Everyone knows it’s tough enough to keep your workspace tidy when you’re in the office and people can see your mess. Chances are your snack drawer is less than savoury, you haven’t got a pen in sight and the dust in your keyboard is piling just a little bit higher than is reasonable. The only thing you that has any sense of order is your files and we all know that’s only because the likelihood of an unexpected request for a long-lost document is somewhat higher in the office than it is at home. If this is something you can relate to, I would hazard a guess that you also find your home workspace a nightmare to keep on top of.
In your defence, keeping any part of the house consistently tidy can be a task and a half. If it isn’t the rushed meal before you head out the door or the kids (or partner) that seem to leave a trail of mess wherever they go, then it’s simply the appeal of your couch after a long day or that extra episode of your favourite TV show. But. If you follow these simple tips, you just might be able to turn over a new leaf and keep that home office tidy.
Organise, organise, organise.. obviously
Ok, I know. That seems like the simplest solution in the book. But it is there for a reason. If you can establish a system, a place and way for everything to run by and go to, then you’re likely to find it much easier to keep on top of things. Try to incorporate a bit of ‘why put it down when you can put it away’. Before you know it, not only is everything neater, but you also know where to find it.
If you’ve ever felt like things are a bit cluttered in your home office, it’s probably time for a clear out if not an upsize – whatever works for you. Doing a clear out can be great for the mental health, very symbolic of letting go. Not to mention it’s just always the right time to get rid of dead weight. Sort through the junk you no longer use and fill up that bin. Say goodbye to empty pens and redundant files… The less stuff you have to organise/tidy, the easier it’s going to be.
Endeavour to keep things clean, not just neat
The cleaner the space underneath your mess, the more likely you are to notice and make moves to tidy up after yourself. Much like you’ll notice the extra clutter on your deck when you go to give it a fresh coat of deck sealer or merbau stain, you’re going to notice the excess crap on your desk if the dust is cleared and the coffee rings are wiped. Every 6 months or so you should schedule in a deep clean. Get in there with that sugar soap and wooden floor cleaner – don’t forget those skirting boards. A deep clean doesn’t need to be done too frequently, but you’ll definitely notice the difference.
Onwards and upwards
Are you still filing papers away in an old school filing cabinet? Is there no rhyme or reason to what goes where? Is absolutely nothing grouped appropriately? Do you have a pile of unorganised documents waiting for a home? Don’t stress. You’re not alone. But I have some good news for you. Even before Covid came around and changed the face of office life, paper is out and the digital age is well and truly here. You only really need to keep your original legal documents, and then, have you got a scanner?
Sure, it probably seems like a daunting task to set aside the time to scan in and organise all your files, but once it’s sorted you can kick back. Or start your research on data backup and recovery in cloud computing…
Keep on the upward trend
Perhaps it’s time you do a little revamp of your home office space. Maybe the old layout just isn’t as functional as it once was. Maybe you need more space and less furniture. An upgrade is always a fun little project – even if it’s simply moving some furniture around. Wishy washy as it may sound, the energy of your office will certainly impact your productivity and motivation for both work and tidying.
You could even buy yourself a nice new ergonomic office chair. Or ditch the drawers you never use. Never underestimate the power of taking away to give your space a new feel. You could get right into it and refresh the carpet or add a bit of color to the walls. Install some nifty built in shelves with metal cladding. Who doesn’t love a nice big whiteboard to soundboard your new ideas and write yourself little reminders? Or, go old school and paint yourself a blackboard in – very stylish. But wait, don’t stop there, install yourself a timber feature wall and hang your favourite art. Make the space something you’re proud of and comfortable in, this can help trick our brains into feeling a sense of ownership and in turn a desire to keep it nice.
Build it into your routine
Lastly, and arguably the most important and efficient, is to add some simple tidying and organisation to part of your routine. Where you might otherwise breeze past it when you’re doing your household chores, take that extra 5 mins to run the vacuum around the floor, give your desks a wipe out. For heaven’s sake, clear out those empty mugs. If you don’t need it, file it where it belongs.. in the bin.
TOP TIP: If you’re someone who struggles to stick to anything that isn’t necessary to function – then make it part of your work schedule. We all love to feel like we’re slacking off. It’s a matter of fact that we spend more time socialising, walking to the bathroom or simply staring into space when we are in the office. So why not use that extra time to book yourself a wee 10-minute meeting once a week to do a tidy up of your office space. Just don’t keep snoozing the notifications. Having a nice, neat office space is very important and it is worth prioritising.