Working from home full time, with several projects underway, can leave your home office and the rest of your house looking like. This is how it is kept organized when your house is also your office.
A disorganized home and office can distract you from getting work done. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to get the organization going. By keeping your home and office neat and tidy, you give yourself space where you can get things done.
More importantly, a good-looking office is more than just a productivity booster; it is good for your stress levels. A cluttered home and office can cause unnecessary stress. This stress not only affects your overall health, but it can make it harder for you to get your work done.
Create a workspace
Not everyone who works from home has a real office, but you should have an area where you usually do your work. Defining where your workspace is and when it serves that purpose will make it easier to stay focused and organized.
Do not have a special home office? Do not worry; you can still be organized. Spaces can be versatile and defined by the time you use them. For example, if you use the dining room table as your workplace when children are at school, you can store your office and writing materials in a cloth basket lying on a shelf when not in use. This allows you to set the table so that it looks like a desk when you work and unpack everything at the end of the day. This can serve a dual function as well ̵1; not only does it keep your things organized but taking it out and putting it away can serve as a signal to your brain that you are working hard and then are done with the day.
You can also work from the couch or wherever you want. Where you decide to work may also have something to do with the type of work you do from home. A desk or table is made if you work online. If you make handicrafts, you may need a workroom. An extra bedroom makes a large office space, as well as an empty closet (if it is large enough to squeeze a small desk or workstation into). If you do woodworking or other messy crafts, a shed or space in the garage can be perfect.
No matter where your home is in the workspace, make it look like a workplace. Keep it clean and organized – and make sure it gives you some private and distraction-free time to focus on your work.
Make sure everything has a home
Ever sit down to get to work and realize you can not find what you need? The key to good organization, whether in the kitchen or at home, is knowing where things are and where they are going. Make sure everything in your home office has room to call home. Some practical articles (again, depending on the type of work you do from home) that can help you stay organized include:
- A stable desk – When working remotely, you can work from the sofa or dining room table. However, having a dedicated and robust desk to spread out and keep your tools close at hand is a great way to focus and stay organized.
- A filing cabinet – This is a great way to keep paper organized and out of the way until you need it. No space for a full size cabinet? Use a small file box or digitize your paper with a document scanner.
- shelf – Whether you manufacture things and need to park the finished product or just have a lot of computer accessories, you need shelf space to store your things.
Keep your workspace neat
By decorating office spaces with a desk, cabinet and shelf space, you make it easier to keep the work surface clean. But just having places to put things away does not mean you will do it. Here are some ways to help keep your office clean and tidy:
- Remove things as soon as you are done using them. Leaving things because you are sure you will use them later is a recipe for a desk full of clutter.
- Keep your printer filled with paper and ink (and put away extra accessories instead of leaving them stacked near the printer).
- Store other accessories, such as pens and paper clips, in a desk drawer or holder.
- Clean your desk or workbench every day. Whether you are vacuuming sawdust or putting away paper invoices, daily cleaning keeps the major movements at bay.
- You are your own office cleaner – clean your office from top to bottom once a week, including vacuuming, vacuuming and surface drying. This helps motivate you to keep the surfaces clean all week so that there is not a bunch of debris on your way to the cleaning day.
Once you get used to sending things back to their respective homes – whether in a drawer or in the closet – once you’re done with them, you’ll find it so much easier to keep things tidy.
Organize your computer desk, too
If you spend a lot of your working day on the computer, do not forget to treat your computer desktop just like any other workspace:
- Set up file folders for different projects. Keep them separate on your desktop or put them all in a “work” folder (and don’t forget to back them up to a thumb drive, memory card, disk, or external hard drive).
- Close unused browser tabs. Leaving 40+ tabs open is the digital version of leaving all documents on your desktop if you need to.
- Clean your virtual space as you make your physical space. Clean files once a month you do not need. Don’t forget to take a look at the Downloads folder, the trash can on your computer where files are left to get dusty.
No matter what type of work you do, or where you do it, keeping both physical and digital workspaces organized will make you more productive, less stressed and happier to get to work.