Happy 2016 one and all! I hope you had a fabulous holiday season and are ready to great the new year with enthusiasm and joy. I know I am, as by the time you read this we will be settled into our RV resort in Naples, Florida :).
Besides being my birthday month (hint, hint), January is one of the most popular months for the organization bug to hit, so I thought I’d start the year off on the right foot and begin with some ideas for organizing your home office.
These days, many of us have a home office, whether it’s the place where we actually work, or just a space where we take care of bills, correspondence or, like me, blog :).
A home office can quickly get unorganized, so why not take some time this month to whip it into shape?
Here are a few tips I’ve found to help you do just that!
- Make sure you have enough space to get the job done. Your office space doesn’t need to be huge, but it does need to be functional and meet your needs.
- Office supplies, files and other materials don’t necessarily need to be in or even near your desk if they’re not accessed routinely, but you do need to have a designated area for them, whether that’s a closet, dresser or even sets of baskets.
In a small space, it makes sense to utilize the wall space for storage. In this example, cubbies were mounted to the wall and magazine holders were screwed into the bottom of the cubbies for a creative mail sorter. I can’t quite be sure, but it looks like this ‘desktop’ might be a slab door. In my home office, I purchased two inexpensive hollow core doors and placed them on three Ikea cabinets.
- If you use something on a regular basis, give it prime real estate in your office. It will make your day-to-day life so much easier and more efficient.
- Set aside one day a week for filing so your paperwork doesn’t get out of hand.
Turn an existing dresser or other unit with deep drawers into a file cabinet with one simple addition: Install adjustable hanging file frames (available at office supply stores) in the drawers and develop a filing system with tabbed hanging folders.
Make a brightly colored convenient bulletin board from carpet squares. Find the tutorial here.
If you can’t spread your office out, then go up! Take advantage of vertical space with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.
There are so many beautifully patterned wallpaper and paper readily available. Why not brighten up some clipboards with your leftovers? Covered Clipboard Tutorial
Cupcake tins make perfect organizers for all those pesky small items in a desk drawer.
Elevate a boring cork board into a work of art. Cover a bulletin board with pretty fabric, frame it and hang from a wide ribbon. Framed Bulletin Board Tutorial
This definitely qualifies as an ‘why didn’t I think of that’ idea!? Turn a dish drainer into a mini file cabinet!
- A good office chair is a must! Try to find one with lumbar support, but in the meantime, use a pillow.
- Straighten out your desk after you are finished working. It will make you feel so much better the next time you sit down to work.
If you’re like me, you like unification with color. To create a pulled-together look, use binders, files and accessories in the same color.
Unused cans make practical and stylish organizers for small items or mail. Paint Can Cubbie Tutorial
Am I the only one who dislikes exposed cords and wires? My dream home would have outlets in the floors so lamps can be plugged in without showing, but until that day, I’ll organize power cords with inexpensive pipe insulation.
Here’s another use for soup or paint cans. Decorate with fabric, paint or paper and use to store pencils, pens or even paint brushes.
- Remember…have a place for everything, and put everything back where it belongs when you’re finished using it.
Another way to ‘think vertically’ is to hang clipboards and magnetic boards over your desk.
- Have trays labeled with action steps, such as to-do, to-file, to-read, and make sure it’s placed in the proper tray so you’ll be sure to deal with it.
A toothbrush holder and soap dish can be repurposed to hold writing utensils or other small items.
Want to see how I organized my sewing/craft space? It’s an old post and things have changed a bit, but I think you’ll still find some ideas useful. Click here to check it out.
I’m a pretty organized person by nature. Some might even say I’m a little OCD, and I wouldn’t argue with them, but one thing that isn’t organized are my photos. So I’m putting this out there and asking you all to hold me accountable, ok? 2016 is the year I take care of that!
In other news…
I’m writing this on New Year’s Eve day. We’ve been on the road for ten days, and I’m happy to say BAM has held up, but for the first five days we had no hot water, so fisherman tied me to the top of our car nekkid and drove through a car wash. It was exhilarating.
Fortunately the hot water wasn’t an issue with BAM, but was related to the winterization process that took place and a valve being closed that we were unaware of. We finally figured it out, much to the chagrin of car wash employees everywhere…or not ;).
We spent a quiet Christmas on Tybee Island near Savannah, and a not so quiet New Year’s with 300 of our nearest and dearest just outside of Tampa. I’m excited to be in Naples for a full month so we can really hunker down and get a true feel for what it’s like to be living in an RV on a long term basis.
While we were at the resort on Tybee Island, one of the workers was a retired woman who was probably in her mid to late 60’s and has been traveling solo for twelve years in a 32′ motorhome. She volunteers at most places in exchange for free sites.
I love that adventurist spirit, but I am not sure I could pull that off. Could you?
I’ll be back with a couple more organizing posts in the coming weeks, as well as some changes to Househoneys! Stay tuned!