Organise your home office
According to the 2016 Census, 431,000 workers (that’s 4.1% of Australians!) work from home. This number has increased by 67,000 since 2011 and a whopping 99,000 since 2006.
Whether they work from home or not, many Aussies have a home office. It may not be where you work day to day but it can be utilised as a space for sorting through finances, keeping important documents, or getting arty and crafty.
As time goes by, a lot of clutter can accumulate in a home office or spare room with stacks of papers and to-do lists acting as a continual reminder of things you need to get done. By putting in a little effort to make your home office spick and span, you can streamline your home and move on to the fun stuff.
In the spirit of Organise Your Home Office Day on March 13th, we’ve put together 6 handy office hacks that will help you to sort through your stash and get organised.
1. Deal with the paper
Most of us have an ever growing pile of stuff to sort through, right?! Let’s tackle those piles and get rid of them once and for all!
- For this task, it’s important to have a shredder, recycling bin or trash can nearby for the cleanup.
- As you look at each sheet of paper, ask yourself: Do I really need to keep this?
- Use the System of Three: Shred/recycle/toss it, file it, or action it. Before you get started, be sure to make some temporary labels so you know what’s what if you get distracted.
- You may even want to consider moving to a paperless office and use this opportunity to switch your statements and billing to being digital and online. Contact your bill provider(s) to see if this is an option – you may even save some money!
2. Get Filing
We all have different ways of working and filing systems differ for everyone. These steps can help you find an organisational system that works for you.
- Search around your home for containers and other materials to see what you can up-cycle as a means of storage.
- If you need some inspiration, Pinterest is the place to start! Do some research and see what organisational structure catches your attention. From a grid of clipboards, labelled racks on the wall, pegboards over the desk, or colour-coded files and trays, you’re bound to find a system for you.
- Whether you prefer binders or manila folders, separate your documents into categories. Some suggestions include:
- Medical and Health
- Warranties and Manuals
3. Clear some space
Now that you’ve dealt with the paper, time to get rid of the clutter and work towards a fresh, clean work space where everything has its own home.
- First things first, empty your desk, cupboards and drawers then sort the contents into piles. For example, mail supplies, computer supplies, and stationery.
- Can you get rid of any double-ups? How many pens and rulers do you really need and use?
- Store all your office supplies in containers, drawers and cupboards. This will allow you to stock up on supplies but by keeping them out of sight you will maintain a decluttered look.
- Put the most important items within immediate reach in the top drawer and the might-need stuff in the lower drawers.
4. Go vertical
Running out of storage space? No worries! Using your walls is one of the best ways to stay organised.
- Use your wall space to hang shelves, filing systems, calendars, whiteboards or chalkboards and more.
- Wall-mounted cups keep frequently used supplies neat and within reach.
- Labeled, open-top baskets on shelves are great for people who like piles.
- Put your to-do lists and calendars on the wall instead of on the desk.
5. Declutter those cables
If you have cables and cords snaking all over the office, it’s time to sort them out. By tidying these up, you not only reduce the risk of tripping or damage by getting your feet caught up in them and pulling them forcefully from the plug, you also reduce the risk of fire.
- Unplug and store away any equipment you use irregularly.
- Utilise as many wireless devices as possible.
- Plug remaining cables into a surge-protected power board with individual switches.
- Grab some cable ties, Velcro wraps and cord clips to keep all cords together in one place, against the wall and behind the desk.
6. Cut down on distractions
If you’re working away from home, it can be nice to have photos of your loved ones nearby. However, if you’re working from home, keep the memories in the lounge room and keep your office space decluttered and free from distraction.
- Remove any toys, games or activities that may catch your eye.
- Put aside everything that has made its way into the home office space and make a point of putting it back in its rightful place throughout the house.
- Move family photos to other rooms in the home.
- Only keep the most important books in reach.
Do you have an organisational tip for your home office? Share it with us in the comments!