Since the start of the pandemic, about 50% to 80% of the workforce has been working from home. Some of us are lucky enough to have a designated space at home for a home office, while the rest of us, use make-shift spots in the house as our workspace. What you do not know is that, regardless of the size of your home office, there are plenty of home office organization ideas that will help you stay productive while maintaining a practical home office.
It is difficult to keep your home office decluttered with the accumulated papers, mails, pens and just general clutter, especially if you have toddlers running around. Read on for more home office hacks - these steps will ensure every pen and paper will have a place to call home.
Step 1: Back to Basics
Once you have gone deep into hoarder’s paradise, there is no turning back. The only way to return to reality is to clear everything out. Start with all your drawers and then move on to your cabinets and that huge pile staring at you on the dining table. Grab a large plastic bag and discard items or documents that are no longer relevant.
Here is a summary of how long you should keep some of the important documents for:
- Tax returns and supporting documents: Seven years
- Salary slips: One year or until you have paid taxes for the year
- Investment statements: One year
- Bank statements: One year
- Medical & Utility bills: One year
- Credit card statements: One month
Start creating piles of the documents that you plan to keep; we will get into a paper filing system later in this article.
Step 2: Create Space
Most of us end up with a messy workspace due to the simple fact that we do not have enough space or a designated area for a home office. Firstly, invest in a sturdy table that comes with drawers and a cabinet. Do not forget to measure your designated space before making this purchase. Buying something too small will only bring us back to square one.
If you do not have space to get a large table, try going upwards. You could add shelves or a document drawer on your table. On top of that, you could use your wall space by purchasing a wall shelf or a bulletin notice board to keep you up to date on all your tasks. If you have things like magazines or catalogs laying around, get your hands on a magazine file box. It keeps your work-from-home setup intact and away from clutter.
Step 3: Invest in Office Supplies
One of the simpler steps is to purchase good office supplies and the best way to buy them is to shop online at Lion File. Get yourself a couple of pen holders - some to put in pens and other writing instruments, while another could be for your staplers, puncher, glue and even a cutter. You will be able to keep your things organized and easily accessible this way.
Do you know that you can even store rulers in the back area of your large tape dispenser? And how to store those extra tapes you have on hand? Simply install a hook on the wall and hang it there. To be honest - if you look properly into the items you already have at home, everything has a space for organization.
Step 4: Develop a Filing System
Let’s not deny the fact that our personal and work documents are currently all over the workspace. To start off, we must split them into separate piles for a better clarity on the documents that we are sorting through.
- Medical: To store your family’s medical records including your pet’s information.
- Car: To store all car maintenance and insurance documents.
- Manuals & Warranties: To store all your appliances’ manuals and their respective warranties.
- House: To store all house-related information here such as housing loan documents, grants and more.
- Others: To store anything else that doesn’t fit in the categories above.
Next, for your work documents, organize according to its priorities. You can use a classic Lion File Colour Lever Arch File which comes in 5 different colours for easy identification.
- Urgent: Compile all the urgent documents that you need to finish by the end of the week in this pile.
- To-Do: Gather documents that you will need to work on in the next two weeks and move it into the Urgent pile accordingly.
- To-be Categorized: These should be items that are not as important but, yet to be categorized. However, do not ignore this pile as there might be urgent tasks that are hidden in between.
Refer to article How to Organize Your Paperwork and Declutter Your Desk for a more detailed guidance on organizing your paperwork.
To sum it up, you should find ways to enjoy the process of decluttering your home office and be realistic on your timeline. You can even get help from your family members and turn it into a family-bonding activity. Head on over to Lion File to purchase all the essential supplies you will need to keep your workspace clutter-free.