Your home office needs to be in the best state possible to streamline your business and work needs. But if your workspace is constantly in need of decluttering, you’ll want to reconsider your organisation techniques to keep messes from happening in the first place.
Luckily there are plenty of principles and hacks, big and small, that can help you get – and stay – on the path to organisation.
Wrangle your wires
The rat’s nest of wires crisscrossing your desk should be at the top of your list of things to tackle. Everything attached to your laptop, auxiliary cables for your printer, headphones, and more all coalesce into an indecipherable tangle of cords.
To start, try clipping cords along the sides of your desk – keeping them out of the way, but within reach when you need them. You’ll also want to grab a roll of tape – painter’s tape works great, but so does electric tape – to label each cord. This saves you the trouble of crawling around and shaking wires just to hook up your printer.
There are plenty of other techniques to try, but these should at least get you started.
Compartmentalise and conquer
Most people’s desk drawers are chaos in action – heaps and piles of vaguely categorised stuff carelessly tossed in and forgotten about until the moment you need something.
To keep things orderly, divide and sub-divide – that is, make sure each drawer has a purpose and then split things up even more by compartmentalising the drawers themselves.
Everything should belong somewhere, and this lets you clear a lot of the clutter piled across your desk and save time when you next need to find a specific office item.
Use your walls well
Your desk should be your first priority for organisation, but don’t stop there. Besides your desk, make sure you’re taking full advantage of the storage capabilities of the walls around you.
Your walls make for a great place for shelving, of course – but besides that, a rack for hanging items can be a great move to make full use of your surroundings.
Other office all-stars include bulletin boards, which let you hang important papers nearby and off your desk, and whiteboards, which eliminate the need for some papers entirely, such as sticky notes.
Really, the possibilities are endless – and it’ll keep your workspace clear.
Or add new walls entirely
Sometimes your home office becomes cluttered because the space isn’t functioning as just a workspace. Items from your home life can start to overflow, spilling into the room you set aside for work. If that’s the case, you might consider getting a separate space for your office.
This can be a great move if your business is experiencing a lot of growth or if you work with clients in person, as it makes for a more professional space to bring clients to.
Another advantage? You can more cleanly separate your work from your personal life, all while maintaining the 30-second commute you love.
Whilst organisation is all about using your space wisely, sometimes you just need more room.
Conquer your e-clutter
Scaling things back once more, don’t forget about your digital clutter during your effort to get yourself organised. Just as labels can help you keep things properly stowed away in your physical office, you’ll want to have sensical, consistent naming conventions for the documents in your computer.
It’s a nightmare when you need an old document and either can’t remember what it was called or can’t find it in the mess of folders on your device. And while folders are important, use them wisely. Too many levels of folders on your computer can take up your time as well – as even if you remember the subfolder where a document is located, you’ll have to recall everything in the levels above it to get there.
Organisation is a constant battle, and it’s sometimes hard to see the utility of dedicating time to it. But if you follow the right principles and take things one step at a time, it doesn’t have to be a Herculean task – and once it’s done, you’ll be more productive than ever.
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