By now it's obvious that the layout and look of your at-home workspace doesn't look the exact same as your traditional office. There's a whole new set of clutter challenges that come with organizing these residential workspaces but, just like their corporate counterparts, there's ways to clear the home office clutter for a more productive workday.
Home vs. Home Office
First, make sure "Home" is always the away team. During your working hours, your at-home workspace should be the focus of your time. Make sure that this space--no matter where it's situated--is thoughtfully separate from the rest of your house conceptually.
Even if adjacent spaces are a little unruly, keeping your desktop and storage pieces clean has a direct impact on your working hours. Although it might be overwhelming to be near other cluttered and unruly spaces, start with those productive places to make it easier to focus on work. From there, use other organizational techniques to tackle the rest of your house.
What Stays and What Goes
If you're seeing your home goods bleed into your workday workspace, be diligent about removing infiltrating objects immediately. Grab a box and evaluate your workspace for what doesn't need to be there, quickly packing up extraneous items to put away outside of the workday. While some workspaces might need to share their real estate with other supplies, the more separate they can be the better.
Step Up Your Storage
Keeping clutter out of sight and out of mind starts with a thoughtful storage scheme. Invest heavily in storage pieces that make sure your workday musts don't overwhelm your home:
- Mobile Pedestals: Smaller mobile pedestals allow for movable and right-at-hand storage that can accommodate a small number of files or extra supply drawers for smaller stuff.
- Bookcases: These true home and home office chameleons are great for displaying décor and accommodating working items alike. Make the most out of these pieces with bins and baskets for extra organization.
- Built-In Storage: Residentially-geared desks are available with storage drawers or slots built-in to the design. Amenities can range from a series of spacious drawers to a simple center drawer (often usable as a keyboard tray) and anything in-between.
- Modest Hutches: A smaller hutch or desktop organizer might be available in a coordinating finish, encouraging you to keep your desktop orderly and often functioning as a monitor stand.
We're not talking about garbage cans. Open-air storage can get noisy really quick, so make sure smaller supplies can be away from display with a series of small-to-large bins organized on open shelves. This is a great way to make sure your visible storage is an aesthetically pleasing and it can be as decorative as you'd like in any variety of styles.
Purchase Space-Specific Supplies
When shopping for office supplies and simple organizational tools, you have more freedom than you might within the traditional office. Seek out space-saving or modular items that are well-coordinated and easy to arrange in thoughtful ways. There's an abundance of supply and organizational sets available that can be tailored to fit your home office décor choices without sacrificing organizational aptitude.
Most home office spaces share their purpose with other needs and can benefit from sharing extended storage. While there's a need for separation, that isn't always feasible:
- Sequestered Spaces: Guest rooms are a popular choice for home office splits. These areas are nicely out-of-the-way and can take advantage of extra closet space, allowing for built-in concealed storage. Make sure shelving is divvied up into accommodate smaller supplies and bulkier items alike.
- Out-in-the Open Areas: Dining rooms, corners of living rooms, and small nooks are other options for small apartments and homes. Since they're blended in with the rest of the home, take advantage of open-air storage solutions that can keep the design from becoming too bulky, opting to use baskets or bins to keep small storage in good order.
Find a Furniture Fit
Outside of storage pieces, the rest of your office furniture contributes heavily to the aesthetic of your space. To keep your space from becoming overwhelming, select furniture that isn't visibly overpowering. Make sure that the measurements of desks and storage pieces are modest, accommodating any door swing or windowsills. Carefully measure ahead of every purchase to make sure you aren't taking up too much space with poorly-fitted furniture and then build your storage out based on the remaining space.
Work with Wires
When you're on your own, cable management is an often-overlooked hardship in the home office. Purchase the right tools to keep cords out of the way and neatly organized. There's a lot of tools at your disposal:
- Channels can be installed under desks to make sure that you're making the most of cable management grommets at the desktop.
- Clips and stick-on accessories can further tidy up cords that run off the edge of desks.
- Charging cables that are in-and-out of use benefit from a side-mounted area that keeps them from falling to the floor when not in use.
- Position furniture near outlets to avoid running extension cords around the room.
- Make sure that your cable management choices work with any temporary power sources, in case you need to take your charger on the go without making reorganizing cords a tedious process.
Make it a Ritual
Keep cleanliness a focus on your workday routine. Dedicate a small block of time to tidying up your space, ideally at the end of the day to make sure that all of your files, supplies, and tech are cleaned up and don't bleed into your non-working hours. Pair this ritual with a favorite podcast or playlist, or maybe a snack or cup of tea, to make this time a calming resolution to a busy workday.
Ready to make your residential workspace work for you? Shop our selection of home office furniture that's ready to make your workday perfectly productive.