Home Office Organization Tips - Make a Low Stress Environment
Article brought to you by: Phillip Donaldson
Having an organized home office is essential for people who work from home either full or part-time. A home office is also valuable for dealing with the paperwork and tasks that are part of everyday life. A house doesn't have to be very large to have a home office. If there isn't space for an office in its own room, people can make an office in a small part of a larger room. Keeping the office organized is part of making it a place to be productive. Organization tips are helpful for creating a space that allows a person to work quietly and efficiently.
Choosing a Location
The home office doesn't have to be located in its own room. It can be a sectioned off part of the living area or dining room. Some people might place their home office in the kitchen, depending on the size and layout of their home. Ideally, the location for the home office will have enough room for a desk and chair, ample storage space, such as a closet or room for a filing cabinet, and adequate lighting.
Knowing how the office will be used is part of choosing a location for it. If a person plans on having clients visit the home office, it might not be ideal to put the office in the kitchen. Offices that require a lot of equipment might need their own separate room or they might need to be located in a room that doesn't see a lot of use, such as a guest bedroom. The office should be placed far away from distractions, such as the television or the area where children play.
Choosing Furniture and Decorations
One of the benefits of having a home office is being able to customize it to fit the person's personality. The office should be inviting and comfortable. People who sit throughout the day should consider ergonomics when choosing office chairs and furniture. A computer chair should adjust in several ways. A person should be able to adjust the height of the chair and armrests, the depth of the seat, and the tilt of the backrest.
Function matters over form when it comes to picking office furniture. A filing cabinet should offer enough space for a person to store all of their paperwork. A table or desk should be the right height. The table doesn't need to have built-in drawers, but having them can give a person extra organizing help.
The color of the room impacts a person's ability to work. Some wall colors are preferable over others. For example, blue can be a very calming color, which might not work in a home office. Some shades of yellow and red are also not suited to home offices as they are too stimulating and energetic and can make it difficult to focus. Neutral colors such as gray, beige and even green are often ideal for an office space.
Lighting the Office Room
No one wants to work in a room that's dark. The ideal home office space will have a window or skylight that lets natural sunlight in. Since the sun doesn't shine at all hours of the day, having other sources of light in an office is essential. The office should have a combination of general and task lighting. A desk lamp with an arm that adjusts is ideal for task lighting, as a person can move the light as needed to illuminate a task.
Overhead lights provide a general wash of light over a room. The light should brighten the whole room. To prevent glare, an overhead lamp shouldn't be positioned right above the computer monitor. Computer screens shouldn't face windows or other sources of light either.
Using Space Efficiently
Being organized means making the most of the space allowed. Part of using space efficiently is arranging the furniture in the home office so that items can be reached easily. For example, placing a filing cabinet near the desk is a good idea, as it means a person doesn't have to get up and walk across the room each time they need to file something. The same is true of putting the trash can near the desk.
Another part of using space efficiently is grouping items with like items. For example, pens, pencils and other writing instruments should be organized together in a drawer or on top of the desk. Paper and stationery should be stored together, so that a person has to go to a single location to get what they need to mail a letter or fill out a form. Using space efficiently also means processing paperwork and other materials and removing or discarding anything that is no longer needed from the office.
Shelves can allow a person to make the best use of space, especially if there is no closet available. A very small home office can feature shelves mounted to the wall. Wall shelves make use of vertical space that would otherwise go unused. Bookshelves can act as a filing cabinets, storage for office supplies, and as a place to display knickknacks and awards.
Benefits of Getting Organized
Time is money, and being organized allows a person to make the most of their time. Having a home office that is neatly organized will cut down on the time a person needs to find a file or to return a file to the appropriate spot. Office organization also reduces waste, as a person will be able to find items and won't purchase new ones to replace missing items. Getting organized in the home office also reduces stress considerably. People who are organized and orderly don't have to worry about misplacing papers or losing important information.
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- Organization Tips
- How to Design the Ideal Home Office
- How to Set Up a Home Office
- Finding Space for a Home Office
- Home Office and Ergonomic Assessment (PDF)
- Setting Up a Home Office: Making Environmental Choices (PDF)
- 10 Tips to Organize Your Office Space
- Home Office on a Budget
- 5 Easy Home Office Organizing Tips
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- Office Furniture
- Eliminate Cord Clutter