By now, it's obvious that the layout and look of your at-home workspace differ from your traditional office. Organizing a residential workspace comes with a whole new set of clutter challenges, but, just like their corporate counterparts, there are 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 your focus. Make sure that this space—no matter where it's situated—is thoughtfully separate from the rest of your house.

Even if adjacent spaces are a little unruly, keeping your desktop and storage pieces clean directly impacts 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 your home goods bleed into your workday workspace, be diligent about removing those objects immediately. Grab a box and evaluate what doesn't need to be there, quickly packing up extraneous items to put away after work is done. 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 supplies 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. 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 into the design. Amenities can range from a series of spacious drawers to a simple center drawer (often used 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 while sometimes functioning as a monitor stand.

Bin It

We're not talking about garbage cans. Open storage can get noisy, so make sure smaller supplies out of sight with a series of small-to-large bins organized on open shelves. This is a great way to make sure your visible storage is aesthetically pleasing—it can be as decorative as you'd like.

Purchase Space-Specific Supplies

When shopping for office supplies and simple organizational tools, you have more freedom than you might within a traditional office. Seek out space-saving or modular items that are well-coordinated and easy to arrange in thoughtful ways. An abundance of supply and organizational sets available can be tailored to fit your home office décor choices without sacrificing organizational aptitude.

Double-Duty Spaces

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 to accommodate smaller supplies and bulkier items.

  • 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 storage solutions that 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 doors 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 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. Many tools are available:

  • Install channels under desks to make sure you're making the most of cable management grommets at the desktop.

  • Clips and stick-on accessories can further tidy cords that run off the edge of desks.

  • Charging cables that are frequently used 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 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

Focus on cleanliness as part of 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 put away and don't bleed into your nonworking hours. Pair this ritual with a favorite podcast or cup of tea to make this time a calming resolution to a busy workday.



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