There has been a 115% increase in telecommuting jobs since 2005 and entrepreneurs tend to use a home office at least some of the time. As a result, keeping a small and productive office space has become an important addition to many homes. Keeping this space organized doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. A home office can be a simple space with minimal additions and some basic organizational needs. I’ve also known people that go all out and create beautiful color coordinated spaces with shelves, bins, and infinite binders. Spaces that make them smile every time they sit down with their morning coffee. It’s all up to you and your business needs.
The first thing I want to talk about today is repurposing. It’s a cheap and easy way to supply your organizational needs. Most of these things you can either find lying around your house (possibly your friend’s garage) or buy at a flea market for next to nothing. Depending on the project and how much you want to customize your item, repurposing can take up some of your time (or not much at all).
Glass Jars- Glass jars are great for organizing office supplies such as pens, pencils, staples, clips, and erasers. The most simple way to use them is to just place them on a shelf or desk and fill with items. If you want to get more creative, they also look good mounted or painted. There are many different ways to decorate with them!
Shutters- Shutters are a great way to store mail, postcards, and photos. They can stand alone on a table or you can install hardware to mount them to a wall. If you want to go a step further you could even paint them to match the rest of your office decor.
Picture Frames- So many different options with picture frames! In an office setting the most common uses I’ve seen are- hanging them as wall decor, adding cork or chalkboard behind them, and adding chicken wire behind them to create a clipboard. You can really get creative with these and find many different organizational uses.
Chest- Turn a chest into a filing cabinet. It’s a perfect little hideaway for all your paperwork and it doesn’t even look like it’s part of your office.
Wine Crates- Wine crates are another item that can have so many different organizational uses in your home or office. Stack them up on the floor to create a bookshelf, mount them to the wall to create shelves, add wheels to the bottom to make a rolling side table – lots of options with these guys. The part I like the most is how they naturally look great and wood matches most decor schemes too, so you don’t typically need to paint them.
The next few organizational tips are ways to get your area clutter-free and to bring new ideas into your small office space:
- I can’t stress enough how important it is to utilize wall space to the fullest extent. In a small area, this can really give you a lot more of a canvas to work with. You can put practically anything on your walls, even mounting your computer to the wall will give you more desk space.
- Spend money on comfort and ergonomically friendly products for your office. You will potentially be spending hours upon hours in your office, so you want to make sure you are comfortable and don’t put yourself at risk for repetitive strain injuries.
- Keep things in order by minimizing the amount of ‘stuff’ in your small office space. If you buy a new book, get rid of an old one (or put it in storage). There isn’t a lot of room to accumulate fluff in a small office. It begins to add up quickly and becomes cluttered.
- Consider moving your paper files to a digital format. Get rid of all that paper mess altogether.
- If you choose to use a digital format, make sure you have a file backup system in case your computer crashes. Do not rely only on your computer’s hard drive to store digital files. You don’t want to risk losing all your work because your dog accidentally knocks over your laptop one afternoon (Believe me, I learned that one the hard way).
- And finally, for the Tech Savvy readers, here are some brand new ideas to bring your office organization and technology up to speed in the new year.