How many times have you been working in your home office and gotten distracted—or derailed—by trying to find something you need at the bottom of a drawer, in a pile of papers, or who knows where? We’ve been there, too. So we put together some ideas for decluttering your workspace, so you can have a distraction-free home office.
Subtract, Then Add
You’ve probably tried removing clutter at least once— and it probably didn’t work. So try this: take everything out of your desk, shelves, drawers, etc. and put them in boxes. Then, only remove the things you need as you need them. If you go a few weeks without using something, you probably don’t need it close at hand.
Keep Only What You Need
As you’re going through the items in your home office, ask yourself: do I really need this—and if so, what is the purpose? Will i need it often enough to keep it in my office, or can I store it somewhere else? Chances are, if you have too many of something, or didn’t remember you even had it, it can probably go somewhere else— or go for good! [The less stuff you have, the freer you’ll be from distraction.]
Where will this go?
When you know what to keep, figure out where to keep it. We recommend organizing what you’re going to keep by how often you use it (very often, somewhat often, rarely). Then place the items you use most often closest to you (your desk drawers, for example). The items you use somewhat often can go on your shelves, and the stuff you use rarely (but still need close by) can go in your filing cabinet.
About those cables. . .
You’ve probably tripped over those cables around your office a thousand times, right? It’s time to bundle them. You can do this a lot of ways. Our favorite: the trusty old binder clip.A clear floor space actually goes a long way to helping you and your workspace be distraction-free.
It’s hard to be objective about our home office space when we’re in it every day. But taking a few pictures of it— and looking at them when you’re in a different environment—is a good way to have more of a “bird’s eye” view, and spot clutter where you might not have otherwise. [If you get stuck, ask a friend or colleague you trust to look at the photos and offer suggestions.]
Add Storage—or Space— Or Both
If you’ve got too much must-have stuff in your office even after sorting through it. You can either enlarge your space, or find some creative storage solutions. Here are a few ideas:
- Use the space under your desk
- Try Pegboard
- Use magnets
- Get some Stackable drawers and containers
Just start small— every inch of space can be used. And every little bit of organization goes a long way.
Find things a Home
As you’re sorting, give every item a dedicated spot to go. And make sure you put it back there when you’re done using it. It sounds simple, but it’s one of the easiest ways to keep things organized throughout the week.
Dedicating 5-10 minutes at the end of each day to putting things “where they live”, get rid of what you don’t need, and set out what you need for the next morning is a great way to maintain organization— and start your next day in the office free of distractions.
Keeping it simple is key— every little bit of organization will help. Getting that clutter out of sight will help keep your mind free of unwanted distractions, too!