Organizing Your Home Office for Greater Productivity

Successful workers are nearly always those who have organized their office space and documents in both simple and creative ways. They’ve learned that working around a messy pile of papers nearly always slows them down and makes it harder to meet important deadlines.

Once you’ve organized your office, you’ll find that your increased sense of order will decrease your stress while also maximizing your productivity. You’ll know right where to find everything and can easily access basic office supplies in a matter of seconds.

This video discusses the importance of properly organizing your office furniture and equipment, as well as purchasing the files and general office supplies that you’ll need to maintain an efficient office system. Safety tips are minimal, although every professional is encouraged to be careful when moving heavy furniture like desks, file cabinets, and computer equipment. Always consider using a dolly for these tasks and getting help from others.

Arranging your office furniture and equipment

An efficient worker needs to be able to quickly slide into the desk chair and then easily access the computer and most files while still sitting down. If you’re operating on a tight budget, you may need to first place your files in boxes kept near the side of your desk. Once you can afford it, give serious thought to buying hanging files that can be placed inside one or more desk drawers.

Be sure to carefully arrange your computer equipment, including your printer, scanner, fax machine, and copier, so that you or your assistant can easily access them if they aren’t combined into one machine and can’t all be kept on or near the top of your desk.

If you cannot initially afford a regular desk with drawers, give serious thought to buying the type of moderate-sized flat table often sold in large office supply stores. Any chair well-suited to your size can be used, although it’s best to save up for a much better one designed to support your lower back and proper sitting posture.

Purchasing the most beneficial office supplies early on

Labeling your files is a critical aspect of keeping your office area organized. For this reason, it’s wise to invest in permanent dark marker pens and a reasonably priced label maker. You should also buy drawer organizers that will help you keep your pens, spare staples, masking tape, scissors and other supplies separate from each other. Try to limit what you keep on top of your desk to your computer, stapler, and frequently used fountain pens in a small upright container.

Larger supplies can include an empty plastic milk crate or two if you’re on a limited budget and need to use these as file drawers. Crates can also be used for storing paper and other general supplies if you don’t have wall cabinets or drawers for that purpose.

Try to also purchase a device made with a Velcro (or simple snapping) clasp for gathering together your equipment cords in an organized manner so you won’t trip on them. Oddly enough, it’s often quite useful to invest in a fairly large trashcan since you’ll need to learn to only keep hard copies of your most important documents. Less critical documents should be scanned and saved on your computer, in addition to possibly keeping secure extra copies on appropriate “cloud” systems.

Finally, be sure to purchase two or three stackable paper trays where incoming and outgoing mail needs to go, as well as carefully labeled, ongoing projects and research. You may also want to purchase an inexpensive bookcase or two for holding some of your most important reference materials.