In keeping with our theme this month on the home office space, I hope you enjoy this next post in our series after our last post on choosing an office chair. Having a home office usually means having a lot papers to file, folders to keep track of and more office supplies than you ever thought you’d need. Keeping these items organized and decreasing clutter are vital to maintaining order and accomplishing tasks efficiently.
Here are some simple tips and tricks to keeping your home office organized.
Divide the room into zones
Split your home office into different areas of use, such as a work zone, supply zone and reference zone. The work zone will most likely be the largest portion of your workspace. It should contain your desk, computer, notepads and other frequently used items. The supply zone will provide storage for items you’ll need to restock, like reams of paper, sticky notes, paperclips, etc. The supply zone doesn’t need to be large; it can be something as simple as a small bookcase in the corner of the room or a cabinet. Depending on what kind of work you do, a reference zone may also come in handy. This will be where you keep manuals, professional guides, a dictionary, a thesaurus and any other materials you may need to reference. Having separate areas in your home office will help you keep things clean and in order, and it will prevent items from being misplaced.
Use shelves instead of a desk or cabinet
Shelving offers much more space than a desk because you can always add more shelves, but a desk has only so much surface area and drawer space. You can also use a bookshelf or two, or you could even follow the recent trend of lining individual shelves from floor to ceiling to create the look of a disconnected bookshelf.
Label everything (yes, everything!)
It may seem juvenile, like being a third-grader who needs to write his name on all of his folders and pencils, but labeling all of your items will keep everything in place and save you time searching for items. You should certainly label folders, binders and any storage bins you use for housing supplies.
Use a color-coded filing system
Similar to labeling, setting up a color-coded system for your files or storage items will ensure you put papers where they belong (and on the first try). The colors will also make the trivial task of filing a little more enjoyable.
Stack books by color
Admittedly, this tip doesn’t provide much of a practical benefit to keeping your home office organized, but it does make the space look and feel in order. Arranging your books by color also adds a touch of creativity to the room and can be a good focal point when your eyes need a break from the computer screen.