Can’t find your keyboard on your desk? Or did your mouse get lost in a tangle of wires? Last week we gave some ideas for organization tools, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to start. Here are 10 organization tips to help you control the clutter.
1. Throw It Out
The first step to organization is throwing out what you don’t need. Throw away old magazines, pens that don’t work, and food wrappers, and shred filed papers that you don’t need any more (remember to hold onto tax forms for 7 years).
2. Move the Photos, Awards, and Souvenirs
Remove the photos, awards, cards, souvenirs, etc. from your desk and move them to shelves or to the wall. You don’t need these taking up valuable desk space or distracting you when you should be concentrating.
3. Move the Computer Tower to the Floor and Organize Cords
If you’re using a PC, move the hard drive tower to the floor so it’s not taking up valuable space on your desk. Also, use cable organizers to control messy cords that not only take extra space, but tangle up in everything else.
4. Take Everything Else off Your Desk
A great method to determine what you really need on your desk is to remove everything (except your monitor, keyboard, and mouse, of course) from your desk and desk drawers and put it into boxes. When you actually need to use an item, take it out and put it on your desk or an accessible drawer. If you have unused items in your box at the end of a week, then these items don’t belong on your desk.
5. Organize Your Desk Drawers
Throw out things from your desk drawers that aren’t useful anymore. If you use something less often, put it in a lower, less accessible drawer. Consider getting a drawer organizer to help you organize the little items, so they don’t slide around.
You could organize your drawers into categories, such as writing tools (pens, pencils, highlighters, markers), mail (envelopes, stamps, labels), and tools (stapler, staple remover, hole puncher, scissors).
6. Use Labeled Drawer or Baskets
If there are items you use daily, consider putting them in a labeled basket on your desk. You could also label your drawers to help you stay organized and remember where everything is at.
7. Create a Printing Station
If you have a lot of printing supplies, it may be a good idea to get a cabinet dedicated just to printing. This includes the printer, paper, ink/toner, stapler, paper clips, 3-hole punch, etc.
8. Clear Your Bulletin Board
If you use a message or bulletin board, chances are it is a bit cluttered. Throw away outdated reminders or information, remove things that shouldn’t actually be there, and consolidate what you can onto just a few papers.
9. Try the Binder System
If the standard filing system with hanging folders is frustrating to you or makes it difficult to find specific documents, consider organizing the papers into binders, with a binder dedicated to each subject, such as medical, auto, manuals, and house. You can put dividers in the binders allowing you a more specific filing system that looks nice and is easy to take with you when needed.
10. Use Wall Space
You can free up a lot of room by using wall space to hang shelving, whiteboards, filing systems, wall hooks (perfect for cords), and vertical organizers.
What organization tips do you have for cleaning up a home office? We’d love to hear in the comments below!