want to know how long you should be keeping a document for and when it is okay to toss it? Here is an article that provides insight into different documents and the duration you should keep them for. Check it out!
Step 7: Don’t forget your digital clutter
According to this email statistics report, the average person receives about 94 emails per day. This shows us that organising your digital space is just as important as organising your physical space. Here’s what you can do – First, delete all non-essential emails that are more than 30 days old. Then, take a hard look at your Documents folder. Delete duplicate files and move on to deleting files you don’t need. If you do not want to delete them completely, consider moving them into an external hard drive. Similarly, pictures and bookmarks have a quick way of accumulating over time. So evaluate, delete and then finally, clear your recycle bin!
Step 8: Ritualise cleaning
Decluttering is not a one-and-done proposition. With the influx of mails, documents and communications every day, it is more than essential to do a little bit of sorting out every day. Devote 10 minutes at the end of your workday to update your to-do list, file necessary documents and keep items in their proper places. You can also end your workday by wiping down your space, as it is crucial to disinfect often.