How To Organise Your Home Office – A Case Study

In this article I wanted to show you how I personally organised my own home office having recently moved into a new place. There are a couple of main points that came up during this project that I’d like to share with you, and I hope they’ll help you tackle your own home office organising project. Read on to find out how to organise your home office!

Before

home office - before home office - before home office - before

Making it work

The home office is a bit like the garage in that it becomes a place to put things that don’t belong anywhere else.

I was the same when I first moved in.

This room essentially became a dumping ground for everything that didn’t have a home somewhere in the rest of the house and because I don’t have a garage, it was the only place to put everything.

It quickly became a bit of a nightmare.

Due to lack of storage space in this house, there was no way to dedicate this room solely to the purpose of being a home office. I was going to have to compromise and work with what I had.

This is usually the case for any space that you wish you had.

You’re not always going to be able to have a room dedicated to a single purpose. But by organising your things properly, you can make the space required to suit that purpose.

My home office is still a storage space, but with the addition of a few pieces of furniture and organising the remaining clutter it can achieve both functions as well as still being relatively spacious and well lit.

Sticking to budget

Organising doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Having only just moved, I didn’t have an arm and a leg to give anyway!

My original vision was to have a corner desk but after looking around I wouldn’t be able to get one in my price range. We already had a desk, so¬†I decided that we just needed a little more surface area to work on. I found the pictured desk on the side of the road with a ‘free’ sign on it.

home office - afterThe addition of the new desk fulfilled the aim of having desk space right along the length of the window, not to mention the extra shelf space as it used to be a computer desk.

By being flexible, having patience, and a little luck, I managed to achieve the goal essentially for free.

The other major issue I needed to take care of was my partner’s crafting supplies. As you can see in the pictures, it was quite the eyesore, plus it was impossible to find anything.

I spent a good week or so looking everywhere for a cupboard. Who would’ve thought that it would be such a mission. I couldn’t find one for less than $400, new or second hand.

After an afternoon spent scouring various shops I returned home defeated. I decided to have one last look (after about 50 tries) on Trademe (NZ’s Craigslist). Low and behold, I found the perfect one for under $100.

It also happened to be less than 5 minutes drive from my house. Perfect.

home office - after (cupboard)home office - after (inside cupboard)

With the addition of the cupboard, all my purchases were complete. Total spent on this project: $90.

Not too bad.

General recommendations

While everyone’s home office needs are going to be different, I thought I’d go over a few ideas on how to maximise your productivity and keep organised in this area of the house.

It is one of those areas that tends to get out of hand quickly if you don’t keep on top of it.

Most people tend to keep their important documents and files in their home offices. As I’ve already covered in my article on organising your mail & bills it is important to utilise some kind of filing system.

folders

As you can see in the picture I simply have a few clearfiles. Important documents, work related stuff, study related stuff, music notes etc. You can organise your files using whichever system you prefer. As long as it is categorised in a way that makes sense to you so you can easily find what you’re looking for and it’s not going to get mixed in with unimportant stuff.

I’d also recommend you keep a paper shredder and a rubbish bin in your office so you can immediately deal with any paperwork that you no longer require. That way you’re not falling victim to ‘piling’.

Something that I wouldn’t say is a necessity but has proven extremely useful to me on a daily basis is a big freestanding¬† whiteboard. I’d love to mount this up on the wall to create more space, but it’s alas I’m renting. This is awesome for jotting down random thoughts and ideas as well as details from phone calls for example. You can then transfer that information over to your to do list or Wunderlist.

home office - after (whiteboard)

Conclusion

Alright, that concludes my article on how to organise your home office. I hope it’s been useful to you in some way. Just remember that you can make it work! No matter your budget or space restrictions, you can organise your home office in a way that makes it enjoyable to work in.

Are there any other things you would recommend to include in a home office? Let me everyone know in the comments.

Thanks for reading, all the best.

Dylan