The Home Office Makeover

It always makes me happy when my friends keep tabs on what’s going on over here – especially when they ask me for organization tips!

Because I’m riding the wave of accomplishment by writing this post in my home office, I figured now is the perfect time to share some of my favorite tips for tackling the home office makeover. Most of these are applicable to any room or project, and you can tweak them to best fit your specific project, but I will refer to just about everything as it applies to the home office.

Remember, the key to successful organization is that the finished space works with your needs and helps make things easier to accomplish so you canfocus on living your life!

Shannon’s Home Office Makeover Guide

As much as I would love to take credit for being a total genius – and I will – I can’t claim the bulk of these ideas as my own. I’ve done a lot of reading about organization so if something sounds familiar but isn’t cited, let me know!

A place for everything

One of the biggest hurdles to putting things in their proper place is that you haven’t actually decided where that proper place should be. Organization demands that you give things a home; otherwise, it is all too easy to turn a table or counter into a dumping ground. Use your space wisely, and choose homes that make sense for your items. For the home office, keep pens and stationery on, in, or near your desk since that’s where you will (hopefully) be using them most of the time.

Using organizing cubes or storage drawers can help you maximize vertical space without making it difficult to get to things that you will need. And never underestimate the aesthetic appeal and functionality of a good shelf!

…and everything in its place.

If it doesn’t belong in the home office, take it out of the home office. Baby clothes and toys should go in the nursery. Dishes should go in the kitchen…you get the idea. Clearing away what doesn’t belong will free up space you didn’t realize you had for the things that do need to stay in your home office. At the same time, it also makes it easier to focus on your purpose for being in there. You can’t attend to writing a blog post, for example, if you are worried about the totes of Christmas decorations that need to go up to the attic because, you know, it’s the middle of July. (It’s also difficult to do when your kid is crying, but that’s an entirely different post!)

Purge. Ruthlessly.

If you haven’t set eyes on it, let alone used it in more than six months, you will most likely not miss it. You can sell or donate the items that are still in good working order – it’s nice to help others out, and you can net a few dollars to purchase things you actually need for your home office. Also, look for duplicates and multiple items that you can pare down when only one will do.

This step is good to repeat a few times per year, not just during “makeover” time. For bonus purge points, make a calendar reminder to do a day of culling clutter each season.

Establish a flow.

Work flow is incredibly important to get the most out of your home office. Set things up, again, so you can accomplish as much as possible in as little time as possible. For my direct selling sisters (and brothers) out there, if you store inventory in your home office then have it sorted and placed for easy pickings. Store your display products together and, ideally, packed to grab and go for an event. No matter your vocation, systems are important!

Systems are even more important if your home office is shared space. I’m not advocating for a line down the middle (unless…you’re into that kind of thing), but have some means of separation. Label one drawer, shelf, or corner of the room as yours and contain your work in that area.

Bring it to life!

Finally, don’t be afraid to bring your personality into your home office space. Pictures, decorations, and the right shade of paint can spark your creativity and help you feel more at home in your office – and it’s invariably easier to work in a space that feels comfortable. Tweak the decor to accommodate clients or outside guests in your office, and of course don’t forget to compromise if you’re sharing space!

I feel invigorated when I sit down at my desk and see pictures of my family and friends. I have silk flower arrangements everywhere for color and so I don’t kill a living plant, and the walls of my office are a bright Caribbean blue. I feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready to get down to business when I walk into this room. (Now, if I could only put a lock on the door…)

What tips would you add to achieve a successful home office makeover?