Is your home office in disarray? Is your productivity going down the drain? How do you even begin to fix this problem? Start with the clutter. This is the most common problem with at-home offices. Don’t worry though. I’ve listed out a few simple steps to help you battle your desk mess.
1. Empty Everything
Take everything out of your desk and office space and put it in a box or bin for sorting. In these situations, it’s best to start from scratch instead of slowly discarding unwanted items. Often, you won’t know how much stuff you have until you physically move all of it. This process will help you see what you need and what you haven’t used in years. Also, many people have a layer of debris at the bottom of their drawers, and this is the best way to get everything spick and span.
2. Organize and Discard
Now that you have your belongings out of your desk or office, sort through them. Do you need so many envelopes or paperclips? Do you need so many legal pads? Keep frequently used items near you, and store extra office supplies elsewhere. You can put excess materials in bins or file cabinets. Get rid of what you haven’t used in a while to make room for more practical items (do you really need those floppy disks?). If throwing things away or maintaining organization is difficult, don’t put an item on your desk until you use it. This way you will naturally discover what you need in your space. Don’t shy away from organizing your cables either.
3. Find the Flow
While putting your belongings back, make sure everything has a proper home. This means each item has a functional space. For instance, it makes sense to keep writing utensils nearby and extra paper next to the printer. Customize your space for your daily needs. If you constantly have to get up and move to get what you need, try reworking the area to encourage more fluid movement from one activity to the next.
4. Target and Solve Storage Problems
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Step back from your space. What is the most cluttered area? Think about your daily use of your at-home office. What about your area frequently causes you to become distracted or lose time? Organizing paper documents can be a hassle for many individuals. In this case, look for shelves or document holders that will work for you. Do you need to have multiple inboxes for various stages of paper work, or do you need something more like a filing cabinet? Find what works for you and stick with it.
Don’t continue to let clutter have a negative impact on how productive you are. Follow these steps, and you’ll be able to easily take control of your life and enjoy an at-home office you’ve always dreamed of.