Our physical environment plays a huge role in the way we work, and when the space around you is a mess, it can be hard to be productive. Not only does clutter take up precious work minutes every time you go on the hunt for a pen or a document – it can also influence your mental wellbeing.
According to recent research, being in a tidy and organised space can positively affect your performance and behaviour, as well as reduce stress and anxiety. To make the most of your work from home situation, take a look at some simple ways to declutter and organise your home office or home workspace.
How to Declutter Your Home Office
Remove unnecessary paper and go digital
Paper documents and other items can start to pile up quickly, and most of the time they’re things that you don’t need within arms' reach. Start by going through your space, including your desk, drawers and any other storage areas, to find anything that might be unnecessarily filling up your workspace.
Throw away anything that you don’t need, making sure to shred any documents that might contain sensitive information, and recycle wherever possible. Try digitising any documents that you’d like to keep - that way you not only save space, but you'll also save time looking back for those documents.
Get rid of cables and wires that aren’t being used
Every household seems to have that one box or drawer with old unsightly cords, plugs, and other miscellaneous electronics. As tempting as it is to keep these things around 'just in case' – you probably don't need the charging cable for that digital camera you haven't seen in 5 years. Try to ask yourself whether you really need to keep these items, and if not, then let it go!
Don’t let coffee cups and dishes accumulate in your space
When you’re busy, it’s easy to start a collection of coffee cups and dishes in your home office throughout the day. It’s important to take proper breaks, so try to eat away from your desk and go for a walk whenever possible. However, when you’re not able to get away from your station, try to clear out any of these items regularly to save space and to keep things clean.
Clean floors and surfaces
Now that you’ve removed all of the clutter, but before you start organising, it's time to give your space a good clean. Be sure to wipe down any surfaces where dust may build up, including the insides of drawers. Gently clean your computer screen, as well as your keyboard and mouse.
This is also a good time to clean the floor, and if your clear away the clutter to find out that the carpet needs a spruce, hire a Rug Doctor from your local stockist. It’ll lift away any pesky stains and leave the room smelling fresh, but if you do notice any lingering smells, Rug Doctor's Odour Remover will do the trick.
How to Declutter Your Home Office
Using desk organisers can be a great way to efficiently utilise your space. Filing cabinets are perfect for any physical documents. However, you don’t always need to go out and buy new organisers - often there are boxes and other storage solutions around your house that might come in handy. Jars and old tins are perfect for pens and pencils if you need a couple on your desk.
Utilise wall space
It’s easy to forget about the wall when it comes to storage and organisation, but this is another way to use your space more efficiently. Try hanging your calendar up instead of having one take up valuable real estate on your desk. Installing shelves might sound daunting, but there are plenty of easy DIY options that will add extra space to your home office by utilising the wall. Here, you can put books, plants and other items that don’t need to be on your desk.
Organise your digital files too
Once you’ve decided which documents you’d like to digitise, it’s important to consider how you’d like to organise them. An international survey showed that people can lose up to 2 hours each week looking for poorly organised digital files!
Separating documents by category into individual digital folders is one way to arrange these items, but consider coming up with a naming convention too. Whether each category has a different code to begin with, or you create a colour labelling system, is completely up to you and your workflow. As long as you stay consistent, this will save you time in the long run.
Keep things simple
Going forward, you’ll want to keep things simple. Try arranging things by how often they’re used and where you use them. For example, if you know that you’ll need certain device chargers throughout the day, try creating a charging station that’s easy to access, and will keep all of the cords tidy in one place.
At the end of each day, try putting everything back where it was to begin with, so that you reset your space for the next day. This will stop things from piling up, so that all you need to do is focus on your work.
If you need more advice around how to clean different areas of your home, including your home office or workspace, get your own Personalised Cleaning Guide!