Anyone that personally knows me would be shocked to learn I’m discussing organization today. Up until about two years ago, I was a bonafide slob. But once I got my own home, and had a lot of people to clean up after, I realized the necessity that is organization. Once you actually go through the motions of that initial organization it really isn’t that difficult to keep up with the organized lifestyle. So why is it that we have such a problem with keeping ourselves organized? Typically, the answer is as simple as this: you can’t or you won’t. What does this mean exactly? Well, either you can’t because you don’t know how or you won’t because you don’t feel like it. I’m not shaming you in any way (remember I was here too), but let’s talk about making this easier!
Make sure everything has a place. A key to an organization is to make sure each item has a place to go, a home. Now although it is a daunting task to start the process of organization, once you tackle this, then your things will in fact always have a place to go. Organizing is a daily activity if you think about it, but it’s really not hard! Throw things out, Marie Kondo your space, pour a glass of wine and get the right containers. Now, I’ll save the in-depth conversation on actually starting the process of organizing another day because today I’m here to talk about that home office of yours.
Why is having an organized home office important?
For one, it’s always harder to focus on work when you’re at home. You can claim that it’s not, but at home, you have access to wine and your dog. If you can maintain a clean organized home office, you’re one step ahead in the productivity world. When your office is at home, there is a greater chance things can be misplaced. Do you have kids? Keeping those spreadsheets safe is very important from sticky little fingers. Do you have a husband that plans on using your computer to order those NFL season tickets? Better make sure he doesn’t jot down any notes on that presentation printout. If these reasons aren’t reason enough to give you some anxiety, then consider me jealous. It’s so important that your home office is more than a computer and papers everywhere, regardless of being at home, you are still technically at work and your space should reflect this. Now if you’re like a lot of others right now that have suddenly started working from home due to quarantine, I understand that it is difficult to magically build a home office. But the organization is something that anyone of us can do, for relatively little money.
Let’s get started with organizing our desks.
This is where the magic happens, where our focus must stay. This also means this is where we can be the messiest. Coffee cups, papers, pens, post-its, you name it. The desk is the landing pad in your home office for clutter. If you can create somewhat of a layout on our desk for where things go, we’re ensured to have less clutter. My first recommendation is to invest in an organizational computer stand:
The above example is just one of many risers that can help to organize you, but it is one of my favorites. What I love about this concept is that it’s also a two-in-one as an organizational piece as well as a riser. Above, we were discussing the importance of everything having its own place and this riser provides so many homes for your clutter. A place for your coffee, writing utensils, phone, and a little bonus slot. Next are two drawers that are perfect for papers, your daily planner, notes, and so on. And as an added bonus, the riser sits almost two inches off of your desk, leaving a space for your mouse, keyboard, or maybe just more papers if you’re using a laptop.
Another bamboo riser I like is this two-tier storage model. What is awesome about this is the slots on the sides are adjustable, you can move the inserts around depending on what you’re storing. I love anything customizable! This one also provides a small slit where your phone sits so that you have the appearance of wireless charging. This one is also great because it is a little smaller width-wise if you’re working with smaller desk space.
Last but not least on our tour of risers, we have the adjustable screen stand. What I love about this one is its versatility. This can be used for one screen, a small space, and two screens. This really all comes down to personal preference and solely depends on your home office needs and space.
So you aren’t into the screen stand, or you want something else.
Let’s talk about other ways to organize your deskspace:
Let’s say you have a bigger desk, you have more space to display your clutter in a cute way. There are so many cute ways to organize your papers and notes with these displays! What’s great about online shopping too, is that you can find pretty much anything to match your style. For a more modern look, I love the saddle ring collection from Anthropologie. The gold is so chic and the leather look is stylish. For a standard, gold vibe I found a really cute set on Amazon,
that is on sale right now! What I love about these pieces is that they give your junk a place. And a rule of organization is that everything must have a place.
Next up on the list, we have drawer organizers.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to use these. I started using these in my kitchen a little over a year ago and it truly changed my drawers. This is another one of those situations where you need to make sure everything has a place. Drawers are so easy to make messy, doesn’t everyone have a junk drawer? Putting some simple inserts in your drawers can take your desk from sloppy to professional. Organized chaos if you will. Here are a few that I like:
Now that we’ve got the desk under control, we can move on to the rest of our home office and organize the big things. For more on the actual setup of your office, you should check out our article about Feng Shui and the home office! Here, we’re going to talk about organizational techniques. So your desk is nice and clean, maybe now you’ve got room for that framed picture of your dog. Next, we move on to organizing files, making your printer set up more organized, and adding functional but cute shelves. I’m the type of person that needs personal touches around the room. Photos, shelves, trinkets, and plants. So let’s combine this with organizing! We’ll start with shelving. Shelves are important because they get your crap off the floor but still make it look pretty. You either have the classic wall mount shelves or a more bookcase-like style shelving system. Let’s take a look at some bookshelves first.
Choosing your bookshelf really just comes down to personal style and preference. The above three I selected are great for a variety of styles. The two units with the doors are probably more practical for an organization because you can hide stuff in them, but if you’ve mastered the art of making sure everything has a place, go rogue and use the open shelving unit! You can get bins that match your style and then fill in the empty places with photos or trinkets. Below I’m going to show you some wall shelves as well, I won’t bother going in-depth with those because they’re pretty self-explanatory. I’m only providing a link for one because the floating shelves are a cheap DIY!
So there you have it.
Some easy organizational tips. The main takeaway should be that as long as everything has a place, you will always feel and appear somewhat organized. Use the bookshelf to display your printer rather than have it clutter your desk, use drawer organizers to keep your drawers neat and tidy, and use some form of a stand to elevate your computer with extra storage. While these may be pretty basic organizational tips, it’s important to think about and stop sweeping under the rug. These simple steps set the tone for a more in-depth organization if you think about it. Get stands to hold paper and you can start separating work documents from bills and mail for example. Until next time, happy working!