If you’ve ever talked to anyone who has a home office, you know that they all felt super organized the first day they set it up. They were optimistic. There weren’t 11 coffee cups on the desk. Cords were organized and hidden. Papers were in order. It looked like a museum dedicated to productivity.
About 11 seconds later, it could be declared a disaster zone.
Sound familiar? Probably. Home offices tend to get cluttered with work stuff and home stuff. The best of both worlds can quickly turn into the worst. You probably want to declutter your home office to be more productive and less stressed, but don’t know how.
We’ve talked to our expert organizers to get you tips for some immediate relief from the seemingly-unhackable jungle of your home office. We’ll also look at some more long-term solutions that can keep you working happily for years to come.
Tips for Decluttering Your Home Office
Once you realize you need to put in a serious decluttering effort to organize your home office, there are some important steps you can take.
Make a List of What Needs to Stay and What Can Go
This seems simple, but it often isn’t. A lot of people would like to wave a magic wand, say, “office stuff stays, home stuff goes!” and be done. But what office stuff? What constitutes the important things you need to have versus what you’d like to have? And if you start clearing stuff out, where will it go? Are you just decluttering your office to move the pile somewhere else in your house?
That’s why having a firm understanding of what you need to do is crucial before you start anything. Questions to ask yourself include:
What do I actually use?
What just takes up space?
What do I like having nearby as a source of comfort or inspiration?
What actively annoys me, and how can I replace or reduce it?
Otherwise, you’re just shuffling paper—sometimes literally.
Map Out Your Office Flow
This is an important one. As clutter builds up, we tend to lurch from place to place, moving things around in an ad hoc manner, never really settling on a pattern. Figure out the best way that you actually work. Consider: Where is your computer, your phone, your drafting table, your tablet, et cetera? How and where do you use these things?
Do you need an extra table? What is it like when you are video calling? Do you have the right light? Knowing the best way to use your office is vital to mapping it out right.
Evaluate Your Technology
I know a guy who had two big shiny monitors but used only his laptop 99% of the time. Having those monitors made the office seem important—but ultimately, they were a waste of space, a waste of energy, and a waste of outlet use. They were nothing but big blocks with a lot of wires.
Wires are the enemy of order. Cutting out electronics and technology that you don’t actually use clears up space and helps untangle rat’s nests. It also has a psychological benefit of reducing the anxiety of being surrounded by clutter you don’t use (but feel like you should).
Evaluate Your Storage Needs
In the first section, we talked about how you probably can’t just throw everything into the hallway, wipe off your hands, and get back to work. You’re going to have to leave the office at some point. So you may need to store stuff in that room—work stuff that could come in handy later, and home items that just need a (secure, out-of-the-way, non-distracting) place to live.
Evaluate Your Furniture Needs
Here is where we’re getting down to brass tacks. What kind of furniture do you have, and what do you need? Your desk has to be the right size and shape, or else you will be too cluttered. It has to match your workflow. It also has to be able to manage your wires.
That’s why, when considering home office desk ideas, you need to take into account all the questions we asked above. Does a desk or a peninsula make more sense? Do you need something with a lot of drawers and cabinets, or do you have storage elsewhere in the room? How will the desk shape work with the way you need to sit for teleconferencing?
The desk is a vital part of the office. Everything revolves around it, but it also has to accommodate all the other design decisions you’ve made along the way.
This process can be overwhelming. It’s easy to throw your hands in the air and give up. But there is another way.
How Custom Home Office Design Can Turbocharge Your Decluttering
The problem with a lot of home office redesigns is that they fall into the trap of merely moving things around. And that makes sense. You’re using the space as it is designed (or not designed, usually). You just don’t have much more space.
A custom home office redesign, however, can change all of that. When you have a custom redesign of your home office, a few steps are taken to make sure that the room fits your needs. Closet America’s customization process includes:
Free in-home design consultation. This is where a professional comes to your house, talks to you about what you need, evaluates your room, takes measurements, and makes a 3D-model of your ideal office.
Production. That model is turned into reality at our local factory, where all products are finished by hand. These are custom-made, just for you, based on the model.
Installation. At the installation step, trained professionals come to your house at the agreed-upon time, and install your furniture the same day, leaving no mess.
OK, you might say, but what exactly is being designed, built, and installed? Well, depending on your needs, some of your custom home office furniture might include:
Workspace. Wall unit or peninsula, situated in accordance with your flow, designed to maximize space.
Compartments and shelving
Wire and cable organizers
This is all from the plan that was created between you and the designer. And that came from you honestly evaluating your needs, and the designer expertly creating a plan that meets those needs.
See, decluttering isn’t just a matter of throwing things away. Things always creep back. It’s a matter of figuring out what’s important, and planning the best way to get there. Sometimes, that will be a custom home office redesign. If that’s what you’re looking for, contact us today. It’s time to make your home office a true home for all your best projects and ideas. We’re ready to get started whenever you are.