Whether you work from home or just use your spare room as your life admin HQ, a home office needs to be organised. If you’re the former and your work space occupies the same dwelling as your living space, it’s easy for the lines to get blurred. Your weekend clothes become your work clothes, your work mug becomes your weekend mug… it’s hard to keep things separate. If you’re the latter, it’s still like you end up taking work home from time to time. Either way, the reality is you probably don’t live in a castle – which means your space needs to do double duty. So what’s the best way to keep a home office tidy?
1. Identify the culprits
The first step is to identify what’s creating the feeling of clutter. For most of us it’s paperwork, clothing, furniture, or a combination of all three. Be ruthless when it comes to deciding what to keep but acknowledge your home life will creep into your office so you need to make room for its accoutrements. For example: do you need to store your suitcases in there? Your ironing board? You’ll also need to make sure you can access things like work papers and printers with ease. Scout out overlooked storage opportunities such as hooks on the back of doors and drawers that double as side tables. You may need to reconfigure your existing storage with some space-saving products or call in a carpenter to create new built-in systems.
Looking for comfy designer chairs for your office? is offering 20% off and free shipping on SACKit products as part of our on Oct 26, 2016. #BOSN
Even in the technological age, every office is bombarded with paper so start by going through your piles of pages and discarding anything you no longer need. Do this on the first of every month to make sure things aren’t piling up. Next, set up a filing system for important papers, such as insurance docs, school circulars and work notes. Sort mail as soon as it comes in and avoid printing emails. Get out of the habit of writing notes on scraps of paper – instead, keep a pad and pen by the phone, or a whiteboard with a marker on the wall.
3. Bills, bills, bills
Whether you arrange pretty blooms or heal people’s wounds, everyone has to deal with bills. Bank statements, council notices and catalogues have a tendency to pile up – so it’s little wonder that few of us manage to keep on top of things. According to Kristina Karlsson, founder and managing director of stationery emporium kikki.K, “The most common mistake is to let paperwork get out of control, then give up.” Her solution is to: “Spend a few hours one weekend dealing with it, then move back to day-to-day organising.” Create an in-tray for new bills, make an effort to deal with them on a regular basis, then file them away once they’re paid.
4. And the rest
Aside from admin papers, the plenty of other bits and pieces that inevitably end up making merry on your desk. Technique, the kid’s drawings, inspirational images you’ve torn out of catalogues and magazines… The trick is simply having a system. Use well-labelled expandable files for storing these extras. Seek out attractive folders, and boxes and you’re more likely to use them! They don’t have to be expensive but you’re more likely to use what you find appealing. Keeping all your miscellania in one area and avoiding high-traffic areas like the kitchen means won’t get those Leaning Tower of Pisa-esque pile-ups.