By setting up a home office, you need to create a space that has an entirely different vibe and function than the rest of your home because of their different mindsets! At home, you’re hanging out but while at work, you’re setting goals and grinding to achieve them.
Since our brain takes cues from our environment, it’s crucial to create a workspace that keeps your productivity up, but also signals as soon as you walk in the door that it’s “go-time,” all while not making you want to run for the hills!
So, to help you set up a distinct home office space that propels you into an inspired workflow, we’re dishing out our top tips for setting up and organizing your home office.
How to Organize a Home Office for Productivity
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1. Create a Home Office Essentials List
Before selecting a dedicated home office space, make a list of requirements you need to stay focused and be efficient. This list will help you avoid wasting time on rooms that won’t work in the long run. You may find the current playroom makes a better office than the spare.
Everyone knows a quiet and distraction-free home office is best, but consider all of the nitty-gritty details like the number of electrical outlets your gadgets require, the square feet of your desk(s), what type of lighting you work best in, or if you need to welcome clients.
🎨Your home office environment should echo your job requirements. A designer may need extra desk space and creative design, while a psychiatrist may want more seating with shelves to display books. Create your office essentials list based on you and your employer’s expectations.
2. Declutter Your Old Home Office
Now that you know where your new home office set up is going to be and your needs are listed out, it’s time to get to work. Declutter and dispose of things that don’t have a place in the new office like old desks, computers, broken bookcases, and more.
Take it one drawer at a time and make piles for keep, donate, trash, and recycle. Doesn’t work? Repair it or throw it in its pile. Also, if you haven’t heard of Marie Kondo’s philosophy of only keeping what brings you joy, then this might be the last wagon for you to hop on.
When you’re ready to discard the stuff you don’t need but can’t go in the trash, you can drop them off at donation and recycling centers close to your home. Your local county website can give you information on where for tricky things like electronics, batteries, wires, and more.
If you don’t have a big enough car or need help carrying things out, a junk removal company is an easy option that takes the least amount of time and effort, and it’s as straightforward as you think. Professional loaders come to you with a truck to then safely remove and haul away your old office furniture for disposal.
Some companies are eco-friendly and try to donate or recycle items before ending up at a landfill, so consider a green junk removal company like LoadUp when weighing your options.
3. Use Multipurpose Office Furniture and Accessories
When it comes to creating an effective and attractive organized home office, always think “functional first, beautiful second.” We don’t mean just when you’re shopping, but also when you’re getting rid of stuff from the home office you may already have set up.
Also, Pinterest home offices should be taken with a grain of salt. What is aesthetically pleasing is often completely different than what is practical. That doesn’t mean you have to go with office furniture that’s big, bulky, and like a cubicle. Many brands are creating minimal, modern, and, best of all, practical home office furniture designs.
Here are some office furniture organization ideas to help you do more:
- Paper shredder: keep paper clutter away at all times
- Office sofa: designate a decompression corner for breaks
- Calendars and whiteboards: create a visual daily command center
- Shelving units: store secondary gear like reference books, journals, and printers
- Over the door organizers: organize mail and other papers to keep desk space clear
- Dressers: use smaller boxes inside the drawers to organize office gadgets, utensils, etc.
- Pegboards: hang primary office supplies like headsets, chargers, baskets for utensils, etc.
4. Macro or Micro Organize Your Home Office
In home offices, organization is king. Or should be. Take an honest look at yourself and know if you’re a general organizer or a detailed organizer. Which type matters because while you can modify your organization system in the future and are encouraged to, they need upkeep.
Sign yourself up for an over-complicated system and your productivity can slip.
Macro-organization is the kind where you can lump similar things together and slap a label on them. It entails supplies like boxes, cabinets, buckets, magazine holders, and dressers that are loosely organized with smaller buckets. Imagine having a labeled box to hold all receipts that you will go through later, and then another labeled box to hold signed contracts.
Micro-organization is the kind where every-little-thing has home, a name, maybe a color, a recognizable scent, who knows. It entails supplies like filing cabinets, manila folders, color tab stickers, multiple journals, and more. You may want to organize by color, in alphabetical order, or some insanely creative process that only makes sense to your special brain.
5. Master Your Office Tech and Cable Management
Whether technology intimidates you or not, get a good grasp of how the printers, fax machines, and other electronics in your home office work. This will help you put things in practical areas and make you more confident when purchasing accessories to get your gadgets working at their highest potential.
For example, if you work on several monitors, computers, or tablets, you could benefit from upgrading to Bluetooth keyboards and mice to have fast and seamless transitions.
Visible and tangled chords trigger stress in many people. Keep your office clean and relaxing by tucking the cables and chords away using cable ties, gutters, and baskets. Chords are a never-ending problem but there are many creative ways to do cable management that no matter how tangled your situation is, you’ll can organize your office desk like a professional.
Take advantage of adhesive strips to attach all sorts of gadgets to surfaces for the ultimate ease of access. Plug and unplug your phone charger often? Attach power strips on the side of the desk and speed up this daily task.
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6. Design an Ergonomic Office
Workplace ergonomics is the science backing how business owners today design their office spaces with the skills and limitations of the worker being the driving factor. The goal is to improve performance and productivity by removing risk factors in the office.
As you can see, “workplace ergonomics” has become a hot word for good reason. Risk factors vary but in most office-based jobs, risk factors entail distractions and general wear and tear humans take from remaining seated for 8+ hours a day.
A good ergonomic home office set up helps us lose the background and zone in for hours, which involves a good desk, office chair, the right angle, lighting, and more! Everyone’s “skills and limitations” vary, so you have the advantage of personalizing every aspect of your office.
Invest in your health by maintaining good posture while at work! Upgrade your chair to support a healthy back. Shorties, get a footrest to help you lean back comfortably while you work. The top of your computer screen should be at eye level or a little below to reduce eye fatigue. To help your spine, lift your screen from the desk so you’re not looking down.
7. Use Inspiring Office Decor
Like we said, functional first, beautiful second. Now that you’ve gotten the boring details out of the way, it’s time to make it an inspiring office. Don’t underestimate the inspirational power objects and a well-decorated home office can bring. Focus on decorating your home office with things that stir up motivation and positivity.
These can be plants, candles, pops of color, household goods like a coffee maker, anything that brings happiness to you. You can display your collectibles, books, art from local artists, awards, famous people that you look up to, and more!
However, don’t get carried away. You want your environment to be stimulation for your work, not stimulation for distraction. For the busier inspirational objects, create an area that won’t distract or stress you out since environmental stimulation can be overdone.
Clock In and Get to Work!
Working from home means you wear all the hats that it takes to run an office. You are the front desk, the employee, mailman, IT person, supervisor, etc. These tips can help you transition through all those hats wasting a minimal amount of time. And we all know, time is money.
A great home office is like driving a luxury sports car while a cluttered office is like a hand-me-down car without a vehicle history report. Both can get you where you’re going, but you’re less likely to need to pull over and replace the engine on your road to success in a Lambo. 🤷♀️