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Be more efficient in your home office

If your home office is overflowing with clutter, perhaps it's time to look at getting a bit more organised. If your office is organised you will automatically become more efficient!


Desk Drawers

Traditional desks with drawers, or drawer cabinets on wheels, provide additional storage for things you would prefer to keep out of view. But the problem with drawers is precisely that everything is hidden. It's easy to put things there without thinking, and the drawers can quickly turn into clutter buckets. To make best use of your drawers and keep them as organised as possible, commit each drawer to one type of storage, and partition drawers as necessary to keep things neat. Make a date to clean out your drawers once a month.


Your desktop should provide enough room for basic office tools and for space to comfortably work, write, to open your mail, and to review files as necessary. There should be enough room around everything to allow movement — so you don't bump your computer monitor while reaching for a pencil. In figuring out how big your desk needs to be, you should work with the other zones of the home office. For instance, you may prefer to use a desktop wire file-organiser for often-needed files. But if the home-office space will not accommodate a large desk, those files are better placed in the front of your file cabinet or in a drawer. Or where possible, make full use of the space behind the monitor for shelving or wall-mounted baskets.


Capture your cords with a cord organiser. There are two types: flexible tubes that keep the cords concealed so you can run a bundle of cords wherever they need to go and rigid cord "channels" that also contain all your cords in one outer shell. Although less flexible, the channels are more easily attached to surfaces such as the underside of your desk or wall baseboards. Lengths of rigid channels are put together by combining sections of straight pieces and corner "elbows." Both flexible and rigid organisers are available in a wide selection of colours, finishes, and materials. You can also choose from simple, less-expensive plastic braces with clip-in slots for cables and wires. One is positioned about every half a metre to keep the cords and wires untangled and running parallel for their length. For a temporary solution, fasten wires together with cable ties. When you need to move to a more permanent position, simply cut off the ties.


Set up a mail station in the entryway. If you have open wall space, mount wood or metal wall files like those used for magazines, or hang a decorative fabric pouch. If you have a table in your entryway, use trays or bins to keep mail tidy. Whatever storage solution you use, keep it out in the open so that you'll see when you have a backlog of mail and be more likely to deal with it.

Phone Station

If the phone serves a dual purpose as a means of communication for your home and your office, mount the phone so that it is easily accessible to those areas, The phone station should include a "frequently called" number list with emergency numbers, a notepad of some sort, takeout menus, and a pen. A nice idea is to create a magnetic notepad (you can use Rust-Oleum Magnetic Paint for this) with the pen on a cord, and use a magnetic pocket to keep menus and other papers organised. Or have a tray next to the phone, and keep notepad and papers confined in the tray.

good housekeeping magazine


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