How to Maximize Office Space: Even in a Home Office

 

Clutter

Remove all clutter. If items have a home, put them in it after unemotionally asking yourself if something is needed. If it is not needed, immediately consider if it should be stored for inevitable future use, given to charity, or sold.  Then act on that instinct immediately. Don’t wait until you think up an excuse to keep the clutter. 

 

Move Up

Frequently we put many things in sitting and standing line of vision. This affords space high up toward the ceiling. This is a great place for periodic use shelves or for sentimental items that you’d like to be able to see but don't need for daily physical access. 

 

Distractions

Consider what visual distractions you can eliminate. You likely don’t realize how often you turn your head and stare at something in your space. However everything in your space can be a positive or negative distraction. Remove those distractions. Listen carefully for the auditory distractions. Making or buying a simple draft stopper for the foot of your door and your window seals is a simple and inexpensive way to limit much of the noise that makes you feel cooped up. 

 

Furniture

Think about the furniture you have and how you can adapt it to the space. Can removing a little-used piece of exercise equipment or a section of your dining room table create more physical space for moving around? If so then do it. Many of us face far more things in our space than is comfortable. 

If you have a filing cabinet, now is a great time to scan all of the needed contents to your cloud or to Google Drive and then recycle the files. Once the filing cabinet is empty you can recycle the entire thing since most are metal and can be turned into something useful for someone else. If you live somewhere where free recycling of metal goods isn’t available, you can list your filing cabinets as available for free on Craig’s List's free page or on Freecycle. 

 

Keep Current

Recycle all old stationary that has outdated logos, addresses, or contact names on it. 

If you have office supplies you don’t need you can gift them to a local school or another local charity. 

Make sure that all supplies in your space are things you need and will use regularly, both now and in the future. 

 

Storage

When we think about storage we frequently think of storage units, attics, and under bed space. However there are many storage options for your office. The key is to eliminate any unneeded items first; that way you can have a clear understanding of what you actually need to store before you do so. Do you really need three staplers in your home office? Probably not. Even small things like old pens can become a storage burden if you don’t need them and keep them around. 

When considering renting a storage unit, realize that it is paying to keep everything in that unit every month. Ask yourself, “Would I re-purchase the items in this storage area every month for the storage rate?” If the answer is no, clean it out and find other homes for those goods. 

 

Hidden Furniture

Retractable furniture doesn’t end at Murphy beds. You can buy shelves that flip up and down too. Think about what can be easily stored away and what you’d like round the clock access to. 

 

Paper

As much as possible, try to rely less on paper. This prevents you from utilizing a significant amount of space for the storage of multiple types of paper, ink, and the printer. 

 

Light

Light in a space can be a key way to make the space feel warm, bright, welcoming, and productive. Carefully consider your light. Switching around light fixtures and lightbulbs throughout your space can be an inexpensive way to make an immediate difference. If you want to treat yourself consider purchasing light bulbs for night time for your bedroom or wherever you read or work prior to going to sleep for the night.

 

Keep it Clean

Create times in your schedule to declutter and clean. This prevents things from building up and becoming overwhelming. It also means your space will always be as free as possible from the clutter and visual distractions that take away from productivity and enjoyment of your space. 

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