Home Maintenance and Remodeling May 4, 2020

Streamline Your Home Office

Set yourself up for success by decluttering your at-home workspace.

Split the room. Whether your home office is its own room or a corner of a larger living space, sectioning off the area can help you cut down on clutter. HGTV.com suggests setting up the desk as your “work center,” a bookshelf as your “reference center” and a file cabinet as your “supply center.” Aim to keep your work center clear, and put everything else back where it belongs when you’re finished using it.

Hide the cords. Exposed cords from computers, printers, shredders, and other devices look messy and can be stress inducing. Use multi-outlet surge protectors and cable ties to consolidate cords, and then do your best to conceal them behind your office furnishings.

Address the papers. Bills, mail and miscellaneous papers always tend to accumulate on desks, so setting up a filing system will serve you well in the long run. Organize papers into three categories: urgent, important and archives. Keep the urgent papers in plain view near your work center. Place the important documents in an easily accessible area such as a paper tray on your desk or inside a folder in your top drawer. Finally, sort archive papers into hanging folders inside of a file cabinet. This will help you keep those documents organized but out of sight.

Consider these mental and physical effects of clutter, according to PsychologyToday.com.

  • Clutter serves as extra stimuli and can distract you from your priorities.
  • Being disorganized causes a vague sense of unease because you don’t know exactly how long something will take to complete. For instance, “I don’t know what projects are lurking in that pile of papers.”
  • Clutter can cause feelings of embarrassment, anxiety or guilt, which in turn can prevent you from being more creative and productive as you work.
  • Tackle clutter one space at a time. When you see progress, you’ll be more likely to stay motivated.
  • If you feel overwhelmed or are struggling to let items go, consider hiring a professional organizer.

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