As a writer (read: someone who works from home), I know as well as anyone: An organized home office with sufficient storage space leads to a productive and pleasurable work environment. Here’s a rundown of the tools to consider for optimal home office organization.
As your central locus of work, your choice of desk is important to providing you with adequate storage and keeping you organized.
First, consider the outside: Besides choosing a desk that is aesthetically pleasing, look for a piece of furniture that is right for the way you work. For instance, if you need a lot of flat, work-surface area, get a desk with some depth. You might even consider one with a return (that’s an l-shaped desk), which will give you even more space. If you only need lots of space once in a while, consider a desk that has a movable work-space, such as a cabinet with wheels, that can be pushed under the desk or out of the way when you don’t need it.
Then, look inside at the storage space offered within the desk. If you need to store office supplies and other items, look at desks with a variety of drawers in different sizes and dimensions, such as a location for pens, pencils and scissors, and another size drawer where you can store files.
Drawers and cabinets filled with a jumbled mess waste space and create chaos. You can choose from a huge range of organizing tools, which come in a wide variety of sizes and dimensions. There are single-item organizers, as well as complete drawer models that allow you to segregate items and create a space for everything. Some are also expandable.
Cabinet organizers help to create additional space and organization in cabinets. Such systems are often also removable, which makes it handy when you want to transport items.
When space is at a premium in the home office, try space-saving storage items like bench storage units and ottomans with storage space built in.
Electronic equipment such as computers, scanners, printers and cell-phone chargers bring what can seem like an overabundance of cords and cables. A variety of cord control products on the market allow you to collect the cords and store them in an unobtrusive manner. Such systems also allow you to easily unplug items without having to sort through all of your cords and cables.
The key to organization in the home office is to stay ahead of clutter–which can be a tall order. Start by planting a trash can next to your desk, so you can throw unwanted junk mail and paperwork out right away, instead of stacking into ever-growing piles for future disposal.
And speaking of disposing, you might consider a shredder to safely dispose of records, receipts and other documents that could put you at risk for identity theft.
Sorting tools such as letter trays, magazine racks, desktop mini filing systems and stackable storage bins also give you a place to put items as they come in for sorting later, rather than creating a pile that becomes unwieldy and difficult to organize.
If you have a lot of items and limited drawer or cabinet space, storage bins work well for organizing. There are storage bins in various shapes and sizes, making it possible to find the right size and shape for your situation. You can save space by opting for stackable storage bins and units. Keep these storage and organization tools close at hand, and you can enjoy a well-run home office that rivals any business.
Tell us: What’s your biggest home office organization issue?