It can feel impossible to organize your home office, let alone keep it that way. But office organization doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. You can organize your home office in 8 simple steps. And today I’m walking you through the how and why of each step, so that you can get started organizing your home office right away!
Organize Your Home Office in 8 Steps
Office disorganization robs you of focus and valuable business building time, then leaves you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
But you don’t have to deal with a messy office any longer. It’s time to say buh-bye to office clutter and disorganization.
By completing the following 8 steps you can organize your home office and keep it that way!
#1 Clear Your Desk Surface
Think about the times you’ve walked into your home office (or wherever you work at home) and were greeted by piles of papers, writing utensils strewn here and there, remnants from some craft project, more paper piles, scribbled notes on little pieces of paper, file folders, your kids’ permission slips….
Basically, total and utter chaos.
I don’t know about you, but just looking at a mess like this has my motivation deserting me for the nearest TV streaming Netflix!
Not only do I want to skip my work for the day (especially those to-do’s that I’ve been dreading), I can only muster a dramatic drop onto the couch next to my lost motivation for some binge watching.
Now, think about the times you’ve walked into your home office (or wherever you work at home) and a clean and decluttered work space greeted you!
Everything is in its place, your to-do list neatly written and awaiting your check marks, your client or project files are in a neat pile….
Your work space is ready for you and you’re ready to get to work.
Now, we’re talking! Just by having your desk cleared off, you’ve set yourself up for success!
The first step to organize your home office is to clear your desk every day.
I like to clear my desk every afternoon/evening before I call the work day done, but it might work better for you to do it at lunch. Obviously, I don’t recommend doing it in the morning.
Find a time that works for you, rock your work day, and say hello to an organized home office!
Clearing your desk each day isn’t the only habit that will help keep your office organized. Learn more: 3 Essential Routines for Home Office Organization!
#2 Create Office Zones
Creating office zones makes your office more organized and helps you to keep it that way!
Remember, earlier when I mentioned the craft project remnants? If you have office zones set up, you won’t have to worry about those crafty leftovers.
Office zones are set up based on the type of task that will be completed in each area.
I’m lucky enough to use an extra bedroom in our house as my home office. I have a desk zone where I do my computer work and blog post writing.
And I have a creative zone that’s set up in my closet.
It’s where I do my crafting and creating. The craft supplies that I use on a regular basis are stored here, so everything is within reach. You can see how I squeezed a craft room into a closet HERE!
I also have an information zone which includes my bookshelves and the books and notebooks that I access on a regular basis.
Besides creating a more efficient and organized home office, the other great thing about office zones is that you can declutter one each week (see step #8 below), which keeps the process from feeling overwhelming and keeps the clutter away!
I’ve even had a little fun with the zone concept and created mobile and mini zones like a DIY Mobile Gift Wrapping Station, a Mobile Office, and a DIY Greeting Card Organizer (a mini and a mobile zone). Yes, you could call me obsessed. 🙂
If you’d like to set up office zones in your home office, check out this how-to post: Supercharge Your Organization and Productivity with Office Zones.
#3 A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place
You’ve probably heard this organizational nugget before, and it’s as applicable now as it was back in the day.
I’m a messy worker (as you’ve already seen). I spread out and pull out tons of supplies, papers, and folders. But when it’s time to straighten up, it only takes me a few minutes, because everything has a place (and most of those places are within arms’ reach).
#4 Make Your Calendar Work For You
Your calendar isn’t just for birthday parties, play dates, and appointments. Anything with a deadline can be recorded on your calendar.
I use my calendar to track my regular tasks, household chores, phone calls, check-ins, and many other things. And getting items on the calendar helps you to keep your office organized, because it cuts down on those appointment-related papers!
Of course, you also have to get in the habit of checking your calendar regularly.
I try to check mine on Sunday evenings when I’m planning my week, in the mornings, at lunch time, and before I head to bed. It seems like a lot, but with just a quick glance, I know exactly what has to be done, where I need to be, where my family members are, and what’s coming up in the near future!
Learn more about making your calendar work for you in this post: Add Hours to Your Day with One Simple Tool.
#5 Follow the 3-Minute Rule
No, I’m not talking about the 30-second rule that’s used to judge whether food that’s fallen on the floor is still okay to eat (btw, yuck!). I’m referring to the yardstick for knocking those quick to-do’s out right away!
You know how it goes…
You’re dealing with the mail and open up a birthday party invitation for your youngest daughter. Do you stick it in a pile to deal with later and inevitably miss the party and have a disappointed kiddo? #beenthere #donethat
Or do you record it on your calendar right away?
If it will take you less than 3 minutes to complete, just do it!
Here’s a Bonus Tip for you: staple or clip that party invitation to the back of the month during which it’s taking place, so that you’ll know where you’re going and what your daughter’s friend wants for her birthday.
If I had to choose one step on this list for you to tackle first and foremost, this would be it!
You’ll be amazed by how much smaller and unclunky (yep, just made that word up) your to-do list is, how much smaller and less teetery (and there’s another one) your paper piles are, and how much more organized you are.
#6 Use a Tickler File
A tickler file is an old school way to organize tasks, papers, and long-term projects.
I like to use mine for ongoing projects along with the information that goes with them, my multiple inbox system, and to-do’s.
Learn how to get organized with a tickler file HERE!
#7 Handle it Once…Or as Few Times as Possible
This step goes right along with the one above.
You open that birthday party invite, walk straight to your calendar, record it, and clip the invite to the back of the month, and you’re DONE! You don’t have to worry about that party or that piece of paper AGAIN until it’s time to shop for a gift and actually go to the party.
Bonus Tip: Add an event to your calendar that will remind you that you need to purchase a birthday gift. I like to add my gift shopping reminders the Thursday before the week of the party, so that I have a weekend during which to shop.
How many times do you shuffle papers that you could have handled in one or maybe two quick steps?
Learn how to eliminate paper clutter for good HERE!
#8 Declutter Regularly
If your office is anything like mine, it becomes a dumping ground any time your family shifts into crisis cleaning (i.e. 10 minutes before
unexpected guests arrive).
So, work in a regular time each day or each week to clear the clutter!
I usually spend 15 minutes at the end of the work day on Friday decluttering.
Track Your Progress with a FREE Printable
Want a little help for remembering these steps and creating habits around them?
Here’s a FREE printable that will help you implement these steps and track your progress!
By implementing these 8 steps you can organize your home office and keep it that way! An organized office will help you to feel less stress, save time, and get more done, so that you have more time for passion projects, fun, and family. Follow the steps in today’s post, and you can start organizing your home office right away!
Don’t forget to pin it!
If you enjoyed today’s post, you might find these related posts helpful!
- 25+ Favorite Desk Organizing Supplies
- DIY Drawer Organization Done 8 Ways
- 7 Ways to Organize Your Office with Binders
- 10 Fun Office Organization Tools
Now, let’s go get those home office organized!
Join the Office Organization Challenge!
Each day for 7 days, we'll tackle one office trouble spot, get it decluttered and organized, and create processes to KEEP it that way!
Take back your work space, beat overwhelm, and make the most of your business building time!