You might not have coworkers judging you on how your desk looks, but that doesn’t give you a pass to have a cluttered home office.
Having a clean work area not only makes it easier to find things quickly, but it also helps you focus on the task at hand.
To make the most of your space and time, here are five focused tips for decluttering your home office.
The Use It or Lose It Box
Start by taking an inventory of everything in your workspace to see what should stay and what should go.
Do you have stacks of old paperwork, receipts from years ago or things you didn’t even remember you had? If so, it’s time to take a good look at the materials to decide if you actually need them.
A good rule to follow is taking everything you haven’t used in a month (or two) and putting the materials in a box out of the way. Then, if you still haven’t needed the items in six months, decide if you should shred and throw them out.
Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not quite.
When you decide to keep and file away paperwork or other items — whether in your desk or another cabinet — those items can quickly add up and become a cluttered mess … again.
You need to have an organization plan in place for how to store things. For example, put the most important items in the top drawers, with the least timely things in the bottom ones.
To keep drawers from becoming cluttered with paper or other materials, use some of these simple (and cheap) hacks. You can take old shoe boxes and cut them to make drawer dividers.
Or, use an empty cereal box to store papers. Put old boxes and cardboard to good use. Get organized and be a bit greener all at the same time.
Get Creative with Clutter
Once you get the big items out of the way, you’re bound to still have things standing between you and a clutter-free home office. Instead of letting them pile up, incorporate them in the design.
For smaller items like paperclips, tacks or staples, you can put them in mason jars. To get the jars off of your desk, you can attach the jar lids to the bottom of a shelf — then you can just unscrew them when needed. Plus, it will give your office a rustic look.
Something else that can really be an eyesore is the bundle of cables from your computer, printer, desk light, TV and other electronics. There are products out there designed to hide cables, but if you want to take a more innovative approach, you can use rain gutters. Just screw them in to the bottom of your desk, and run your cords through them. You can even paint the gutters to match the wall or desk so they blend in better.
If you run out of room for everything, stagger wooden boards on the wall to create modern shelves. You can also screw in hooks on the bottom to hang items.
Keep It Professional
A home office can easily become just another room for you and your family members to store items, but it’s important to keep your home and work life separate.
Think about it this way: If you wouldn’t bring the item to an in-the-office job, you don’t need it in your home office. So, don’t put stacks of clothes, boxes, children’s toys or other non-work materials in there.
Not only will this help you get rid of clutter, but it also keeps you from getting sidetracked.
Stick With It
Having a plan in place to get rid of clutter is only good if you follow it.
Schedule a time on your calendar during the day to clean up your workspace. Or, make it a habit to put everything away at the end of the day. That way, you’ll have a fresh start every morning when you get back to work.
Once everything is in its place in your home office — whether that means in your desk or the trash — you’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll get done each day.
Author bio: Bin There Dump That provides residential-friendly rental dumpsters for homeowners across the United States and Canada working on projects from home remodels and relocation to decluttering and natural disaster clean-up. To rent a bin today, find your local franchise operator on our website. For more helpful home decluttering and junk removal tips, check out our blog.