Organizing: Smart ways to refresh your home office

Gabrielle Savoie

Life in the 21st century has its perks. One of those is to be able to work from virtually anywhere. If you’ve successfully convinced your boss to let you log more hours from home this year, you’ll want a killer workspace to match.

If you’re going to really use your home office this year, make it an inspiring and functional space.

1. Clear the clutter: Most of us are guilty as charged: Clutter accumulates throughout the year, be it unfiled paperwork, fabric samples or dried-out pens. Before anything else, sweep your space clean and start fresh.

2. Get organized: After getting rid of all the excess clutter, find an organizing system that works for you. Make sure that everything that might end up in your office is accounted for: bills, important paperwork, magazines, office supplies. Store each item in its appropriate bin, box, container or tray.

3. Pay attention to the view: There’s nothing more uninspiring than staring at a white wall all day. Is there room to rearrange the furniture for your desk to face a window? If there isn’t, consider artwork or even a mirror to hang above your desk and reflect the window behind you. Just make sure to hang it high enough that you don’t end up staring at yourself all day long.

4. Make your layout multipurpose: In many homes, the office sometimes doubles as a guest room, media room or den. Setting up your desk across from the sofa or sofa bed will serve as double duty for TV watching. With that setup, you can either stream Netflix from a desktop computer or mount a TV on the wall behind the desk.

5. Buildit in or tuck it away: Not everyone has the luxury of having a full room dedicated to a home office. When dealing with a workspace in an open space, sometimes the best solution is to create a desk space within a built-in storage wall to keep clutter at bay.

6. Float your desk: Does your work involve a lot of client visits at home? Or maybe you like having your husband or kids pop in and chat while you work? If so, consider floating your desk in the middle of the room, and adding in one or two guest chairs. This layout is much more sociable and open.

7. Make his and hers work: When creating an office space for both you and your significant other, creating continuity helps keep a sense of order in the space. Try to match desks, chairs and lamps, and keep individual clutter tucked away.

8. Use the wall behind your desk: Installing bookshelves behind your desk is possibly one of the most practical change you can make. Think about it: A quick roll around and you have access to all your important files.

9. Check your lighting: During the day, you’ll want your computer screen facing away from a window to avoid the daylight glare. At night, make sure you have a good task lamp to keep you burning the midnight oil while keeping your eyesight in check.

10. Get inspired: If you work in a creative field (and if you’re working from home, chances are you do), you know the importance of finding inspiration on a daily basis. Surround yourself with objects and images that get your creative juices flowing.

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