If piles of paperwork or stacks of books are making your home office look like a disorganised mess rather than a harmonious workspace, then perhaps it’s time to get organised.
Maybe it’s already quite tidy, but you’re all too aware that you could make better use of the available space if you get rid of unused items and replace these with storage furniture that provides you with plenty of room for everything you need.
Organising your home office can be a daunting task, but if you break it down into smaller chunks, you should find the process much easier.
How to declutter your home office
It’s a good idea to start by getting rid of what you no longer need. There’s no need for pens that don’t work or old books or magazines that you’ll never read again, nor for obsolete floppy discs or that ornament you’ve never liked anyway. As designer William Morris once said, ‘there should be no place in your house for items that are neither beautiful nor useful’, while organisation guru Marie Kondo advises disposing of anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’.
How to organise your paperwork at home
Once you’ve got rid of anything you definitely don’t need or want, it’s time to sort out your paperwork. There are two main reasons to do this. The first is aesthetics, as a haphazard collection of paperwork is not exactly easy on the eye. The other is practicality. Imagine you need to check a piece of paperwork, on a specific topic, that dates back several years. How do even begin to find that, if your paperwork is not in some way organised?
To help you get on top of your paperwork problems, it might be worth considering investing in a filing cabinet. These storage solutions are a great way to store all the necessary documents you acquire over the years. You can buy these in all sorts of sizes, shapes and styles - from small two-drawer wood-effect designst, right up to large, metal multi-drawer models. Some units even feature a series of narrow drawers rather than larger traditional filing sections.
If you are considering investing in a filing cabinet, make sure you choose a model that will provide you with enough space for everything – as well as some room to spare so you can add extra documentation over time. This will also mean that you can keep on top of the clutter from this point on, and avoid having to have a big clear-out again. A good way to maximise storage while minimising your use of floor space is to opt for a taller cabinet with multiple drawer compartments.
Aside from filing cabinets, there are other pieces of office storage furniture available too, so think carefully about what will best suit your requirements in the long term. You can purchase pedestal drawer units which have been designed to slot under your desk, wall shelving or office cupboards.
How to arrange your bookshelves
There are a number of ways in which to organise your book collection. The first step is to sort the books according to how you want to display them, and the following are some of the options you could consider. Once more, make sure you buy a bookshelf with plenty of space for your collection, plus at least a little to spare if you plan on adding to your collection.
6 ways to organise your bookshelf
- Arrange them alphabetically
If you have a large number of books, and you will need to recall the author or title when required, then an alphabetical system might work well for you. It’s wise to choose between placing the books by author or title in this case. For example, bookshops and libraries will normally arrange their stock according to the author’s surname.
- Split hardbacks and paperbacks
You could separate hard from paper covered books, as well as sort them according to size, so that similar sized books are stacked or lined up together for a smart, streamlined effect that’s visually pleasing.
- Group books by size
Sorting your book collection by size can create a clean, uncluttered look, so you could aim to organise them like this to create even, straight lines at the top of each section.
- Sort by colour
This can look really satisfying and is ideal if having a stylish display is important to you. Placing books as per the colours of the rainbow can make for a highly attractive bookshelf.
- Stack your books by subject
Grouping together books that cover similar subject matter is a logical way to organise them, helping you find the book you need quickly and easily.
- Separate fiction and non-fiction
Do as a library would do and create separate sections for fiction and non-fiction titles. Alternatively, you could split classics from contemporary literature.
How to keep your desk tidy
Your work surface is the most important part of your office, as it’s where you actually sit down, take stock and accomplish your goals. In fact, a clean, tidy and well-organised work area can help focus your mind and even improve your productivity levels, so it’s a good idea to only keep the items that you really need or want close to hand.
Keep items you use the most closest to you, such as your notepad, calculator and a pad of Post It notes. Storage pots and desk drawers can provide the right storage for items such as pens and highlighters.
If you’re buying a new desk, it may be well worth choosing one with drawers already built-in. This will provide you with somewhere to keep your office essentials within easy reach, helping to keep your desk surface clear.
Desk drawer units are often designed to slide underneath your existing desk, providing you with storage that takes up no additional floor area. Such furniture is available in various different sizes and styles, so you shouldn’t struggle to find something that will perfectly complement your office setup.