Organized Home Office
It doesn’t matter if you are working from home or back to the office, the guidelines for an organized workspace are the same. Learn why a clutter free desk is the best place to get your work done. Use the tips in this episode to organize your home office to increase your productivity and feel less stressed.
Listen to this episode of the Intentional Edit Podcast now!
Full Episode Transcription:
If you’re back at the office, still working from home, or just need to organize your home workspace. This episode is full of tips and ideas on how to do that. After listening to this episode, you will be set to organize your workspace and be more productive and efficient when you are working. If you’re struggling with daily tasks, clutter organization, and finding any sort of work life balance, the intentional edit podcast is for you. It’s time to stop the chaos and live with more intention. I am Lauren and I am here to help you declutter implement systems and maximize routines that remove the overwhelming unorganized parts of life. Bringing simplicity to your home. Come on. It’s time to create a life you love.
Hey friends, I’m glad you are joining me today for episode 24, we are going to talk all things, home office organization, how to create that organized workspace that you want and what products I recommend to your office and keep it that way for the long term. Before we dive into this episode, I want to briefly ask you if you could send me your questions, I want to know what do you want me to focus on for future podcast episodes? I am wanting to answer your questions. So I need you to send me your questions, ask what you’re struggling with. Let me know what is hard for you like with physical things in the home with systems. What do you want to learn from me? And I will answer your questions on future podcast episodes. There’s two really simple ways to do that. You can click on the up the website link to my say intentional edit.com.
It’s on the podcast page, wherever you’re listening, you can just scroll down, click on that or head over on your browser to intentional edit.com and a little button will pop up that says, ask a question or submit your question here. If you click on that, you can actually just ask me a question. Leaving a voicemail, gives you a minute to ask your question. And then I will answer that on a future episode or head on over to Instagram and find me I’m at intentional edit and send me a direct message with your question, your concern, your comment, or anything that you are wondering. If you have a specific area in the house that you’re struggling with, how to get organized. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your schedule, your kids schedules activities, how to manage homework time or after school meal planning what to come up with for dinner, anything in life that can have a system, a routine, or a healthy habit associated with it.
If you feel stressed out because something is not working, those are the topics that I wanna cover on the podcast, because if you are struggling with it, someone else is also please right now, take a minute. Or at the end of this podcast, I’ll remind you one more time, but please submit your questions to me or anything that you want me to cover. If you have an idea for a topic, I would love to know that too. I want to help you. And I wanna help as many people as possible. If you are having an issue with something, there’s tons of other people that are too head on over to my website or Instagram and submit your questions. So I can answer those in future episodes. Now, now let’s focus on today’s topic for episode 24, we are going to cover home office organization. I’m staying home office because so many of you are not back working in an office setting, or you always work partially from home or now, maybe that is the future and you will never return to an office, but the tips I’m going to give you today really can be used in any office setting.
It can be a home office where you have an entire room that is designated for a work zone home office space, or it can be a simple desk in a bedroom somewhere or hooked away a desk in your kitchen, a little work zone spot. These tips will even work. If you don’t have a desk in your home and you are just working from the sofa, you have to keep your space clutter free and organized to be as efficient as possible. These, the things that I’m going to share with you today will work for any space in the home that you have designated your work zone. And if you have an office outside of the home, they will work for a traditional office and an office building somewhere. Also, the first thing I want to mention is an organized office space is the only type of space that you can have maximum productivity efficiency in.
I know I spend a significant amount of time at my desk when it is messy, I feel the mess. It, it brings me down. I’m also a creative person, so I can work in a mess when the mess is because of the things that I am using for that project. If you to look at my desk right now, I have a few piles because I have many projects going on. And then I have a paper with my notes for this podcast. And on the other side of me, I have another stack of things that is for another project. Those are all things that I will be dealing with today. They’re orderly in their piles, but if the piles were messy and stack on top of each other and falling over pins were out and scissors, it was just a mess of that. And my car keys and my purse, and all kinds of a mixture of things.
And maybe a wrapper from a snack that I had yesterday and a overflowing trash can mail that I need to get to when you mix the things that are in your workspace and they’re out all the time, your mind cannot zone in and focus on the task that you are needing to complete. Like most people that work out of the home part-time or full-time your desk probably is serving double duty. You are using it as a place to plan family activities, uh, upcoming trips, schedule things for your kids, but it’s also where you have to focus in on your work, whatever that may be. So you have to be able to separate those things and not have every thing in disarray causing you to be stressed and overwhelmed. And that’s where the organization and the systems come into place so that you can be efficient.
And you can focus when you’re working for me, keeping my office space clean and orderly helps me be efficient. And there’s many studies on that. A messy is killing your productivity. A few years ago, Harvard conducted a study. The results stated that students who work in a clutter free workspace were able to work steadily for seven and a half minutes longer than the students attempting the task in a cluttered workspace. That doesn’t matter if you’re a high school student, a college student, or a busy parent it or person just trying to get your work done. A cluttered workspace. Doesn’t allow you to stay focused. As long as a clutter free work area, you spend a lot of time at your desk or whatever your workspace is. It needs to be a place that you enjoy. Even if you don’t particularly enjoy the work that you’re doing.
It’s just something that has to get done to pay the bills. You still spend a significant amount of time there, and you want to create an atmosphere that you don’t dread going to and sitting down in that space or being at that desk because you don’t enjoy the work that you’re doing, but eliminating the clutter and making it organized and efficient in terms of the way that it functions. Then you can be more efficient, gather some things that you like, family pictures or something hanging on the wall, above your computer screen. That is a picture that you enjoy, or a piece of art that you enjoy. Maybe you have a frame picture on the desk, or you have a coaster for your drink. And it’s something that you it’s made, whatever you have in this space that is surrounding you. Shouldn’t be things that cause you stress.
They should be things that make you feel at ease and things that bring you joy. Everything else you can get rid of. Now, if you need a printer and you need some functional office supplies, those obviously have to, to stay depending on the size of your workspace, you might be able to seal conceal them in a drawer or a cabinet or something like that. For the most part, make your office space, a place that you enjoy being if bright lights bother you and give you a headache after a while, put a nice lamp on your desk where you can change the lighting situation. And don’t have to have overhead lighting, bringing a live plant. If you have a, a window in that space or even a fake plant, things like that, just make it a, a calm, peaceful environment where you’re not stressed going in because it’s the last space in the house to get any attention.
And it’s the dumping ground for all the unwanted unnecessary things that you don’t know what to do with you are spending a lot of time in there. So make it a priority to make it a place that you enjoy being that also goes with how can you arrange the furniture? Can you move your desk so that you can see out the window or do something so that it is in a better space that you would enjoy sitting at those things, do a lot for you that you’re probably not thinking about now, but once you make the change, you will feel the difference and you will be thankful for it. It’s just like any other area in the whole. If you’re spending a lot of time there, then it should be a place that you enjoy adding a few personal touches, whether it’s art, family, photos, and inspirational quote on the wall or anything else that I mentioned can make a workspace turn from a place that you dread being in to a place that you actually enjoy in into how it makes you feel and how it looks.
It has to function. This is a perfect example. And so are a lot of other rooms in your house, but this is the perfect example of where form and function have to meet. When you combine form and function, the result is an ideal office space for you to complete your work in how are we to organize this office space? And what should you prioritize? The surface area of the desk needs to be clutter free. It doesn’t mean that it can’t have anything on it. If you have a plant sitting there or a lamp, like I just MIS mentioned, or a, maybe you have a desk that doesn’t have drawers in it. So you need a cup or a container with your pins and pencils on the desk. Maybe you use a stapler throughout the day often. So you wanna have a stapler easily accessible to you.
So you’re not digging through a box or something to find that those are the things that you need to have on your desk. That make sense. If you deal with papers a lot, and you have a, a nice desk that you don’t want ruined, you probably need a coaster for your drink to set on the, a mouse pad. If you have a free mouse pad that has something on it that you don’t like, that you’ve had forever, you can spend a few dollars in upgrade to a mouse pad in a style and color that is cohesive to everything else, just to have that form and function, meet where it’s a necessity, but it doesn’t have to be junky just because that’s what you have. Think about what is on your desk. If you have a stapler and tape dispenser and ruler on your desk, but you don’t ever use those things, that’s something that is adding to the clutter.
Yes, it’s functional. But if you won’t only use them maybe a couple times in a month, that is something that can go in a drawer because the function is going to be the same. It’s not something you use enough that you have out all the time on my desk, I have a little divider. It has four sections in it. It almost looks like one of those acrylic makeup dividers, where you could put makeup brushes in, but I have it for my pens. And I have like pens in one highlighter and one rulers and scissors and another. And I actually tuck it behind my computer monitor. So it’s kind of out of sight. Doesn’t onto the clutter. And then when I am working and I need those things, I can just pull it out, use what I need and then push it back when I’m not, it’s very easy, but it helps to keep those things that I need all the time.
I like to color code things. So I have a lot of pens in different colors. It, I use them throughout the day, whenever I’m working, they need to be one of the things that is easiest for me to get to, but I also don’t like seeing them. So I don’t want them displayed in a big container right in front of my eyesight. So I tuck them behind my monitor. You can do things like that, depending on what you need at your fingertips to be productive throughout the day. Another thing you can think about to get Tim’s stuff off of your desk is to take advantage of vertical space. There are file folder containers that hook onto the wall, and then you can put notebooks in them or file folders in them. I used to have one that had a lot more compartments. I wasn’t using all of those.
So I’ve scaled down to just a three compartment metal. I guess it’s a metal thing that hangs on my wall. I keep a notebook in there, a calendar that I refer to in different papers and each one of the three sections has a purpose. It makes it so that those things I use every single day, I, they have a place to go back to. So when I’m not using those or working on a project that involves the, that civic notebook or calendar or papers that I need as a reference, then they go back into their spot, but I can quickly grab them without moving. Just they’re at an arms length away. So take advantage of the vertical space for things that you use frequently. If you do have industrial or a file drawer that can fit actual file folders, that’s what it’s designed for. You could also use a drawer like that.
If it’s in your desk and things that you use can have their own designated file folder at the front of the file drawer, but you return them to that spot. So at the end of the night, you put your things away. If you’re not using them, it, maybe you have a personal calendar that can go in there and then it comes out when you need to use it. But when you’re working on your actual work stuff for your job, it can be put away. So it’s not a distraction. You can do that in a drawer or on the wall. Both of those are a great way to get some of the paper and folders and notebooks and calendars and anything that is physical and like a paper form off of your desk. All the items that you regularly use, you want to have organized and divided.
And even the things that you don’t use on a regular basis need to be organized to, but those don’t need to be at your fingertips. So you wanna think about organizing your desk with the mindset of a place for everything and everything in its place. You, if you have desk drawers, use those desk drawers and organize them. You can buy dividers where they’re individual or they like one desk drawer divider, but separate your things. If you have paper clips and USB sticks and a whole punch and post-it notes, rubber bands, all of those things, you have a desk drawer that can fit those, then get proper containers. So that each one of those things has its own spot. The paper clips shouldn’t be met mixed in with the USB sticks or whatever the thing are that you, that you need. If you use paper notes all the time, maybe you have a stack of a notepad on your desk because that’s something that you need or, uh, some kind of a spiral notebook where you jot down notes.
And that is one of the things that pretty much stays on your desk all the time, because you use it and you need it there, that’s fine. But it, if you don’t, then maybe you have a little stack of sticky notes in one of the containers in your desk drawer, it has a designated space. Then that’s where you get your sticky notes because you don’t use them all the time, take all of your office supplies and come up with a storage system for them. I also have a clear plastic container. It’s one of, of the hour bins from the container store. And I have that just in a cabinet in my office. And it says office supplies. And that’s where I keep all the backup supplies, like a box of paperclips staples, tape, the refills for things, the extra post-it notes, anything like that is in that can container.
If in my desk drawer, I’m out of something or I’m running low. I go to that container and I refill it from there. The backup supplies, if you buy a box of three tape refills or six or 12, or however they come, you don’t need all of those in your desk. You can only use one of them at a time, find a place so that the backup items have a designated spot. And that’s where you go to refill. When you’ve taken the last one from there, that’s when you go shopping and you purchase a new one, you order a new one to refill the back stock, but you don’t need all the extra stuff in your desk drawer or in a cabinet in your desk, easily accessible because you can only use a few of those at a time. You don’t need to have your box of six paperclips dumped out in a container in your drawer, because that would take you years to get through it.
You just need a small place for a few paperclips, use those. And then once or twice a year, when they need a refill you refill, I have had many different types of dust store organizers over the years. And people always ask me, what are my favorite organizers? It really depends on the space that you are filling with the organizers you have to measure. You will hear me say this over and over. It doesn’t matter the room or the piece of furniture or cabinet. Whenever you are coming up with storage solutions, you have to measure the length, width, and height so that the, the storage containers that you are purchasing fit, and don’t get caught up when the drawer is closing or things like that. So you need to know all the sizes and then think about what is practical. If you have a lot of small items, you need smaller storage containers.
If you have larger items like scissors and tape dispenser, and a three hole punch and things like that, those may be able to sit in in a desk drawer, a shallow desk drawer without a divider for them. They might not need their own container. They could just sit in the a drawer. It truly depends on the drawer that you have, what space is available to you, and what do you need to be in that space to work efficiently and have the things that you need when you need them without getting up and searching for them. I have in the last few years, I switched from a metal like mesh looking desk, organizers to acrylic. And I really like those. I’ve also organized a few home office areas with bamboo organizers. And I like those too. Again, you’re going to measure and then see what’s available to you to find the best organizers for your space.
Think about easy access. The things that you use the most often needed to be in the easiest place for you to get to things that you don’t use very often can be further back in a drawer or higher up in a cabinet or on a shelf that’s harder to get to because you don’t use those things as often. But the things that you use on a daily basis needed to be in a space where you can reach them without getting up or having to go someplace else to grab them. Remember that you only need the things that you use on a daily basis or frequently to be easily accessible, because otherwise that’s when the clutter comes in a cluttered workspace equals a clutter brain. And if you’re having troubled cluttering your office, and you don’t know what you can truly get rid of, go back and listen to episode eight of this podcast.
Episode eight is the episode that I keep referring you to because it’s my system of decluttering. And it works in every single room of the house. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, but it gives you questions to ask yourself when you’re making decision on what to purge and what to keep. So episode eight is excellent. If you’re having trouble with actually getting rid of things and you do have to get rid of things when you organize, if your home office is a place that is struggling right now and not functioning to its full capacity, it has things in it that don’t belong there. Or the organizational systems are not set up to keep it organized. And you have to do that purge and decluttering first and remove the items that don’t make sense in an office area and keep the items that you use to perform the work that you are doing at this desk or this office space.
I have found that if my office isn’t neat, then my work is not as efficient. I know I’m not as efficient as I can be. And I said that at the beginning, too, you will find the same thing when your office space is a place that you can into and feel good about, then your productivity will, will spike. And you’ll see that you are more efficient. One tip I have about keeping your office organized is ending your day, where you spend 30 seconds or a minute making your space back to what it’s supposed to be. Tuck your cords back, where they are UN you know, unplug your charger, put it in a drawer, stack up your piles nicely. If you have pins and pencils out from things that you’ve been working on, put those away, put those back in their drawer, where they go or in a container on the desk.
If you have trash, because you were eating at your desk or cups, return those to your, your kitchen or throw the trash away, just make your desk so that it is clean and clutter free. When you come to sit down in that space, the next time that you’re working, so that the next day you walk in and you set yourself up for success by walking in to a clean clutter free environment. And it should not take you a long time. If you spend 30 seconds to minute doing that at the end of each day, and that’s how you close out your work day. That’s also a time where your mind transitions from the work that you have finished now to whatever you have going on. After that, it’s like your 30 seconds to transition. You’ve cleaned up. And now you are out of the work zone and on to something else.
I always get question about supplies. So what kind of supplies do you need? I talked a lot just a minute ago about the, your desk drawers. What do you need? It really doesn’t matter. You can go to the dollar store and get different sizes of organizers there. Or you can spend a lot of money and get a custom trade design for your desk drawer or somewhere in between. I would probably recommend somewhere in between. I do like the container store containers because they come in so many different sizes and they always have them. If you have a container store near you or can place an or place an order, get more of than what you think. And then you can move things around and see how you like them in your draw. Then you can always return the other ones or use them in a different part of the house.
Those are great and interchangeable. As long as your desk drawer is not too shallow. Those containers work in kitchen drawers, bathroom, drawers, stuff like that too. So you can use them all over and they’re not expensive. There’s tons of options and whatever you are most comfort with, and you like the best will work. It doesn’t matter if it’s bamboo acrylic metal or plastic ever works for you and works to fit in the drawers is great and will help keep you organized. I mentioned vertical space. Use your vertical space, hang things up. If you tend to work with a lot of sticky notes, stuck all over, maybe getting yourself a, some type of a nice looking bulletin board to stick those things to with cohesive tax or a magnet board, something like that. If you have a dry erase board, have a nice place or container for your markers and the eraser.
So that, and the cleaner everything is right there. And you don’t have to move all over or go to a different spot in the house to find the things that you need to use the board or clean the board file folders. I like an organized file system. Organizing paper files is a, would be a totally D different episode. There’s a lot that goes into that file. Folders are great. If you’re not going to color code them and have the colors mean something, then stick with just one color. If you’re actually going to use the different colors for specific things where maybe red is finances and blue is household, and yet, you know, yell is something else because it comes in a multi-pack of different colors. That’s fine. Otherwise it, more of that cluttered feel. So just stick with one color for that. If you don’t have a file drawer and you don’t have any vertical space available to you for your paper, a file box, it works great.
And you can put that wherever there’s even file baskets that are decked, where they look nice on a shelf, uh, or you can just get a traditional plastic one, whatever fits the space that you have works, but have a designated space for those files and those paper documents that you have to keep because otherwise the paper makes you feel stressed because it adds to that cluttered feeling. The other thing that is great in an office, a trash can you obviously make trash, you wanna be able to take that out. Some people like to have trash and a recycle, but a paper shredder is a huge thing that can keep your office organized because you just keep that plugged in. As soon as you have something that, that needs to either be shreded or that is a paper, it can you shred. And then you know, that that is all paper recycling.
When that bag is full, uh, paper shredder is functional. If there are specific things like a printer in your home office, or you have, you don’t have an office area, but you have a printer. Keep the printer paper close to the printer. If it’s messy and cluttered, you always put it in a basket or some type of a bin where it is concealed, but it’s still in that area. You would also keep the backup cartridges in the same place. If you don’t have a designated home office room or desk, you still need to apply the things that I have said today. And you might just have a container with office supplies. It is in a cabinet in your kitchen or a hall closet. Zipper pouch is a great option to just keep pins, pencils, notepads, little things that you use. Keep that by your charger, wherever you are charging your computer.
When you go to do your work and you take that computer to the, the sofa or the kitchen table, wherever you’re going, you can take that little pouch with you, or you have a little basket, something where you’re keeping those supplies. A lot of people today only need a computer to do work. And those extra office supplies are for other things, but most households are going to need a whole punch tape, stapler, scissors, pins, pencils, ruler, post-it notes, things like that. If you don’t have an, a need for that in terms of the work that is done, then those can go in more of like a multipurpose drawer or, or gonna, it could be in your kitchen or a drop zone area or in a console, just a drawer that pulls out where you guys have all of those things. And if you have a home printer, a natural place to kind of keep the office supplies is with the printer.
Whether it’s a small area, an office at home, just a desk or an office and an office building somewhere away from your house can use all of these tips that I have shared today to get organized. Of course, you will start with purging the unwanted, unnecessary unused items or the things that don’t make sense in an office work environment. Get them out of that area and go from there with the tips that I shared today. If you have more questions for me as always reach out, so me a message on Instagram. I am happy to help you and get down to more specifics with the space that you have and what is specific to your personal needs for organization decluttering and creating systems in your home. I mentioned this at the beginning. If you have questions, please head over to intentional edit.com, click a on the button that where it says to ask a question and submit your questions for me, that I can answer on future podcast episodes, or another way to do that is head over to Instagram. Send me a direct message. I will answer your questions or talk about your concerns or issues, and we can help more people that are struggling with the same thing. Thank you so much for listening to episode 24 of the intentional edit podcast. I’ll meet you back here next week for another episode.
Thank you for listening to the intentional edit podcast. If you found today’s episode valuable, tell your friends about it by taking a screenshot, sharing it on social and tagging me at intentional edit I’ll, I’ll be back soon with another episode in the meantime, find firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow intentional edit on social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, to ensure you catch future episodes, click the subscribe or follow button. Now I am grateful for a five star rating and review from you. Be sure to let me know what you liked about this episode and what you want me to cover in the.
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Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces. Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life. Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority. While trends come and go organization is always in style!
Intentional Edit participates in select affiliate advertising programs. If you click and/or make a purchase through certain links on this site or any related social media platforms, Intentional Edit may make a commission. All opinions are my own.
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