Face the facts, your home office is an utter mess,, and you know there has to be an easier way to get rid of that giant clutter you don’t know what to do with.
Or maybe you are a newbie home office owner looking to get some insight on what sort of home office hacks you can learn and pursue today to help you be that much more proficient.
In this post, I want to show you some of my personal office hacks that have gotten me to be a lot more productive in all aspects of my online business that I know can help you too.
Although you can very much create a home office for less than $100, sometimes it’s better to salvage what you have as it tweaks it in a way that helps you, the person using this home office.
1. Sort Out Your Messy Papers
As you grow your home business and your office starts to look a little bit on the ‘unorganized’ side, your documents and paperwork can get all in a mess.
However, I have found a simpler way to sort out this giant scramble, and oftentimes, you can resurrect old projects that you had forgotten 😛
I would recommend you use this method once a week to avoid it happening again.
Use the system-of-three technique:
- Toss it
- File It
- Take action
2. Color-Code Filing System
This is something I should have done when I created my first home office.
The number of times my desk would end up in a huge mess was ridiculous, and I could never find what I was looking for.
I decided to color-code my papers and other important documents by categories.
For example, you could do the following:
- Blue: Everything related to your home
- Yellow: Insurance
- Orange: Personal
- Green: Financial
- Red: Medical
These are just recommended colors as they fit well with the category, but you can pick and choose which ones will work best for you.
Add extra categories as you see fit, but don’t get carried away, or you’ll just make things that much more complicated.
3. Inbox and Outbox – Mail Sorter
I noticed that I can use the email inbox and outbox method for my home office, which has been incredibly useful ever since I started using it.
What you can do is have a mail station, and tend to it once a week to stop it from getting piled up too much.
I like to have a folder for incoming mail and outgoing mail. This is a lot easier than having a bunch of mixed papers sitting around on your desk.
4. Go Vertical
So much space is wasted when you don’t use the wall to its full potential.
You could have the smallest office in the world and be a lot more organized than bigger offices – considering they don’t know how to set out their office the correct way.
Add shelves to your walls, hang filing systems, whiteboards, calendars, and more.
There is just too much potential for your home office when you include the wall, and it is something not to pass up.
It also just looks cooler.
5. Label Maker
This one seems so simple yet it is usually overlooked by most office owners. If you can, try to invest in a label maker and make your office more functional and organized.
You can label pretty much everything, drawers, boxes, files, and containers.
If you don’t have the funds to get a label maker, I’m sure masking tape and a pen will do the trick 🙂
6. The Power of Boxes
You can also help declutter your office by keeping paperwork and stationery items in containers, boxes, baskets, and drawers.
You don’t even have to put them out of sight.
A couple of plastic containers or boxes sitting in the corner of the room will still make you look like an organized office professional.
7. Printing Station
Your desk has enough items on it as it is.
Having a printer sitting on your workstation is just going to make it harder for you to stay well-organized.
I would prefer you have a designated printing station, usually on the other side of the room, away from all other items, to help give your office a nice flow throughout.
I would recommend a wireless printer, so you don’t have to keep it on your desk.
Anyway, placing your printer and printer supplies in a cabinet will work perfectly.
This is my best friend, and I use the crap out of it.
If you have one of these bad boys and it’s sitting there collecting dust, you might want to utilize it more as it will help with your overall work.
You may or may not be a teacher, but a whiteboard is incredibly useful when you need to write down some quick notes or a must-notice reminder.
Sometimes, you need to sketch out your thoughts.
This is when a whiteboard could be something to consider.
9. Charging Station
Nowadays, as technology is becoming more and more popular and the number of gadgets available is increasing at a fast rate, the times when you needed to charge your mobile phone only has gone.
You can’t just charge your tablet, mobile phone, camera, iPod, work phone, and other technology gadgets on your desktop, and these require a lot of space and voltage.
It’s only necessary to have your own charging station to avoid excessive overload sitting on your desk, thus making less space for you to work with.
10. Take Control of Your Cords
Cords, cords everywhere. I literally hate them when they are in plain sight, and they really annoy the hell out of me (lol).
There’s just something that makes you happy when you can keep your cords and wires out of the way and completely out of sight if done correctly.
One method I like to do is to get a piece of cardboard (roughly 10×10 inches) and wrap your cords around it, hide the piece of cardboard behind your desk, and you have perfectly hidden wires that are NOT going to tangle and are not going to be spotted by the first person that enters your office.
I usually wake up at 4 am to get most of my work done, but when I see the sun coming up it refreshes me and gives me that extra boost of energy.
Try to get as much sunlight as you can in your home office for those days when you need a little pick-me-up to get you through the day.
Also, use a desk lamp with just the right amount of light and not blind you while you’re trying to get work done.
12.) Keeping the Perfect Temperature
Getting productive work done is best when you’re home office is at the perfect temperature.
Depending on what the weather is like where you’re from, you will need to adjust accordingly.
If it gets a little on the hotter side, you might need to get some blinds or something to cover those windows that gave you the light for hack #11.
If it gets too cold, you will need to turn the heat up and maybe even wear some cold-weather gear.
13.) Mouse and Keyboard
Sure I’ve had a nice touchpad to go with my Mac, but I always seem to go back to your traditional mouse as they are just that much more convenient.
Although I do have a Mac, I still got an aftermarket mouse as I’ve just had too many problems with the OE version.
The keyboard works great as it is simple and I like the way there’s not much pressure needed to type.
If your keyboard is not doing the job, you might want to find something that does.
You might also want to get one of those gel pads that support your palms so you don’t get sore from all that typing.
14.) More Screen
I was working with my desktop and laptop side by side for the longest time before figuring out that I should make the investment and get another computer monitor.
Not only was I able to get more computer desktop space, but I was able to use both screens at the same time.
If you run a blog or deal with something that could use more screens, this is a great idea and will help you be that much more productive.
15.) Your Home Office Chair
I can’t even remember when I got my Amazon Basics Mid Back office chair, but it has definitely taken quite the beating.
Rather than ditching it, I have done some minor hacks to get it looking like a functional home office chair.
First, I took the seat cushion from one of our old dining chairs, which not only concealed the worn-out pleather but it is a heck of a lot more comfortable.
Now the back support part of this chair just looks crazy as the pieces are still falling off up until this day, but with an old t-shirt, I have covered it and it now looks like I’m just trying to be creative.
A home office can be a valuable room in your house, ONLY if you use it correctly.
I recommend that you go big if possible, and get extra storage such as filing cabinets or drawer cabinets.
This is especially true if you are a business owner or you work with a lot of documents.
Paperwork can build up fast believe it or not, and without the proper knowledge to keep everything organized and having your home office in a functional manner is just going to make your life that much harder while stressing you out in the process.
Don’t let this happen to you, learn to keep documents organized and you will have a much easier time in the office.
I hope these office hacks help you become that much more productive and please do share some of yours as I’m sure we can benefit too.
These are all good ways to be more productive but I just loved the coloring method. I have many files and I always had to open and look whether that is the file I am looking for or not. This will save me some of time.
Yeah it will definitely save you some time Furkan and thanks for the comment.
Great post.I love reading this, I agree that we can be more productive if we arrange our office layout. I think we can do this in the office, so our office will be more clean, tidy and we not stress out. Your final tips about the chair I totally agree. We have to change our seat to an ergonomic chair because we sit for a long time when we work.Thanks for the tips
All your hacks can be sort in two groups: Keep an organize work space and keep your working space comfortable for you. Another way to keep things organize is to use the 5S which is a Japanese methodology for workplace organization. This is very important not only for a home office but for any kind of work place.