Happy Monday! I’m coming to you guys with the LAST installment of our Clear the Clutter Challenge – I can’t believe how quickly the past 5 weeks have flown by! I don’t know about you guys, but this challenge has really helped me kick my organizing into high gear and I feel ready to conquer the year ahead. If you’re catching up, last week, I shared all about how I declutter and organize my kids’ toys with inexpensive storage solutions. This week, we’re tackling areas that most people have a hard time keeping clean and organized (myself included!) – garages, basements and home offices.
I am specifically focusing on how to organize a home office this week – because in full transparency, I had big plans of also tackling the garage this past weekend, but we had to make an unexpected trip to see family in Virginia this week and I simply didn’t have time to get to the garage. But that’s okay – it’s still on my list and even if it didn’t get done in the five weeks, I have time get around to it soon! The beauty of decluttering and organization is that it can be done anytime and you’ll always reap the benefits once it’s complete.
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Tips to Declutter and Organize Your Home Office
Take everything out – one drawer at a time. I am always in awe of how much paper that piles up over a short amount of time. I tend to save things that we probably don’t need to, like old medical bill statements, monthly insurance statements, etc…things that we can easily access online these days if we need to. I started with the desk drawer and then moved on to our file cabinet/drawers and went through each piece of paper, separating it by Keep, Throw Away, Shred/Burn (for things with sensitive data).
Purge things you don’t need. Drawers tend to be a catch-all for odds and ends, and at my house, our desk drawer was the worst culprit. I think it’s because we rarely use it, so things that we put in there stay for far too long! A few things you should consider trashing from the drawers to help organize your home office:
- Unimportant papers or old cards – I have a bad habit of holding onto cards and I know I should just throw them away because they just end up cluttering everything!
- Cords and cables that you aren’t sure what they’re used for – We had lots of random cords that were a complete mystery to us, so we tossed them once we were sure we didn’t need them.
- Old software discs – I had lots of old discs for software that I never use and fun fact, my newer MacBook doesn’t even have a disc drive so they are basically useless to me anyways!
- Broken technology – I had two old FitBits and accessories in the desk drawer and I’m not sure why I kept them since they don’t work – tossed!
- Bulk office supplies – If you don’t need the 50 pencils you have sitting around (just us?), maybe you could donate them to an organization or a school!
- Old notebooks that are mostly used – If I came across notebooks with pages that were pretty much used up, I tossed them and if they had lots of fresh paper, I put them in our craft closet for the girls.
- Desk knickknacks – I used to work outside the home, so I collected some desk accessories and cute decor over the years. Now that I’m working from home, I have a smaller desk area and don’t really have a need for some of the extras.
Organize by category. We have a wicker drawer that we use as a file cabinet to keep important paperwork organized, like mortgage statements, receipts and other paperwork needed around tax time. I try to separate things out by category and put each category in a different drawer, and I also clean this out several times throughout the year to make sure we’re only holding onto things we actually need. Knowing exactly which drawer has which documents makes it easy to quickly reference the info if needed, too.
Consider a small desk organizer. I don’t have a ton of things I need to keep handy on my desk, but I like to be able to grab a pen or a notepad quickly if I’m on a call. A cute pencil cup and desktop organizer keeps these things handy and they don’t take up too much space!
Add shelving for more space. If you’re running low on space and want to better organize your home office, add vertical storage. You can pick up inexpensive shelving from somewhere like IKEA and put it above your desk area to store books, photos, and other things you need more space for.
Make sure to check out my co-hosts tips as well!
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