Organizing Ideas
Aug 27, 2012

Home office organizing tips

By: Jennifer Weatherhead

Home office organizing tips Author: Style At Home

Organizing Ideas
Aug 27, 2012

Home office organizing tips

By: Jennifer Weatherhead

When it comes to getting your life and home in order, why not start with your  home office? Often forgotten about in the organizing world, coming in behind busier parts of the home like the kitchen and bathroom, the home office (filled with some of the most important items and papers in your home) should no longer be neglected. With the help of  interior designer and organizing expert Shelley Kirsch, your home office can be just as organized, tidy and easy to navigate as the rest of your home. So get ready to make your home office totally workable. 

Home office organizing
Begin with the must-haves. No home office would be complete without certain things that will improve the function of your space. According to Kirsch, filing cabinets, shelving, excellent  lighting options, a paper shredder, a large enough surface (a work table that is not the same as your desk) to be able to spread out project work and comfortable seating are all essential.

In a home office, storage is key 
Ever feel like you’re constantly tidying up your home office, straightening up papers and on a never-ending search for items, thank you cards and pens? The home office is one of those places that can get cluttered very quickly, mainly due to the fact that there are so many odds and ends that occupy the space. The key to making things easier to find is all about finding a home for the items. “Make sure you have enough storage for the types of items you need to keep available on a regular basis,” says Shelley. “If not, there will be a sense of clutter, both physical and mental, that you will never rise above.” Follow the old adage – a place for everything and everything in its place. 

Keep your desk clean. Super clean. 
The desk is the heartbeat of your home office. It’s where you work on your computer, sign papers, look over projects and read over bills. So it’s vitally important to keep it as clean as possible at all times. Shelley says the desk should have “as little as possible on it. Maybe a stapler, a pen well, a task lamp, but that’s it.” Use your computer (if it is needed in your home office), sort through bills and write notes, then immediately file in the appropriate places. At the end of each night, put away any stray items so you can start the next day with a clean desk. Doing so each night will keep clutter from piling up and get you in the habit of placing things in their proper home.

More filing tips and tricks on the next page.
Speaking of filing 
The nerve centre of your home finances can usually be found in the home office. And if you work from home, even more important papers, files and documents can fill up your office space. Invest in a great filing cabinet, file folders and a labeling machine. “The best place for all your papers is in your filing cabinet with boldly labeled files,” suggests Shelley. This will allow for easy access. 

Create separate files for different types of bills (credit cards, home expenses, etc.), paid and unpaid bills, and of course, always keep your home papers in a separate location from your work papers and bills. One more bit of filing advice: “Don't skimp on the size of your filing cabinets,” says Shelley. “You should have at least two sections in each drawer. When these cabinets get jammed, they stop being an efficient organizing aid.”

Organize your home office supplies
For all your home office supplies (pens, pencils, paper clips and the sort), invest in ways to keep them separated. For drawers, module blocks and organizers help keep small items in their place instead of floating around a cluttered drawer. Store larger items that aren’t used daily in baskets on a bookcase next to your desk. “A grid box full height unit with baskets is perfect to organize office supplies,” Shelley says. 

Organize your bookcase
When purchasing a bookcase, look for one with dividers built in to help with easy storage and to keep books, magazines and binders in order. “Make sure your bookcase is a model that has dividers integral to the structure (not bookends, for example). This allows you to keep items upright but more importantly compartmentalized by category,” says Shelley. 

What to keep out of your office 
Your home office will be at the peak of organization if you not only tidy what is in your office, but also remember what you should keep out. Follow this simple rule: if it’s not current, store it somewhere else in your home. You home office should only before for projects happening right now, and bills and papers that are of this year.

“Items that are not current should be kept in another part of the home,” says Shelley. “For example, file boxes with tax returns, or completed project files, should NOT be stored in the office.” This will free up space, eliminate clutter and keep your mind focused on the present instead of the past. 

Here are nine home office accessories we love that will help organize any work space.
office-organizing-slantedbookcas.jpg Bookcase
Sleek, sophisticate and yes, a little bit slanted, this stylish bookcase will hold all of your home office accessories in style. Crate and Barrel, $661.22. office-organizing-file-cabinet.jpg
Movable filing cabinet
Compact and convenient, this metal filing cabinet on wheels means you can put it wherever you want in your home office. Amazon, $71.58. office-organizing-envelope-holde.jpg
Drawer and desk organizer
For all of those loose pieces of paper that float around on your desk, this snazzy organizer is a stylish storage solution. Martha Stewart at Staples, $14.99. office-organizing-file-folders.jpg
Colourful file folders
Keep your reports and invoices neat and tidy with a selection of these beautiful file folders. How pretty for a feminine home office. Martha Stewart at Staples, $4.99 (set of 6). office-organizing-to-do-list.jpg
Funny to-do list
One way to not lose your marbles when busy at work is to maintain a sense of humour. This cheeky to-do list is the perfect addition for any number of workspaces. Indigo, $8.99 (set of 6). office-organizing-cupholder.jpg
Pencil cup holder
Keep pens and pencils in one tidy spot with this adorable and modern home office item. Indigo, $5. office-organizing-holder.jpg
File storage
This old-fashioned storage solution will make a design statement on any desk and keep you organized. Pottery Barn, $77.08. office-organizing-lamp.jpg
Desk lamp
Illuminate those bright ideas with this most memorable of lighting options. It's cute, classy and contemporary all at the same time! Pottery Barn, $194.65.
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Organizing Ideas

Home office organizing tips