Like many of us, these past two years have brought my job from the office to the home. As a result, my home office has become a bit cluttered while I worked my way through this transition. To kick off spring cleaning season, I set my sights on reorganizing my home office, cleaning up and clearing out the clutter in just 3 hours.
Here are 5 tips that helped me finish the job—and can help kickstart yours.
1. Take it one section at a time.
Even with my pint-size office, I was shocked by how much of an undertaking it was to sort through years of work items, computer accessories, personal documents, craft supplies, and the like. My impatience got the best of me at first, leading me to dump all my organizers out on the carpet to take on the clutter pile all at once. Big mistake there. Things went much smoother when I stuck to one area at a time. I focused first on the desktop organizer that holds my daily necessities, including my planner, notebook, work and personal laptops, and favorite pens.
2. Tame the cord monster.
As you can tell from the above photos, my cord management skills needed some work. Especially when it comes to my Apple devices—those charging cords needed the Nite Ize touch most. I slipped CordCollars on each one to prevent the cable ends from fraying, which is a must to preserve the lifetime of these expensive cords. I chose a unique color for each to keep them straight as these white cords are easy to mix up. And last but certainly not least, I threaded a Gear Tie Cordable 6” on each cord in its matching color to keep them organized and tangle-free.
3. Gear Ties are your best friend.
Years of college classes, quarantine crafts, and DIY gifts certainly left our craft supplies boxes in rough shape. I went through each and every item, dumping what I don’t need and bundling items by category. For the larger, unwieldy supplies that took up too much space, Gear Ties saved the day. All my paint brushes and supplies were bundled with two 12” Gear Ties, while a single Gear Tie contained all the spare highlighters we’ve collected over the years.
4. Shred what you don't need.
Taking each section at a time, I finally ended up at our minimalist “file cabinet” - which is just a wooden document organizer overstuffed with W2s and vet bills of years past. Living in small rentals over the years has forced us to keep things simple, but we still found a way to create a cluttered mess. I went through each document to assess its value years later, asking myself “If I haven’t touched this document since storing it here, why would I keep it?” This mentality resulted in shredding 80% of our documents and reorganizing what was left into file folders labeled by category: Taxes, Job, Health, Home, Dog, and Miscellaneous. I’m sure this area will need expanding soon, but it’s a start.
5. Give everything a home – and a purpose.
Once I was through clearing out the clutter, I found myself with more space to compartmentalize than I’d thought. And like I’ve said, this is a teeny tiny office, so if I can make space, I’m sure you can too. I decided to give this supply-box-turned-catch-all-bin new life as my dedicated cords and electronics home. Every cord received its Gear Tie Cordable buddy, and in they went. Knowing that all my electronics and cords are in one dedicated place, and wrangled with a Gear Tie, really does give me that feeling of satisfaction that only comes from an organization job well done.
As hybrid work schedules and full-time remote positions continue to popularize, it’s important we consider the functional aspect of our home offices. For many of us, the temporary transition for quarantine has evolved into a more permanent career shift, and as such, our home workspace should evolve too. I hope this gives you the kick you need to clear out the clutter in your mind and your office.
What organization tips and tricks did I miss? Let me know in the comments below for next year when I take this on again!