As many of us are beginning to aim towards becoming a self-starter and working towards entrepreneurship, we begin to look towards having a home office with which to dedicate our time to.
As many of us are beginning to aim towards becoming a self-starter and working towards entrepreneurship, we begin to look towards having a home office with which to dedicate our time to—a sanctuary inside the home where all you have to pay attention to is the work and craftsmanship you have at your hands.
The home office can be a crucial space in the household solely for the use of work—free from all the other worries present in other sections of the home such as unwashed dishes or screeching kids on the living room sofa. Do it well and it can be an inviolable space where you can hone your craft and focus only on your entrepreneurial mission.
In fact, even if you aren’t a self-starting entrepreneur, having a home office is still useful for the homeowner who needs a bit of tranquil space to store and deal with various household documents and bills.
For whatever use you may find for your home office, there is a roadblock that you will continuously need to overcome: how to keep things organized.
Problems you should expect
The home office should be a place of utmost comfort and optimal productivity—everything within that workspace should be about fulfilling those two things.
But over time, unfiled papers can get stacked so high up that you drown in a mountain of unread messages and files. Unorganized tools and stationery items will be left scattered, which in turn hampers the workflow when you’re forced to spend so much of your time just looking for the things that you need.
Not to mention, there’s still the chance of piling up on stacks after stacks of papers even if you’ve put the time and energy into organizing your files.
Aside from files, there can also be the clutter of décor, or perhaps even the lack of it. Remember that a home office is supposed to provide you with a sense of responsibility—inspire you to go to work in the first place.
Decorating your home office to give you that feel will help boost your productivity and help you finish the tasks you need to take.
So, if a neat and tidy workspace is a crucial element to an effective home office, what is there for you to do to make sure your home office stays an effective home office?
Workarounds for the Workspace
A clean and polished home office makes for the perfect workspace, as a clear office will leave you with a similarly clear mind. If you’re looking for ways to guarantee the orderliness of your home office, here are a couple of tips on what to do.
Start with the Workstation
The desk: perhaps the most integral piece of the workspace. For any person who’s ever worked in an office they’ll know and understand how important desk organization is to productivity.
If you’re ever stuck in a rut on what exactly to do to organize your home office, the best place to start is where the battles of work usually take place: the desk.
Your desk may contain a large assortment of materials from post-it notes to a variety of pens, but it may also contain a mountain of unused office supplies that may or may not have collected dust over the last few months.
Beginning with the desk is a wonderful way to start cleaning, especially from under the desk itself. If you have, vacuum the space where your desk is to get rid of that pesky piled-up dust.
Aside from cleaning up dust and debris, you should also consider tidying up the workspace to be more ergonomic and uplifting rather than compact and unappealing. Think about where and how you can place the various materials and décor you have in your desk to keep it from cluttering up again.
If you’re stuck thinking of how exactly to arrange the wild variety of items on your desk, then what you may be looking for could be making use of other furniture and storage space.
Out of Sight in a Cabinet
For items that are considered essentials in the office space, but not necessarily important enough to remain in plain view at all times, keeping them stocked up inside a cabinet is a wonderful option to keep the room tidy.
Even when the inside of the cabinets isn’t so neat and organized, they already appear organized because they’re hidden from plain sight.
Not to mention, keeping your stationery inside cabinets can also be a good way of categorizing what kind of item they may be. This not only keeps the cleanliness of your workspace but also organizes things and makes it a lot easier for you to know where things are.
This leaves you not just with a lot more room to breathe and a lot more space to move in, but also a clearer headspace and better clarity about the tools you have in your workspace.
Neat and Filed
The same principle of item organization that’s found in tidying through cabinetry can also be applied in establishing a filing system to get your office files in good working order.
The way with which you organize your files is completely up to you; there are a variety of options to choose from, and whatever method works best for you is the one that you should stick to.
You can place labels on your files, color code them according to category, or even subcategorize them in folders depending on what they’re for—the options are practically boundless!
You can even get dedicated filing cabinets if your workload is so heavy that it leaves you with mountains of paper. Essentially, setting up a filing system for your files is pretty much copying and pasting the usefulness of the previous out-of-sight principle when it comes to using cabinet space to tidy up the rest of the office.
Keep it in the Cubbyholes
A cubbyhole, or otherwise also called just cubby, is a type of storage space that has any number of compartmented open enclosures for a variety of objects to be placed in. You can usually see these in preschool or elementary classrooms where the students place their backpacks.
Keep them out of the context of a children’s classroom and bring it into your office space, because this is a nifty way of storing your tools and materials.
Just like the same principle that outlines the idea of filing your papers and keeping them closed-off inside cabinets, cubbyholes provide the same function for orderliness and cleanliness.
Not to mention, since cubbyholes are open compartments, you can mix in a bit of décor into your cubbies to add to the comfort of your workspace. Having a bit of greenery and potted plant life adds wonders to an already elegant home office.
Home offices are spaces that aren’t so decidedly about work. Sure, the primary objective of anyone who builds a home office in their house is to do their work there, but it’s not like there’s no space for a bit of personal style and flair in your home offices.
As will be most evident in this idea and the next, bringing in decorative ornaments that highlight the overall feel of your room can be made in a way that actually helps boost your productivity.
Comfortability is among the most important things to have when you need to be productive, and purchasing shelves that can more easily accommodate books, houseplants, ornaments—you name it!
Fill the Walls
If the space that you’re working with is already not up to pace, and can’t afford to place any additional furniture lest you work in a cramped room, don’t fret! There’s still something else for you to work with.
For decorative posters and convenient wall-hung calendars, all you really need is to save a bit of space on your wall to have it hung on or stuck to. Hanging calendars and pop-up reminders can help you to organize your schedules more concretely and effectively than the calendars on your computer or smartphone.
Hanging these beside the wall can make it extra convenient for you to remind yourself of the tasks you need to do and guarantee effective productivity. Not to mention, it barely takes up any three-dimensional space!
Perhaps the most important thing to take away from all of these tips and ideas is the importance of commitment—in one way or another, at some point in time, you will inevitably be left with clutter on your workspace. The most important part is to have the commitment to keeping it clean, and making it clean once it isn’t. Commitment is far more crucial than any new bookshelf or cubbyhole!