The home office is a place where paper documents easily pile up, collections of old electronics get cluttered, and it can feel overwhelming to even think about organizing. Working from home can be great, unless your office space is stressing you out. Follow these steps to declutter and organize your home office and help you feel more comfortable and productive throughout the workday.
1. Go through old paper documents
This is going to feel like the biggest, most overwhelming task when tidying your home office, especially if you have papers piled up everywhere. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, set a timer for 15 minutes and just work on organizing for a little bit each day! With everything digitized nowadays, it’s not always necessary to keep physical copies of documents, and there are systems you can use to transfer documents to your computer or an external hard drive for safekeeping. You can organize your documents in four categories to get started:
Keep for less than a year (ATM, bank deposit, and credit card receipts
Keep for a year or longer (loan documents, car titles, and investments)
Keep for seven years (all tax records)
Keep forever (birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, military discharge papers, and life insurance policies)
You can go through your paper documents and shred anything that’s outdated. If you don’t have a shredder at home, consider taking documents with sensitive information to your local UPS, which offers shredding services.
2. Get rid of old electronics
Technology is constantly evolving and many of us have old cell phones, headphones, or other gadgets gathering dust in a drawer. Do you really need them? Most electronics can be sold or recycled for their parts.
3. Weed out old instruction manuals
If you’re getting rid of any electronics or appliances, make sure you’re not keeping the instruction manuals. If you’re donating items that are still in working condition, go ahead and donate the manual with it. If you’re keeping manuals for items you no longer have, you can recycle them if possible, or trash them if they’re not recyclable.
4. Find your best workspace
Try rearranging your office so you can find the best light to help you feel more productive. Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need! If you’re in your office and not feeling productive, try decluttering. Oftentimes visual clutter can be distracting when we’re trying to engage in deep work.
5. Make sure every item has a home
You can use small cardboard boxes as drawer organizers and categorize your drawers with similar items. Don’t be afraid to reassess the current location of your items, since there might be another place that’s more efficient for them to be. You can organize loose cords with zip ties or twisty ties, and keep receipts in any container. Lazy Susan’s are great to keep on your desktop for pens and office supplies, and Sunday Baskets are perfect for keeping paper documents organized.
Get started on organizing and decluttering your home office to make it a productive workspace again! Simply follow these tips and your office will be back to a clear and polished room in no time.