Whether you work in a creative field or consider yourself an artistic person, you definitely want an inviting office space that sparks your creativity.
While we’d all love to work in a serene, private setting, one that’s separate from our home life and solely dedicated to our creative pursuits, a more likely scenario is that we’re channeling the muses while sitting next to piles of junk mail and catalogs, or our children’s toys.
There are lots of great reasons to organize our home office space. Chief among them is that an organized space can be conducive to our creative work. While clutter may not seem like a big deal, and some artists might even thrive in messy spaces, the sight of a disorganized space can be emotionally impactful for a lot of people.
Our physical space can often be a manifestation of what we’re going through internally, and affect us psychologically. When we feel stressed, we have less time to clean and organize, and then the sight of clutter makes us feel more stressed and anxious, which then turns into an unproductive cycle.
Aside from having an easier time finding your supplies, here are some of the other great benefits to having a clean and organized office space:
- Clean spaces help you concentrate
- Clean spaces help you feel more relaxed
- Clean spaces help you feel more motivated to work
Plus, the act of cleaning can feel therapeutic and cathartic. It can also create a great sense of accomplishment when you see the end results.
So if you’re ready to tackle your home office, here are action steps you can take to start cleaning and organizing your space, so that it can soon become a haven for your creative work.
Declutter your office space
Before you even get started on organizing your home office, you’ll want to do some deep decluttering first, and that means clearing out documents, office supplies you no longer use, and other miscellaneous items that don’t belong (expired batteries I’m looking at you!).
We’ll admit, this part can be pretty overwhelming, especially if you, like most people, have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. But all the hard work will be *so* worth it when you see the end result, and you’ll feel like a huge weight has been lifted, physically and emotionally. As we mentioned, our physical spaces have a big impact on our emotional states. When we see clutter, we’re more likely to feel stressed and anxious, which can lead to procrastination. But when we see clear, open spaces, we’re excited about spending time in that space and feel more motivated to work.
Here are some steps you can take to streamline your office clutter:
From junk mail to credit card statements to magazine issues we keep telling ourselves we’ll read one day, paper clutter is usually the main culprit of a messy home office.
First, sort your documents into three piles: recycle, shred, file.
Recycle: Be honest with yourself about periodicals that you’re holding onto. Are you really going to read that magazine issue from 2018? Do you really plan to do that 5-year-old crossword puzzle? Remind yourself that you can probably find a version of that article online. You can also recycle notes, expired calendars, and other office documents that are no longer relevant. Before eliminating them, make sure they don’t have your personal information like account numbers and your date of birth. Anything with identifying information should be sent to the “shred” pile.
Shred: You’ll want to shred documents that have sensitive personal information like bank statements, insurance statements, and credit card offers.
File: Finally, create a file folder for essential documents like social security records, tax documents, important papers for work, etc.
Now that we have our paper clutter under control, let’s move on to other items in your office space.
Bits & bobs
These are random household items that find their way into your workspace. From old mugs to tupperware to your kids’ toys and clothes, you’re going to want to find a new designated space for them. Similar to the paper clutter, sort these objects in three piles: toss, donate, or designate a new space for them. This could mean putting items back where they belong or finding a bin to place them in.
Office tools & supplies
Purge any office tools that are no longer in working use. This means: pens, markers, highlighters, basically anything that has run out of ink. Toss empty white out containers and scotch tape, and empty boxes.
If you love books as much as we do, we know how hard it must be to part with them. It seems sacrilegious to toss them, but at the same time, you also don’t want them accumulating on your floor. If you’re looking for a more dignified way of dealing with book clutter, you can always donate your books to a Little Library or used bookstore.
Okay, so you’ve done the hard part. Now it’s time to start organizing your items and curating your office space.
Office organization ideas for your desk
There’s something about the sight of a clean, expansive office desk that gets you all excited to hunker down or crack open your journal to write. Here’s how you, too, can achieve the clutter-free look for your desk.
Paper is just one of those things that you’ll have to regularly keep your eye on before it gets out of control. Make it easier on yourself by corralling key documents in a document tray. A tray is functional and also adds a nice structural element to your desk. Depending on your aesthetic, get a paper tray in a bold hue to add some brightness to your work space or opt for a subtle tone to keep it minimalist and sophisticated. What to store in your document tray: to-do lists, memos, documents that you need to take action on.
Another way to keep your documents organized? A pretty binder. You can store your essential paperwork in this sophisticated white binder. It’s so nice to look at that you’ll actually want to display it on your desk. It also comes in this subtle metallic cover. It’s easy to find yourself excited about organizing once you have a cute binder on hand.
Office organization bins
Use pretty bins to store your office supplies. You can designate a bin for stationery, cords, chargers, and computer accessories. Not only are bins a great solution for taming home office clutter, but they are stylish enough to display in your room.
Washi tape is a cute and decorative way to keep your office supplies organized. Use washi tape to label file folders and have an easier time sorting through them. Tip: Go with solid washi tape for marking up folders since it will be easier to read your handwriting against it. Opt for patterned washi tape to add a decorative touch to plastic bins or jars.
Cute office supplies
A creative office space wouldn't be complete without cute office supplies. You’ll have an easier time getting into a creative headspace when you’re surrounded by cheerful pens and stunning notebooks and bright stationery. Plus, giving your office tools an upgrade is a nice way to make your space look new and welcoming, without breaking the bank.
Refresh your current tools with these fun, colorful updates:
- Glitter pens for marking up your planner and notebooks
- Pretty notebooks for brainstorming and journaling
- Bright stationery for sending thank you notes
- Floral folder to organize your documents in a cute and stylish way
Office inspiration board
Spark your creativity with an office inspiration board. You can use this small cork board to visualize your dreams while also maximizing your office space. Or add a framed photo of your favorite city or a destination that inspires.Looking for more home office organization tips? Here are small office ideas for working from home.