Working at home can be terrific, but not everyone has an entire room they can dedicate to being an office. That can make it challenging to carve out your own space to be productive in. Many times your home office ends up being shared space in a guest room or even just a corner of the dining room. Additionally, whether or not the room serves double-duty, space is typically a scarce commodity, making home office organization essential for getting anything done and keeping your sanity while doing it. The key is using storage effectively. Most home office organization tips include the suggestion to have designated places for the supplies and equipment you use, and to relegate archive-able items to self-storage. Making use of essential home office storage and organization products keeps everything in order and within reach when you need it.
Split up the Room – Room Divider
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Among home office organization solutions, the folding screen is the one that will help you claim a space of your own. Setting up a screen will partition your workspace off from the rest of the room, giving you a bit of privacy as well as concealing your home office from view. There is a wide variety of types of folding screens to choose from, including decorative, artistic, and plain old stained wood. Find a folding screen that has sections of corkboard on the panels so that it can double as a message board and gallery.
Use Every Inch of Space – Tall Bookcases
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When there is no space to spread out, the only direction to go is up. If your home office lacks room for a filing cabinet and supply cupboard, use shelves that start at the floor and extend all the way to the ceiling. Use every bit of wall space, too, building around windows and doors. You will get the most out of the space you do have, and can use the shelves for everything from books to office supplies. You can even create a makeshift filing cabinet by sliding bankers boxes onto the shelves and using them as file drawers.
Box it Up – Plastic Storage Bins
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Large, sturdy plastic boxes are must-haves for home office storage. They are useful for organizing office supplies, current or outdated files, reference books, promotional items, or anything that would otherwise clutter up your office. Some people prefer colorful opaque boxes that allow you to see what is in them, but that’s not a requirement. You can always attach chalkboard stickers to your storage boxes so you can label them with the contents, and erase and re-label when necessary. Whether you choose solid or see-through storage boxes, be sure they are stackable. That will not only save you space in your home office, but will also be useful if you end up packing them off to a self-storage unit.
Organize the Tools of Your Trade – Desk Organizers
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Desk organizers are indispensable for home office desk organization. After all, your time is spent more productively when you aren’t wasting it on digging through drawers looking for scissors, tracking down the dry erase markers, or sifting through the papers on your desk looking for a paperclip or thumb tack. Desk organizers don’t really take up that much space on your desktop, but they do have numerous compartments to keep everything from those runaway scissors to pens, pencils, glue sticks, tape, erasers, paperclips and more within reach.
Dream Big, Plan Bigger – Chalkboard Wall Calendar
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Cut down on desk clutter and keep your schedule organized at the same time by ditching your desktop calendar and creating a reusable chalkboard calendar on the wall. Martha Stewart suggests using 42 chalkboard tiles in several different shades to make a six-week calendar right on your office wall. Because it’s a chalkboard, appointments and reminders can easily be jotted down or erased, and you get to start fresh every month.
Control Cables and Wires – Cable Organizers
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Cords, cables, and wires are notorious nuisances in any office but are especially hard to handle in a home office where you typically have less room to work with. Some ideas for concealing cords and wires include bundling them using mailing labels, zip ties or even binder clips. While those low-tech home office organization solutions are effective, entire lines of products have been created for concealing, bundling, mounting, and storing cords and wires to keep them orderly and out of sight. Plus they also keep them from under foot so you won’t trip on them, either.
Recycle – Clever Cubbyholes
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Cubbyholes are ultra-useful home office organization products. They’re great for stashing mail, documents, to-do’s, and other paperwork. You could always opt for a plain, boring, pre-built unit of cubbies but, if space is in short supply in your home office, you’d be better off fashioning your own cubbyhole unit. Martha Stewart’s idea of making use of paint cans is perfect for your space dilemma. Line up clean, empty paint cans on their sides on a shelf, so the open tops face out. Strips of Velcro on the shelf and the sides of the paint cans will keep them in place.