Hello and welcome!
If you are working from home, how is your home office organization holding up? So many of our recent projects have been either reorganizing a home office space, or creating one in a house with no separate home office. Over the course of the last year, clients have had enough time to figure out what is not working in their home office. They also are discovering that they are working as much (or more!) than they did in the office, and haven’t had the time to organize! Many also have young children at home while they are working, which affects their time available for organizing.
Paper organization, especially, seems to be a huge problem for many! Keeping up with papers a few minutes daily will help prevent those piles of paper from forming. (Another tip: we need to keep less paper than we think!)
After 365 days of closures and hybrid remote learning, our town fully reopened schools. However, it seems working remotely will be continuing for many companies. And while some are discussing plans to open after the summer, others are making remote working an option while some are permanently going fully remote. This “work from anywhere” change has affected us all, whether directly or indirectly. Many of us still haven’t gotten acclimated, but it’s not too late! With everything in life, I find organization helps me adjust to all types of changes. It makes things make sense to me, and allows me to fully create a picture and visualize my thoughts and goals.
If you are working from home in any of these capacities, you may have had a moment in the beginning of quarantine where you made a space into an office. Perhaps you already had an entire room that was begging to be transformed. Maybe you’re like some of us who turned their guest room into a multipurpose office since you knew you wouldn’t be hosting guests for some time. Or, maybe you grabbed onto the “cloffice” trend and got really creative, turning a small closet into a functioning office space. No matter which one of these setups you created, how is your home office organization holding up now?
So many of our recent projects have been either reorganizing a home office space, or creating one in a house with no separate home office. Over the course of the last year, clients have had enough time to figure out what is not working in their home office. They are also discovering that they are working as much (or more!) than they did in their work office before the pandemic. Because of this, they haven’t had the time to organize! Many also have young children at home while they are working, which directly affects their time available for organizing.
So, this bears the question: How do we keep our workspace organized? For me, the first step is to assess the space and its role. For example: if you have an entire room dedicated to being your office, you may find yourself easily overwhelmed when the door is left open and items are cluttering the desk.
Incorporate a tidy time at the end of the work day to keep things maintained so that you’re free of clutter at the beginning of the next work day. A clear desk will encourage getting to work quicker & better productivity. This doesn’t have to take more than ten minutes a day. Pro tip: Pair this task with some fun music to fully celebrate that end of the work day feeling!
One of the number one sources of clutter in a space like an office – even in a digital age – is usually paper. A key trick I’ve found to keep mine and clients’ paper problem in check is a system called O.H.I.O. (Only Handle It Once!) At the end of each day, I encourage you to take just a few minutes to wrap up your work day by tidying your space. If paper clutter is your nemesis like it is for so many others, start there and the rest of the tidy will follow.
Assess all of the paperwork you have, filing it where it needs to go. Here’s the reality – even though the system says only handle it once, it’s very likely you will come across that paper again. The idea is not that you will literally never see it again but that you have already taken care of the first step it requires. So, if there is an important document you need to file away but not refer back to constantly, then find a place that is out of sight enough not to distract you but accessible enough for when you do need to inevitably find that document again.
Paper organization seems to be a huge problem for many. You are not alone in this! Keeping up with papers a few minutes daily will help prevent those piles of paper from forming. As with most things, having less items keeps the tasks of tidying and organizing easier to keep up with. Some time this week, try to set aside papers that you need to go through and purge some of the unnecessary items that may be holding you back from having the clutter free space you want!
Is your office set up work only? Since we hold so many unique roles, I often find that rooms hold multiple roles as well. Make your office multipurpose if you can – that way all your home admin items are in one place. In this space, you may have a laptop or desktop computer, a printer, a planner with some writing tools. Although I have a lot of writing tools and notebooks with different uses, I keep them on a small bookshelf neatly tucked away into a utility closet. But since I work from home as well as out of the house, it benefits me to keep my mostly used writing tools in a small pouch in my bag alongside my planners. I think of this similarly to how I organize nearly everything else. There are my most used items always at the ready and then my back up inventory, if you will, easily accessible when needed.
Whatever your situation or organizing style, I hope that your system is working for you. And even if it isn’t, know that takes only a few easy steps and daily habits to get there.
Looking for organization help, and are you in the NYC / CT area? Go to minimalisbliss.com to schedule a free in-home consultation.