Our Guide to Keeping Your Home Office Clutter-Free
Your home office doesn’t have to be a mess.
The home office attracts clutter faster than you can clear it. That’s just the way it is. When you’re living and working in the same place and you don’t hire a cleaning service, you’ll inevitably get caught up in your own mess.
But that’s no excuse for leaving your place in a mess. If you adopt good practices and put in a bit of extra effort, you can at least maintain a constant level of clutter. If you’re especially diligent, you might even clear the clutter entirely! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. For starters, here are a few tips you can follow to keep your work space under control:
1) Use a physical message board
Besides being fun, message boards are a good way to keep your to-do list visible and updated. Despite the convenience of technology, it’s surprisingly easy to procrastinate on keeping digital lists up to date. Placing a big whiteboard behind your monitor is a good way to keep track of appointments, to-do items, and long-term goals, while doubling as a doodling surface for when your focus slips for a moment.
2) Save desk space with wall-mounted monitors
If your desk is facing a wall and you use computer monitors rather than just a laptop, you can save space by mounting the monitors to the wall. Not only does this give your screens more physical flexibility, but it also gets those bulky monitor bases off your desk.
For best results, the extra tabletop real estate should be dedicated to desktop organizers to keep your physical materials in one place. Pens, whiteboard markers, and erasers should be kept in one container. As a general rule, it’s better to sub-categorize your items than to leave them sprawled off on a large surface like a desk.
3) Cable management
As anyone who has assembled a computer would know, cable management is a nightmare if you’re not good at it. Much like the tangled cords of iPhone earbuds in your pocket, computer cables will find a way to knot themselves under your desk even if you never touch them.
For a cheap and simple solution, try using velcro wraps to isolate groupings of cables. The fewer loose cables you have, the less likely they are to get caught up in one another.
4) Make the most of vertical space
It’s tempting to see work space in a narrow eye-to-hip vertical range, because that’s where we can most easily reach with our hands. For infrequently used items, however, vertical storage could be a significant space-saver. Having to stand up and stretch to reach a distant shelf is a small price to pay for getting unnecessary documents off your desk, especially if you’re only doing it a couple times a month.
The list could go on and on, but hopefully this sets you on track for cleaning out some of your home clutter. For all the time entrepreneurs spend thinking about time management and personal productivity, it’s important to remember that physical neatness is the most low-effort path to a real productivity boost.