Paper is messy, especially in an office and that’s why clean home office ideas are such a trending topic today. Use these tips to help you get control of your messy office and complete your home office organization.
Whether you work from home or have a dedicated space for paying the bills keeping a home office from getting out of control can be a bit tricky. Let’s face it, paper is a huge clutter generator, and nowhere is it more prominent than in an office.
By creating a way to handle those papers the minute they come into your home you will set up a clean and organized office where you can be more productive every day.
Genius Clean Home Office Ideas
If you want to keep a neater home office then getting the clutter under control is the first task on your list. It is likely that your desk and other office furniture is covered in piles and papers and random supplies. That is your clutter and the areas you will want to tackle first.
A cluttered office can be difficult to work in and maybe that is why keeping things neat and put away is something most people want to have. When you can set up specific areas for your office supplies you will, in turn, create a space that is easy to keep clutter-free and clean without getting tripped up.
There is no secret to a clean office but there are a few simple rules you will want to adopt. Once you do you will never be faced with a chaotic and messy home office and you can feel confident working more productively every day going forward.
The secret behind a clean home office is knowing exactly where everything belongs. This means we will be pulling a page from our grandparent’s playbook, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” This is the room where, if you can adopt this one clutter-free habit, will make all the difference going forward.
Start with the Office Clutter
Here at Declutter in Minutes, we have a step that is a shortcut to a cleaner and neater room. It is our Three Core Steps system and it will help you to jump ahead in your office project.
How it works:
- Core Step #1. Remove the trash
- Core Step #2. Remove the recyclables
- Core Step #3. Remove what doesn’t belong
Once you have these three steps completed you should see a much smaller pile of clutter that you have to deal with. Work your way through these items putting what you can away, sorting out things you no longer need, and finally, setting aside anything you want to get rid of.
Organize What is Staying
Now that you have removed the extra things you can work on streamlining the items that will be staying in your home office. With so many options out there for organizing this part can be a bit overwhelming, my rule is this: When in doubt, use a basket.
I love to use baskets to organize because they are simple to use. Not only that, they will work for anything no matter what it is. Remember, an organized office does not need to be complicated. Keep the containers you use easy to use and durable so they stand up to daily use.
When keeping a clean office the easier you make it to keep things put away the neater it will be.
Let’s start with the most cluttered item.
Do you have a large collection of pens, markers, or colored pencils that you use daily? Keep them all in their own non-slip basket. You can keep these in your desk, then pull out each basket as you need them. I love these baskets because you can easily sort things out without taking a ton of time searching for the writing tool you need.
Be sure the baskets you choose are non slip, meaning they have rubber pads on the bottom.
Paper and Binder Clips
This is another item that can quickly get out of hand. I think it’s because they are so small. We tend to toss them in a drawer until we need one then spend minutes digging through drawers to find anything but.
Use a plastic bin to hold these items so you can easily get to them when you need them.
I know I usually suggest a basket without a lid, but in this case, I feel a lid is required. Not only will it keep these small items neat and put away, but it will also allow you to take this container with you. This is perfect if you travel for work or need to do a project in another room.
Labeling Projects More Easily
Are you a post-it note user? Post-it notes are a great way to keep track of what projects you are working on. Use different colors to help you differentiate the priority.
You can then organize your post-it notes with a small basket with dividers that will help you to keep these sorted out more easily. Keep the basket on your desk or in your drawer if you have one available.
Dealing With Paper in the Office
Papers are something that always looks like clutter but it is more likely work, projects, or financial. Because of this, you will want to streamline how you keep your papers organized so you can better differentiate what is where. You can use shallow baskets to hold the day’s papers and projects.
Use the different colors to code what is where. This will allow you to prioritize what is inside being sure things get done on time.
White – Needs to be filed.
Grey – Needs to be shredded.
Teal – Needs to be done today.
Black – Needs to be done this week or month.
In the beginning, you will want to use labels on your baskets as well. This will help you to learn what belongs where so you can more quickly put papers away.
When looking for ways to keep a clean office we tend to overlook an area that gets cluttered the most, our minds. when we have so many work projects we are dealing with it can be hard to compartmentalize them in our heads, that is when it is good to implement an organizer to help.
For projects, I like to use dry erase boards and with so many options out there you are sure to find one that fits how you think.
Visualize a layout that will help you to keep an eye on all the top priority projects you have on deck at the moment. You can keep things mapped out in a few different ways.
- By the due date of the project
- By the name of the project
- By the result of the project
- By the team name working on the project
Once you know which one will work best with how your head visualizes, you can then look for the tool that will match.
You can opt for a wallboard that gives you all the room you need.
Or a smaller version like this 24 x 28.
Or you can even use a vertical dry-erase board if you are short on space.
Clean Your Office
Once you have the clutter dealt with and your office items put away in their new homes, take some time to clean. I always find it is easier to clean a clutter-free space as you will have much less to move around. Take advantage of that and give things a good cleaning.
How do I clean my home office?
When cleaning a home office it is always best to work from the ceiling to the floor. Use that gravity in your favor! Dust, wipe, and vacuum things from top to bottom being sure to move what you are physically able to as you go.
Make a list of any updates or repairs you see as you are cleaning. This is another good habit to get into because when you are cleaning you tend to see all the issues that need to be dealt with. Keep a clipboard or pad of paper with you when you clean and make notes of items that need to be taken care of as you see them.
A home office can be a great way to boost productivity and create a space where you can focus on work. However, it can be easy for a home office to become cluttered and messy all over again if you are not careful.
Here are some tips that you can use to help you keep your home office clean and organized going forward:
Close with a clean slate.
End each day by decluttering your desk. this is a great habit to get into as it promises to give you a less chaotic start each morning.
- Get rid of any trash and recyclables.
- Gather up any items that belong in another room.
- Put away any supplies using the organizers you set up.
- Place any projects together so you are not searching for items the next day. Be sure to prioritize what you are going to focus on first so you can get busy without distractions.
As you find things beginning to lie out this is your cue to set up a bin to keep them in. Start with a basket until you can find the very best option. I have switched up containers a few times before I found the one that worked best.
The trick here is to make sure that you have a place for everything. Give yourself enough storage space so that you can put away items when you’re not using them.
Invest in some good quality office supplies. This will help you to avoid having to replace things regularly. I have also found when I buy better quality items I am more intentional about putting them away.
Create a Routine
Regularly clean your office. Dust, vacuum, and wipe down surfaces at least once a week. Empty the trash more often along with resetting the space back to organized when you are finished working.
Keeping your office clean and organized is a great way to be more productive. By having less clutter, you will have fewer distractions and be able to focus on the task at hand. These tips should help you get started on creating a tidy and efficient workspace. Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!