Whether you’ve been waiting your whole life to work exclusively from home or you’re longing to go back to the days when catching up with colleagues took place in conference rooms and around the water cooler rather than on Zoom calls, there’s no denying that a new remote-friendly way of working is here to stay.
And with remote-friendly work comes a need for a more permanent home office -- while that laptop on the couch was comfy back in March and April, it’s high time to foster something a little more professional and organized to help streamline your office hours while ensuring little distraction and time wasted searching for a notepad or phone charger.
What makes a productive home office?
We all wish a productive workspace was as easy as plugging a laptop into a free outlet, logging into Slack and going about your day -- but for most of us, a streamlined workspace involves a little more planning and preparation.
If you work mainly online, for example, you likely won’t need to set up a printer or color-code your highlighters and other writing utensils, but you may benefit from wireless charging zones and a visually appealing background for Zoom calls. It’s all about being honest about how you work and optimizing your space so that your day-to-day operations can be executed as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.
Below, we’re rounding up a bunch of home office organization ideas that will help you achieve that dreamy workspace that is both stylish and productive. Whether you’ve set up a home office in a roomy basement, a spare bedroom, or you’re still posted up in the dining room, these smart ideas will make working from home a lot less hectic and much more harmonious.
Looking for even more organization inspiration to help evoke a sense of order in your house? Be sure to check out our home organization ideas that cover every room in the house.
1. Have a thing for writing utensils? Consider putting them on full display with a see-through Lazy Susan
While some of us are completely content with taking down all notes, reminders, and dates digitally, others prefer a good old-fashioned pen and paper. Rather than struggling to find the right pen or highlighter in your junk drawer or wherever else you might have set it down, consider adding a modern desktop Lazy Susan to your workstation—not only is it elegant but it’s actually quite practical and will come as a huge time saver.
2. Using a printer? Opt for a multi-functional printing station
If your job still requires you to print and scan documents, you might want to invest in a multi-functional printing station where you can keep all things printer related in one compact area. A small printer station can easily be tucked under your desk or into a closet if you’re working with a tight office space.
3. Take your calendar offline for a streamlined overview of the month ahead
Used to working with a multitude of screens and endless desk space? It can be hard to downsize from two large monitors to just one—or even just a simple laptop. If you’re longing to have your calendar and to-do on display at all times, consider taking it offline and putting it up on the wall space above your desk. While it takes up pretty much no space at all, it’ll give way to a much more streamlined overview of the month ahead—and some reusable wall calendars even come with additional hanging storage.
4. Consider adding minimalist dividers to your catch-all drawer for instant organization
Desk drawers can quickly become a drop space for any and all paperwork and access supplies if you’re not careful. But if you’re still trying to sort and organize that untapped storage space, consider adding a couple of minimal drawer dividers. They don’t take up much space in your desk but they’ll be huge in terms of keeping like items together and easily accessible.
5. Make filing paperwork fun (and easily accessible) with colorful magazine files
If you’re working with limited space and don’t necessarily want to take up precious floor space with a clunky filing cabinet? A handful of colorful magazine files will work just as well as a filing cabinet but can easily be tucked into your existing bookcase or left on the corner of your desk for easy access.
6. Trying to make it work with limited room? Reclaim vertical space with a modern pegboard
The wallspace in front of, or behind, your desk is valuable real estate! If you haven’t already gone vertical you’ll be amazed by the sheer amount of stuff you can store and organize on the wall. A modern pegboard allows for a modular solution that can be organized and reorganized based on your needs.
7. Working in the living room? Consider drawing the line between your workspace and the rest of your living space with a double sided bookcase
A double sided cube bookcase is a practical and aesthetically-pleasing way to divide your workspace and the rest of your home without cutting out light or feeling boxed in. You can easily add convenient little boxes for subtle storage or fill the cubes with pretty accessories and decor to brighten up your space.
8. Create a workspace that folds away at the end of the day
If you’ve been struggling to find enough space in your home to set up a more permanent-feeling workspace, consider a folding secretary desk. This compact design mounts onto the wall and is big enough to comfortably store your laptop, notebooks, pens, calendar, and any other work-related essentials. The best part? Once it’s folded away it resembles little more than a simple wall shelving unit.
9. Consider a rolling utility tray for your day-to-day essentials (or snacks!)
Sometimes grabbing your laptop and moving from the desk to the couch or other nooks and crannies around the house helps to break up the day and foster a new sense of creativity and focus—and a rolling utility tray makes it even more convenient. Pack your tray with charging cables, extra pens, and any other day-to-day essentials and enjoy the convenience of a mobile workspace.
10. Working alongside your partner or roommate? Make your own hot desks (with individual storage)
Likewise, working from home is even more engaging when you have multiple desk spaces to choose from. If you and your partner or roommate are both working from home at the moment, consider creating your own at-home hot desks. The added space will make it feel a little bit more like a real office space—just make sure to have your own designated rolling cabinets to ensure your work essentials don’t get lost in the mix.
11. Create your own cubicle for privacy and added vertical space
Whether you’re struggling to set boundaries during your office hours or you just miss the vertical space that comes with an office cubicle, consider making your own with folding felt walls. Not only will it help you focus on the work in front of you but it also gives you a huge amount of surface area for notes, pen holders, calendars, and other work essentials.
12. Enjoy moving from room to room during the work day? Enlist the help of a portable storage basket for your essentials
If your office essentials are pretty minimal, consider packing them all in a portable storage basket. Whether you keep it artfully arranged on your desk or you bring it with you from the couch to the dining room table, it’ll allow you to keep everything together without feeling tied down to one work zone.
13. Don’t be afraid of commitment (to shelving units!)
We can’t say enough about reclaiming vertical space—especially in the form of practical shelving! If you’re worried about drilling into the wall when your home office might not be a permanent fixture in the house, don’t be. The right shelves can be great for getting office supplies off the surface of your desk but they’ll work equally well for books and other home decor items once you’re back in the office.