9 Tips to Declutter Your Home Office

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A time to declutter. Excess clutter can really influence the way you think and work both physically and psychologically. You will find your stress and anxiety levels increase as you become more flustered with all the excess clutter around you. You feel as though you are buried in mounds of stuff and can see no end to it all. Those days result in being very unproductive and often self-defeating.

If you’re too disorganized in your home office, everything competes for your attention and makes it hard for you to work and achieve a meaningful success. The simplicity of your home office can also demonstrate the level of your professionalism when a client enters into your office.

So how can you get started? Use these 9 Tips to declutter, organize, re-arrange and create a workspace that is inviting and stress-free.

Tip #1: Declutter with a FRESH Start !

declutter-home-office-inspirationIf eliminating the clutter piece by piece doesn’t work, you may try starting from scratch and add only the basic stuff you need. Take everything off your desk and out of your drawers, put them in a box, and go back to work. While working, you may need an item; you can pick it up from the box and put it back on the desk. You will be pleased to find out that there are a lot of things in that box you haven’t used after a few days or weeks. These are things that you probably won’t need. Time to find them a home, give them away or at very minimum pack them up for storage and later make a decision as to their final fate.

Tip #2: Re-evaluate Your Belongings

Re-evaluate Belongings DeclutterIt doesn’t matter whether you’re starting from scratch or not, all you have to do is to evaluate the essential things that you need on your desk and what can be kept away from your sight. Clutter exists because our brain tricks us into believing everything is important. As you go through your excess office stuff, ask yourself these questions: What is the purpose of this item? Is it essential or not? Are you keeping it because you use it often, or because you “might” need need it someday? Did you even remember the item was there, or is it your first time finding it in some time now? From the answers to these questions, you should have a clear idea of what to do with it.

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Tip #3: Declutter to Create a “Flow”

home-office-flow-by-declutteringThe simplicity of your home office depends on how you flow with things that you need with respect to space and convenience. Now that you’ve resolved what to dispose and what to keep, you also need to decide where to keep them. You need to be thoughtful when arranging the things that you need since you want easy access to the items you use often. Being minimal in your desk and drawers is also very importance – put smaller items you use often in the closest drawer, everything else can go in the lower drawers. For those of you dealing with a lot of paperwork, consider a left-to-right workflow— the paperwork comes in on the left, gets prepared in the middle, and goes out on the right. By utilizing this method, your desk is clear for whatever that comes next and has a distinct flow. Just by looking at your desk, you will know if you have lots of paperwork to process or if it’s all done.

Tip #4: Taming Cables & Wires

If untangling cables and wires on top of or under your desk is a constant battle, apply these simple tricks to make things look clean and organized. Rain gutters offer one surprisingly cheap and great cable management tool, or you could buy something designed for managing cables like Cablox from IKEA’s or Signum line. You can decide to creatively display the cables when hiding them isn’t an option. There are many different cable ties available in hardware stores or opt to go wireless whenever you can, like having wireless keyboard and mouse options. The prices on many wireless devices has come way down in the last few years making this a very affordable method to clean up the office.

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Tip #5: Enlarge Workspace & Make Use of Every Inch

Minimalism cannot be achieved when your workspace or desk is too small to fit all your important stuff; the best solution is—obviously—to purchase a wider desk (or, at least, add an extra desk). Think of helpful ways that can increase your storage space in a small office, make use of space under your desk or on the walls.  Ensure you are taking advantage of every square inch of space that you have. Shelving plays a very important role in this too. Even the type of shelving you select can make you feel very differently. For instance you might select a shelving unit with cupboards so that everything is hidden from sight, or you might select acrylic or glass shelving which seems see-through and non-existent. You will feel so much better after creating the ideal workspace for yourself.

Tip #6: Declutter with Hidden Storage Space

Declutter with Hidden Storage SpaceWhen conventional shelves aren’t your style, there are few other options. Pegboard is an incredible and effective way to hide office routers, cables and other devices stored behind your desk. Curtains can be used to section off areas where you might have shelves for your fax machine, printer and telephone. Making use of chairs with storage capabilities is another way to hide some stocked items for future use, such as bundles of printer paper, extra pens and binders, or extra printer inks. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Using tall cabinets, floor to ceiling create lots of space and make use of entire sections.

Tip #7: Give Everything a Home

Everything that stays on your desk or in a drawer should have a “niche” where it can always be found even when your eyes are closed. If things don’t have a home, like a refugee camp, your desk becomes a home-for-all. If you’re finding it difficult, use the breadbox test to keep things tidy: if it’s smaller than a breadbox, hide it away in a canister or drawer.

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Tip #8: Reboot 10 Minutes Each Evening

No matter how much you declutter your workspace, it’s always going to get messy during the day. That’s okay – it shows that you’re working! It’s when you keep the office untidy that things start to become a problem.  Always ensure that you reorganize and clean up your home office every evening to overcome the habit of cluttering. Take 5 to 10 minutes, that’s all that is needed to straighten things up and put them in their place, and you will come to a fresh desk every morning, ready to work.

Tip #9: Declutter and Create a new Mood

Declutter and Create a Mood with MuralsWhat is the view from your office? Does it make you feel inviting? Or does it all feel dark and dingy? After you have completed the cleaning, rearranging and disposing of unwanted items in your home office, it will be of great advantage if you install one or two murals in your office based on themes that motivate you. So if you like to travel a mural on Greece or Thailand may do the trick, if you love to spend time at the beach then a scene with waves, oceans or palm trees is what you are looking for.

home-office-mural2Creating this fake environment by installing a mural creates a sense of purpose and stress-free place that you actually want to be. Murals are fairly easy and quick to install just like any wallpaper. It will help to re-brand your home office and possibly even give you the sense of overlooking the outdoors or standing on the top floor of a skyscraper with the city bustle down below. Adding plants and background soft music also helps create a special mood. Whatever feeling you want to create that is how you need to think about your decorating options.

I hope with these 9 tips you’ve created your ultimate home office space. Making it a place that is inviting and clutter free. Simplistic, yet functional.

If you’ve recently revamped your home office I’d love to hear any other tips you have for our readers in the comments below.

Here’s to a happy work place!