Home Office Organization Ideas to help you live clutter-free & surrounded by beauty so you can be your best and do your best work at home.
This is my office with my fluffy sidekick, Jack.
Step One: Separate all items that are not business related
For us Stay at Home Working Moms just finding a workspace is difficult enough.
My office is a 7′ x 11′ room left over after a bathroom renovation – it feels even smaller with the slanted ceilings on two ends.
And then when exercise equipment, mismatched socks, party paraphernalia, dirty coffee cups, papers, papers and more papers are just dropped on every surface it becomes a stay-away-at-all-costs zone!
(Once my sister-in-law asked me, “You spend all day in here?” That was a good indication that it was time for an office uncluttering day! LOL)
Go through your office with a fine-tooth comb and remove everything that is not business related.
You don’t want laundry, recipe cards and kid’s homework papers to remind you of other things on your to-do list. When you’re in your home office space you’re a lean, mean business machine!
While you’re going through your office, its the perfect time to dust and clean. I was soooo fortunate to have help when I cleaned my office. (Sorry about the quality of the pic – I used my cellphone camera.)
Step 2: Group Like Things Together and Get Rid of Duplicates
Clutter expert and TV personality Peter Walsh recommends that you begin organizing your home office by grouping similar items together:
- to see how much space they’ll require
- to see how many duplicates you have
- to keep similar things together when you put everything back so it won’t take as long to find what you need
Books with the same topics together, office supplies together, music CDs in a pile, software CDs in a different pile. You get it.
Everything you don’t absolutely need, anything out of date, and anything that you have more than one of – goes.
Step 3: Putting it Back Together
I love, love, love Martha Stewart Fabric Drawers! I use them in my office, on the shelves in our hallway and in our bedroom.
Label it, drop everything on that topic inside and you can find it when you need it again.
They come in a rainbow of colors to match any decor.
#2: Large wicker basket for printer paper
I got mine at a Thrift store for next to nothing. I use all different types of printer paper from regular paper to photo paper to cardboard for printables. I find that putting them in a basket not only looks nicer but keeps them from getting all dog-eared.
#3: Binders are an organizers best friend
I live in the digital world, but after I got a virus that caused my schedule program to go wonky I learned my lesson – paper still has its place.
I use binders to plan my day from my daily appointments, household cleaning schedule, meal plan, and blogging schedule for future blog posts, guest bloggers here and my guest posting elsewhere.
I use binders to keep track of my income and expenditures. I find it easier to pull out a binder, look at the colored tabs and find what I want than open a software program and search for what I want.
It’s also easier for my accountant/husband when he does the year-end books for me. I used to just print everything off at the end of the year and give him the pile to sort through. NOT a good way to make friends and influence people into helping you. Organizing it myself means I know where I am throughout the year without it being a big surprise come tax time.
#4: Wall Calendar Planner
I came up with an idea that works better for me than check marks or crossing off items as I do – or don’t do – them.
I use Post-it Book Flags on my calendar. Each color represents a different project or goal towards my New Year Resolutions. As I do that item I remove the flag which gives one a great sense of accomplishment. (I rip that baby off with flourish and do a victory dance as I drop it in the trash can. Yes! I did it.)
I can quickly look back and see which items are NOT being done – by the color of the tab left on the square – and come up with a new strategy for that project or new goal towards my resolution that will motivate me.
Step 4: Adding Inspiring Touches
If you’re like me you practically live in your home office. It has to be a reflection of you, a special haven that you enjoy in order for you to feel inspired in your work.
#1: Movie memorabilia gifts from my kids inspire my creativity.
The Men in Black dog from Universal Studios theme park (plays “Who Let the Dogs Out”), the dog and jail keys from Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney and a photo of my husband & I dressed as pirates on on Jolly Roger cruise in Mexico.
A clock, the dog and model of the car from Back to the Future from Universal Studios theme park.
#2: A chair to welcome visitors
My cat Milo uses the chair the most often but when my family needs to talk they know where to find me.
#3: Books organized by topic
#4: Electric fireplace
I absolutely adore my fireplace. It heats up the room when I want, or it can be for ambiance. I use it every day in the fall & winter.
#5: A special place for my special friend
My dog Jack is my closest companion and spends his day with me in the office. Pillows by the fireplace are his favorite place to be.
My motto is on one wall to remind me what it’s all about: Celebrate! Friends, family, traditions. It’s me, it’s my blog.
I have a wicker inbasket on my desk to keep what I’m working on close at hand, but Milo thinks its his personal basket and spends most of the day sleeping in it.
Step 5: Adding a Timer
Have you ever said to yourself: “I should _______ but I’ll just take 5 more minutes and do _____” – only to look up from your computer 2 hours later?
I did it all the time – until I sat so long one day I got a blood clot in my leg. (Okay – there were other factors too, but a sedentary lifestyle was one of the biggest contributing factor.) It took a year before I was back to normal.
Using a timer reminds me to get up, move around, and do something else that’s important to me like housekeeping, etc.
In business they say we often make the mistake of spending 80% of our time doing what makes 20% of our income.
Using a timer helps me focus on my priorities. Social media is an important part of blogging, but it is a time-sucker too. I decide how much time you want to devote to Facebook, Twitter, pinning on Pinterest and set my timer accordingly so I’ll have ample time in the day to do what shows me the money.
I hope the home office organization ideas I’ve shared help inspire you to tackle your office and turn it into a place where you are your best self and do your best work.