Organizing the home office is now a priority because our home office is out of control! The following post may contain disturbing scenes of a messy office. Viewer discretion is advised!
The office space is a mishmash of items and catchall of furniture that we don’t have a place for in the rest of the house. For instance, our worktop is a dining room table placed on top of some filing cabinets. The antique dresser is one that Hubs refinished and surprised me with when we were married. It’s there because there isn’t another place for it in the house. The office is at the bottom of the list of projects we have planned for the house.
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Organizing the Home Office – Declutter
Since we’re gaining an hour to daylight savings time, I’m taking advantage of that hour to de-clutter our office. It’s a funny thing how living in a state of chaos can seem normal on a day-to-day basis. However, it wasn’t until removing my office chair to upholster it that I was ready to face how out-of-hand the clutter had become! After walking back in with a temporary chair, this is the site beholding me:
Ugh! What an absolute mess! I knew I had to do something to bring back order out of the chaos. Starting with purging all the unnecessary paperwork.
Once paring back to the bare essentials, the one-hour solution is underway.
The metal retail rack shown above is originally from a retail store moving to another location and no longer in need of it. After serving me well in my former craft studio, I didn’t have room for it in my new studio space. But I thought I’d give it a try to tame the clutter in the office. The last time I used a storage tower to organize, it was for this shoe storage DIY, and that turned out great so what did I have to lose?
The tower fits right in the space between my desk and antique dresser. A few Ikea Bygel storage cups on the horizontal rails is perfect for smaller items. Found for half price at Ikea when they were discontinued, it holds things such as pens, USB sticks, battery chargers and even business cards.
Organizing the home office was going well, but once I stepped back I was still seeing the clutter – just stacked vertically. It was almost as bad as looking at it all spread out!
Hide the Clutter
I quickly thought up a great solution to hide the view of clutter on the front of the tower. I bring some of our printed cartoon canvasses out of storage (see how to print on canvas with a home computer). Here, I’m adding two picture hangers to the back.
Because my challenge is to get this done in one hour, I merely stick the metal hangers on with packing tape and then bend them at an angle.
Since the canvasses are light, the tape is surprisingly secure; the hangers are pretty stiff once they’re bent so hold their shape.
After hooking them onto a horizontal rail, I let gravity hold them in place. Five canvasses down the length of the tower cover the front.
Office Organization Ideas
These canvasses were just the thing to give me something pleasant (and humorous) to look at. To print your own 8″ x 10″ art canvasses using your home computer, check out our tutorial.
Adding ‘S’-hooks onto the sides of the tower allows hanging items I wanted to have quick access to. They’ll allow me to grab things I use frequently, such as my camera, cords, scissors and clipboards etc.
Don’t forget a flashlight for power outages. I actually find it handy to have one in every room.
In addition, a few rare earth magnets are a great way to keep my tape measure handy:
The magnets stick to the metal clip on the back of the tape measure to keep it in place. Hubs and I got to the point where we were constantly loosing tape measures around the house and repurchasing them. We must have a collection of at least a dozen (or two!) around the house but can never seem to find one when we need it. Do you have items that you keep losing too? The tape measure dilemma is a running joke between us for as long as we’ve been married.
Now, if I’m diligent about returning it to where it belongs, the hope is that I’ll never lose it again! A girl can hope, can’t she?
After only an hour of organizing the storage tower, there are clutter free surfaces again! Ultimately, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out; now everything has a spot where it ‘lives’. Even my box of Kleenex found a place on one of the shelves.
Pin Organizing the Home Office
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For some ideas on how to embellish your office, and get it even more organized, check out my ‘inspire’-themed cork board decor:
Organizing the Home Office FAQs
What is the best way to organize a home office?
- Bring in vertical storage solutions that take up little floor space
- Scan important papers to digitize, then toss. Or separate documents by type and file them in a filing cabinet
- Label cables
- Keep often used items accessible in a storage tower
- Relocate to other areas of the home or get rid of large items that don’t have a purpose in the office
How Do I keep my workspace organized?
- Buy folders to organize paperwork. Label and file, tossing paper no longer needed. Choose a filing system accordingly (i.e. by subject, alphabetical, numeric, geographic or chronological).
- For home, switch to paperless billing and digitize to limit clutter. Then organize personal documents (i.e resumes), financial records (i.e. taxes, bank statements), medical records, home documents (ie. insurance, property tax), school papers, sentimental (i.e. cards, letters).
- Only keep items on the desk you actually use on a daily basis.
- Use cork boards or magnetized board to keep important items for quick access
- Make use of space under the desk for filing storage or adding drawers.
What Should I keep in a filing cabinet?
- Legal documents like anything related to home purchase (mortgage) or loans, passports, birth certificates, tax info, financial bills and papers. Also, medical information and health insurance submission originals (until no longer needed). See also #2 above. In most locals, keep tax records for up to 7 years and then shred.