As work from home becomes the new normal (never a day without a cliche), I find I keep refining my processes and organizing my papers, projects, and samples in a more streamlined way in effort to minimize the space they take up. A dedicated room as a home office is ideal, but in smaller urban homes, that isn’t always possible. Still, you can have a system that keeps everything at your fingertips or where you can easily put your hands on something when you need it with planful office organization. It just takes a bit of planning.

Steps to get your home office organized and more streamlined

Take everything out

You can’t begin to get organized until you can see what you have that needs to be organized. By pulling it all out in full view you can begin to see how much you have to work with and how much storage you will need.

Group like items

Group like with like.

Here’s my list so you get the idea:

  1. Pencils, pens, erasers, sharpeners, stapler…basic writing tools
  2. Note papers and notebooks
  3. Drafting supplies and tools: templates, graph paper, french curve, tracing paper, drafting pencils… everything I need when I want to get into my right brain with some graphite and paper.
  4. Clipboards – one for each project
  5. Paint fan decks (I have too many)
  6. Sample books
  7. Sample swatches

Review quantities and edit

I never met a paint fan deck I didn’t love and find useful, but do I need duplicates of each? No. When I look through my supplies, I usually find I have added more pencils, pens, notebooks (swag from many trade events) than I will ever need. This is your chance to get real and edit your collections down to what you really need. Storing them will be easier and more importantly, finding what you need will be much easier if you don’t have to wade through a lot of stuff you don’t use to find the one thing you can never put your hands on.

Find a charity or cause

I find it much easier to let go of things if I find someone who might benefit from them. Design schools, for example are always happy to take expired sample books for students’ use.

Once I edit, I look for someone who might need the excess I have accumulated. Think about who might benefit from things sitting idly in your space. There are schools who don’t have budget for extra supplies that would be grateful for donations. If not, day cares, community centres, and preschools also are happy to have extra supplies.

Review what you have kept and come up with a game plan

Some things need to be visible. I get that! My memory is visual and if I put certain things away, well, they just don’t exist anymore. So figure out what needs to be on open shelving or on your desk-top, and what you can safely put away.

Purchase products to help your new resolve

It is worth investing in some storage containers or better yet, a “system” to keep your things organized. I will share some fun products I found below.

Rinse and repeat

It is worth repeating the process from time to time as you accumulate more. To keep a well run office, review what is working and what isn’t and fine tune from time to time.

Favourite products to keep you organized

Break up the small items. A drawer filled with little things will quickly become chaos without an internal structure. Something as simple as a cutlery tray can separate pencils, pens, markers, staple removers, pencil sharpeners, etc.

Trade in your dysfunctional chair for an sleek ergonomic chair

Bulky chairs will only add to the cluttered look of a home office and volunteer the back to collect sweaters and the like. To keep your office organized and streamlined, we have a round-up of a few of our favourites.

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My standard disclaimer: Please note, some of these items may be offered through affiliate links which means I could get a small commission if you order. That will never influence what I find lovely and want to share with you. I always offer suggestions I would buy for my home or recommend to a client. Also, rest assured it won’t affect the price you would otherwise pay.

Psssst! We’ve made it easy for you to save this. Click the Pinit button (on the top left corner when you hover) to save it for later.