Tidying Up the Home Office
Oh what a web of excess paper we weave! These past weeks in 34 Weeks of Clean we have been relegated to the Home Office.
Wherever you have one wherever it may be it’s time to clean it out!
In the past our Home Office was in our dining room. A computer table where I paid bills and answered correspondence. Then in our next home it was supposed to be a spare bedroom but our homeschooling and my crafting took over. It still housed the “home office” stuff of bills and files but most of the work was done on the kitchen table.
Now we finally have a “home office” but boy is it a mess. Our church ministry stuff and the files and bill stuff has a home room but not a specific home. In the years we have amassed way too much paper and not shredded and decluttered enough in this area.
Since we’re on summer break we have a bit more down time to get through this stuff.
These are the tasks we’ve accomplished in the past two weeks.
- Broke the shredder.
- Categorized “most” papers and cleared out some bins of papers from past work.
- Started decluttering the file cabinet.
- Realized we need a safety deposit box
This seems like only three small things but they are things that add up to big progress. The file cabinet has not been edited since we bought it. We’ve just been stuffing things inside and it was starting to overflow. There are so many things that needed to go and, phew!, now they’re gone.
The room in itself needs some actual office furniture and a bit more organizing but for the time being getting the excess out has been wonderful!
So we’re still cleaning but hopefully soon I’ll have a better pic for you.
Tips for Organized the Home Office
The home office provides a particular challenge in the home. It needs to not only be clutter-free (unlike ours above), but also needs to be functional as a workspace. It helps to get your work done when your environment is clean and tools are within easy reach.
First of all we need a for storing supplies and paperwork. If there isn’t enough room or space designated, you end up with piles of paper on top of the desk or even on the floor (as in our office). This is not good. A simple desktop organizer and dividers in drawers can make a big difference with very little effort.
Cords and cables under your desk can be a nightmare. We don’t have a lot of electronic equipment in this room (it all resides in the homechool room) so thankfully that’s not adding to the disorder. But there are many ways you can deal with cords and cables. One trick to organizing them is to use bread ties and gently fold the cords, and leaving some slack, fasten the cord with the bread tie. My husband also uses zip ties. This helps keep all the cords from getting all tangled together. The trick is to make sure you leave enough slack so you don’t end up pulling items off the desk by their cords. I also use this Power Cord Wrapper by Quirky for my laptop. I have it in a cool green and it keeps my fragile powercord nicely put up.
Every home office could use a two drawer file cabinet (just make sure to edit it annually) and a small bookshelf unit. You’ll always feel more productive when things are neatly put away. Papers should be filed and books and other supplies can find a home on the bookshelf. You can also pick up some inexpensive decorative boxes to store your odds and ends in. Another alternative is to purchase a dresser for your office. If it has a number of drawers, you can easily organize all your items and it can look very pretty, too.
A good home office could also use a bulletin board to jot down notes and keep stray paper notes to a minimum.
An extra tip: Label your desk tools (stapler, scissors, rulers, etc.) clearly with the words Home Office so that borrowed items can find their way back home.
Join us on the 34 Weeks of Clean Challenge at Family, Faith, and Fridays.