Whether you work from home full-time or use your home office as a command center for your household, being organized is a must. Usually, you’re dealing with a lot of items, ranging from electronics to paperwork to office supplies. If you don’t spend time keeping everything in order, your home office becomes harder to use. You won’t be able to find what you need quickly and easily, and that costs you valuable time.
Luckily, whipping your home office isn’t shape doesn’t have to be challenging. Here are 7 organization hacks for your home office.
1. Color-Coded Files
If you have to keep track of paperwork, color-coded files can make a world of difference. You can separate your work and home documents and tell at a glance which files are which. It also makes it easier to put things away. Just look for the right color file.
You can use any color-coding approach that feels right for you. For example, if you run a home business, you might use a green file for income records and a red one for expenses. Then, you can tell right away what kinds of documents are where, making this organization hack a real time saver.
2. Set Up a Mail Station
Even though many people get their bills electronically, most households still get quite a bit of mail. By setting up a mail station, you can make sure that incoming mail is sorted quickly. You can have a basket for bills and personal files for every family member. That way, you can sort each piece quickly and know where things are at a glance.
If you want to go a step further with your mail station organization hack, place a document shredder near your mail station. That way, when you get credit card offers or other items that you don’t need to keep but don’t want to toss directly in the trash, you can shred them immediately.
3. Create Your Own Dry Erase Boards
Dry erase boards are great for tracking to-do lists, schedules, and more. But many store-bought options are surprisingly expensive. Luckily, making your own dry erase board is really easy.
You don’t need a special material to use dry erase markers. They work on many clear plastics and glass. As a result, any picture frame that still has its glass can become a dry erase board.
4. Embrace (Free) Containers
Containers are critical if you want to stay organized. It allows you to put small items in a designated spot, ensuring they don’t end up scattered throughout a drawer or all over your desk. But you don’t have to hit the store and spend a bundle to get the containers you need. If you’re like most households, you probably have some great options already.
If you’re looking for free containers, use the upcycling approach. A soup or coffee can be a sturdy option, for example. Shoe boxes are another great upcycling opportunity, as well as glass jars that you get when you buy spaghetti sauce, salsa, and many other products.
It usually isn’t difficult to dress up these free containers either. You might be able to use some spray paint, fabric scraps, cord (for wrapping), and similar options to make your free containers look chic.
5. Label Your Lidded Containers
If you’re using lidded containers, make sure you label them. Whether you write directly on the lid or use a label maker, the important part is to choose an approach that lets you know what’s inside without having to open it. That way, you won’t have to dig through several containers to figure out where something is. Plus, it increases the odds that you’ll use each container for a precise purpose.
6. Think Vertical for Storage
Many home offices are a bit on the smaller side, so you need a storage organization hack to maximize your use of space. You might not have the option to bring in tons of furniture or have access to an ample closet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great ways to increase your storage capabilities.
If you need more storage options, think vertical. Your walls can be a resource when you make the most of that space. Installing shelves, hanging clips, and hooks can give you much more room than you had before. You can even mount slim boxes, cups, or other containers onto walls.
7. Label Your Cables
Cables can quickly become a jumbled mess if you have a handful of them all running to the same power strip or connecting to the same computer. Make it easier to figure out which is which by putting a label around each cable. Get some colorful washi tape and write what each cable does on it. Then, wrap it around the end of the cable. Now, if you need to unplug something fast, you know exactly which one to pull.
Ultimately, all of the tips above can help you organize your home office. Plus, most of them are incredibly low-cost, making them viable options for households on a budget or anyone who enjoys saving a pretty penny.