How to have a tidy home office

If you struggle to keep your home office neat and put away then today I hope to help you solve that problem for good. Learn simple tips that you can use for how to have a tidy home office and never have to worry about lost bills, papers, or missed appointments ever again. A great tool to use not just with your home office organization but with just about any room in your home.

A home office can be a great asset for anyone who works from home or needs space to focus on their household bills, projects, or even studies. However, it can also become a cluttered and messy space very quickly especially if you don’t have a system in place to keep it tidy.

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How can I organize my home office for productivity?

One of the biggest struggles when working from home is being productive. This is especially hard if the space that you work in is a cluttered and chaotic mess.

Luckily you can fix all of this by creating a system that will not only keep things put away where they belong but help you to deal with the papers and emails that are coming in so they get the attention they need quickly.

Before we dive into the full list let’s do a quick fix that you can use to be productive in a home office.

• Have a designated space that is for working only.

• Set daily work hours.

• Hang a sign to remind your family you are not available.

• Set up family care for very young children.

• Shut your phone off or put it on silent during work hours.

• Have specific locations for office supplies.

• Put things all the way away when you are finished using them.

• Make a daily list of 3 high-action items that need to be done before you close out the day.

• Map out time for lunch and 1-2 short breaks.

By following these quick tips you will find your focus and productivity back to where you want them to be.

But what can you do about keeping an office neat so you start the day off right? Let’s tackle that right now.

How to have a tidy home office

I have been working from home for over 8 years now and I learned early on the neater my office is the more I am able to stay on task. These are my tips for how I am able to keep my own home office free from mess and easier to keep that way.

1. Schedule regular cleaning sessions into your calendar and stick to them.

Papers aren’t the only thing that can make an office messy so can dust and dirt and a full trash can. Schedule time each week to do a quick clean-up of your office space. Just a few minutes can make a big difference.

  • Empty the trash and replace the bag.
  • Remove any items that belong in another room.
  • Dust the desk and other furniture.
  • Sweep the floor.
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2. Do a quick tidy-up at the end of each day before you finish work.

If you hate to clean this step will eliminate that task almost entirely. At the end of each day reset your workspace back to start. This should only take a minute or two and will ensure you are greeted with a neat desk every morning.

  • Toss any trash.
  • Gather up any dishes.
  • Put unfinished projects in a basket.
  • Put office supplies away.
  • One Tab and open pages on your computer.
  • Add any post-it note reminders to your daily action list.
  • Put any papers that need to be filed in a holding basket.
  • Close down your computer.
  • Turn off the lights and push in your chair.
a neat and tidy home office

3. Put things away as soon as you finish using them.

I just love this tip because it is a proactive way to keep a clutter-free workspace throughout the day.  

Now, you do not need to go overboard with this tip. What I mean by that is, do not file papers immediately as this can take up too much time.

You can instead set up a “To be filed” basket and toss any papers in there as you come across them. Then at the end of each day or weekly you can empty this basket filing all the papers away where they belong.

a basket labeled to be filed next to binders in a home office

4. Keep surfaces clear and free from clutter.

The best way to do this is to have zones on your desk or basket setup for daily items. A few examples are.

  • Needs done.
  • Needs filed.
  • High action.
  • Notes.
  • Daily.

5. Invest in storage solutions that work for you.

This is a great option to use especially if you have quite a few office supplies you want to have close by daily. A few ideas to consider are:

• Carousel for pens and markers

Dispenser for sticky notes

Magnet organizers for paper and binder clips

magnetic holders for office supplies

• A standing file for folders and new tablets.

• A basket for notecards, scissors, and tape

a magnetic organizer with index cards inside

6. Donate or recycle anything you don’t need.

Whenever you come across something you do not need, do your best to get rid of it right away. To make this step even easier you can have an “outgoing” basket on your desk, the floor, or near the door.

Whenever you find something you no longer want you can toss that inside. This is also a great place to put anything that belongs in another room. When you leave the office for the day, take this basket with you and put each item in its final home.

If you have donations they can go into a bag and put directly into your car.

man putting a donation box in the trunk of his car

7. Have a place for everything, and keep to that system.

If you have a home for everything you use and need in your office and work hard to put those items away at the end of each day then you will never have clutter lying out again. It’s a quick-fix solution that really does work.  

8. Regularly declutter your desk and drawers.

Once a month go through your drawers removing anything that is clutter or items you no longer need. Put any items that you find into your outgoing basket talked about in step #6.

9. Avoid having too much paper around.

Papers are one of the biggest sources of clutter so when you can toss what you do not need. Junk mail, scrap papers, old notes, opened envelopes, etc.  

10. Don’t let your home office become a dumping ground for everything else in your life.

This is a hard rule to stick by but one that is really important. Be strict with this space. Once you are done working for the day, stay out unless you have to go back inside.

Look at your home office as if it is a work away office. Once the lights are off and the door is shut the office is office limits until the next day.

a woman working in a tidy home office

By following the tips above you can have a tidy and well-organized home office space that will help you be more productive and efficient. Having a clean and clutter-free workspace will also help reduce stress and make it a more pleasant place to be.

Use these tips on how to have a tidy home office and create a space you love to work in today.

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