This post was sponsored by Fellowes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Desks, command centers, and full rooms. Home office space take on many forms. Dance recital programs, bills, school notes, coupons, and to-be-read magazines. Home office clutter takes on many forms. One minute you are tearing up over your child’s first artwork sent home from school. The next minute you are trying to find the top of your desk and current electric bill under piles of 29 different pages of each letter of the alphabet. Where did the home office go?!
It’s okay, we’ve got this. Digging out from underneath a mountain of every test your child has taken is not impossible. Cleaning up home office clutter can be done without losing sanity. These tips and tricks for cleaning up home office clutter will have you loving your space in no time! First things first, don’t get overwhelmed and lose focus. Laura Stack, aka The Productivity Pro, suggests to time yourself on tedious tasks, like cleaning up clutter in the home office. Before you being, set a kitchen timer for a certain amount of time and do what you can. You can’t work non-stop, but you can work for 45 minutes. When you become focused time seems to fly, and you’ll get the job done easier and faster!
Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Up Home Office Clutter
#1 Fresh Start
The only way cleaning up home office clutter really works is with a fresh start. Empty all the drawers, bins, shelves and start with a blank space. Now you can really see everything that is taking up space and it will make the next step a lot easier.
#2 Should It Stay or Should It Go
Deciding what to keep can be the easiest and hardest step. Figure out what office supplies still work and are needed, and set them aside. Next, go through all the paper taking over your desk. Shred it and get rid of it with Fellowes’ 12Cs at Walmart and the FIRST method to get rid of paper!
The FIRST Method
File It, Recycle, Shred, Take Care of It
Using this method receipts, permission slips, and paperwork can be processed immediately from here on out. Shredding all documents that contain sensitive information is important for safety and peace of mind. The cross-cut shredder like Fellowes’ 12Cs shreds up to 12 sheets of paper and has SafeSense® technology that makes it a great choice for at-home use around children and pets. With toddler twins in the house, I love the safety technology because we all know how much those little fingers explore!
#3 School Paperwork
Part of the chaos and clutter of a home office can be ALL those school papers, and everything little thing we as mothers think we need to keep from our kids first years in school. Trust me, I had totes full of every single paper that came home and it took me at least 10 years to ask myself ‘WHY?’! Having system for school papers really helps tame home office clutter. Keep totes, folders, or binders with plastic sleeves for each kid. Then, every time something comes home, decide right then if it’s worth keeping by asking yourself if it is something your child will want down the road. Every science test? Probably not. Every report card? Probably. Things like awards, major tests, recognition letters, and special written assignments are all keepers. Pretty much everything else is up for shredding in our house except school artwork.
#4 Organization that Works
Now that everything is narrowed down to what actually needs to be in the home office, it’s time for organization that works. Figure out a paperwork system that works for you and file everything away. Maybe you have a filing system for incoming, outgoing, and important paperwork. Maybe it’s the entire top desk drawer where you toss it all. Whatever is easiest for you to stick with. Same for office supplies. Do you want a cup on your desk for pins or do you want baskets in your desk drawer to organize supplies? Once you’ve figured out how you want it all, put everything back where you want it. If you are using a filing system, here are some tips from Laura Stack!
- Label files logically and clearly by subject.
- Have fun with and use colored or decorative folders to spruce up your workspace.
- Using electronic files? Adopt a simple naming convention that includes date, name, and version number. Then, use subfolders to divide up those large categories into smaller groupings by topic.
#6 Creative School Artwork Displays
There can be a lot of school artwork coming home during the elementary school years. Having a way to display school artwork is a great way to keep it from cluttering up your home office. Hang a piece of yarn across the wall and place clothespin down it to hang pieces. Fill a wall with different size picture frames and switch out school artwork as it comes home. If space is lacking, take pictures of each piece that comes home, and put it on a digital photo frame on your desk. Then file the artwork away in the totes or binders for that child.
#6 Finishing Touches
Finish things off with a few things that will keep your home office organized. Place a small trash can somewhere so you can toss things right away, like pens that run out of ink. Put a Fellowes’ 12Cs Shredder shredder somewhere near your desk so you can stay on top of all that paperwork. Finally, set routines that help you complete things faster and stick with them. You can waste less energy thinking about those minor tasks, and have more left for bigger things.
This spring, don’t just dust the blinds and clean out the basement. Be more productive all year long by adopting new home organization habits!