Once upon a time (before 2020), the “home office” was, for most people, a glorified storage locker for personal paperwork and probably a whole of stuff that they just didn’t want lying around the rest of the house. Now, with WFH here to stay in one form or another, it has likely become the space where you spend the bulk of your time, so clutter will have much more of an impact on your mood and productivity. Here are some ways whenorganizing your home office in which you can turn chaos into calm.
- Channel Your Inner Marie Kondo. The organizational guru is best known for using the question, “Does it spark joy?” as a barometer for whether to keep something or toss it. This doesn’t just apply to that unfortunate clothing purchase, but furniture and knickknacks as well. Has your office become a repository for stuff you replaced in other rooms but were reluctant to throw away? If so, it’s time to take another look and decide if that old couch or books are adding to your life or distracting you from it. While Kondo’s question may not exactly apply to a stack of documents, the principle does – for example, “Can I scan this document instead of keeping a hard copy?” or “Is this information already stored online?” In most cases the answer to those questions will be yes, and you can send the paper off to the shredder.
- Honor Your “Organizational” Style. Does the mere thought of minimalism make you uncomfortable? Do you prefer having a collection of sticky note reminders to hearing the constant ding of your phone? Not everyone enjoys a sterile space; in fact, some people thrive on some disorder. At first glance it may look like a mess but they know exactly where everything is. That said, if it has become just too much, it’s time to assess, consolidate, and clear. If you do rely on handwritten notes, just be careful not to throw away numbers or email addresses for an important contact, a to-do list with unfinished items, or perhaps a hastily scribbled flash of inspiration for a project. The key is to take your time, be mindful, and transfer the data you need to your phone or a notebook that is easily accessible but takes up less room.
- Digital Hoarding is Still Hoarding! You might not recognize this as an issue, but if your C-drive is filled with projects dating back two jobs, it can definitely lead to frustration, fatigue, and a sense of overwhelm. Again, don’t just blindly hit the delete button: set aside time to go through each file and decide if it makes sense to transfer it to a flash drive (i.e. as a sample of your work for prospective clients or employers).
Finally, when organizing your home office consider using an all-in-one platform such as EstateSpace to help organize your physical and virtual spaces. You can upload all documents, schedules, and tasks, and even photographs and have them at your fingertips 24/7, as well as easily shareable with others. With the line between our home and work lives blurrier than ever, keeping track of all the details in one place will make it easier to bring your A-game to everything you do.