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Organising a home office is something that I’ve got a lot of experience with – I’ve been working from home for around 10 years now! My office in our old house was a computer cupboard in our bedroom…
When we moved house a couple of years ago, the plan was to build an extension, enabling me to have a dedicated room to call my office and workspace. Sadly, our finances dictated that this wasn’t going to happen as planned, and so, I’ve had to review the situation.
In an ideal world, I wouldn’t have my office in our bedroom, but there just isn’t anywhere else that I can allocate for this job. Fortunately though, we have a handy nook, around 5 ft x 4 ft, that I have [temporarily] been using since we moved in, but never really got it organised to act as a proper office.
I decided that 2015 was the year that we would finally sort out our home – we’ve procrastinated for way too long – but all that news is for another post! This one is how I set about organising a home office in a small space, and with 20 sq ft to work in, it’s about making the most of what is available!
The nook that my home office is situated is very cluttered – here is what it looked like before I started the job of organising the space. My desk (which for now is our old dining table!) had been turned so that we could stack our storage boxes, and, out of sight on the left are even more boxes. Having all that clutter around me for
months years, it’s no wonder that I continually felt disorganised!
First order of business was to reduce the clutter. We’ve just had our loft boarded up, finally giving us lots of storage space. A lot of our stuff is still in cardboard boxes, (nearly 2 years after moving!), so I went to our local Tesco to buy a couple of large plastic storage boxes to keep our things more safe and secure. I can be ruthless when it comes to decluttering, so it wasn’t long before the old cardboard boxes were emptied, sorted and either bagged for rubbish, donated to a charity shop or placed in the new plastic boxes, ready for my husband to put up in the loft.
My desk needed some serious organisation as well, so I browsed the stationery aisle for supplies. There were lots of pretty boxes and files to choose from, and I fell in love with the Japanese Geisha range that Tesco currently have in store. I didn’t go mad buying ALL the storage supplies, but a few choice things that I knew I would need and, most importantly, make good use of.
Even in this digital age, I still love to browse magazines, and have subscriptions to several different ones. I bought cardboard magazine boxfiles (£2.50 each) to keep them all in. I love having them sitting on my desk as just looking at them is enough to fire inspiration in me. They are now within easy reach if I want to have a browse, rather than tucked away in an old box.
I also bought myself a new diary (£2.50) and buying it a few weeks into the new year means that it was reduced in price – score!
I like to have most things hidden away, but within easy reach. My old pen holder (the green monstrosity in one of the photos above!) got on my nerves. I hated it being on my desk because it was ugly, and way too big, plus, I had a habit of just throwing anything in there and quite often it became overfilled with random junk. I bought myself this cute geisha pen pot (£3.75), room only for a few of my favourite pens, and the rest are now tucked away inside the black drawer unit (£2 – BARGAIN!) The drawers are big enough for a stack of printer paper, another thing I hate being in sight, and the final drawer is filled with office supplies like scissors, hole punch, tape etc.
Finally, I bought a pinboard (£3.50) and push pins (£1) to hang next to my desk – I often write little notes on scraps of paper and being able to pin them somewhere is really handy for me so that they don’t get lost. I created some to-do list printables a couple of years ago that I still use, and they get pinned up too.
Please do excuse the ripped wallpaper – we are about to start redecorating!
I’m pretty chuffed with the before and after! For less than £50, I’ve been successful in organising a home office in a small space. Already I can feel the difference – a messy desk equals a messy mind, and that is no good at all! I am actually looking forward to “going” to work on Monday morning now!
10 Tips For Organising A Home Office In A Small Space
- Measure your space – how much room do you have to work with?
- Declutter – throw out/donate stuff that you do not need/want/use.
- Recycle/upcycle an existing table to save money on buying a new desk.
- Sketch out a plan – it helps you to see how you need to organise things.
- Give everything a “home” – a place for everything, and everything in its place!
- Make it pretty – yes an office has to be functional, but make it personal to you too so that you will enjoy working in the space.
- Make use of dead space – under your desk, on the walls for example.
- Keep things minimal – this is especially important in a small office, you don’t want to feel enclosed and cluttered.
- Lighting – I have a lamp that clips to the side of my desk, saving space. My office nook can become dark when it’s grey and miserable outside!
- Re-evaluate the space -if after a few weeks (or even days!) you don’t feel that something is working, don’t be afraid to change things up. It isn’t until you use your home office that you know if something works well or doesn’t.
I have really enjoyed organising my office over the past few days, and I hope my post has given you some ideas of how you can start organising a home office of your own.
Do you work from home? What tips have you got for home office organisation? Let me know in the comments section below this post, I love hearing from my readers!