For many workers, the COVID crisis meant making the switch to remote work. When it was discovered that the jobs still got done and everyone stayed safe, many companies opted to keep those remote workers home. All of this means that whatever home office you have set up at the beginning of the pandemic might now become a permanent workspace. In order to be productive that desk needs to be organized. Here’s how to make it happen:

Separate Work From Home

It is easy to merge your home stuff with your work stuff. The goal for your home office desk is to keep those things separate. That might mean getting a tray for a “home inbox.” This is where all your bills and mail can go until you need to deal with it “off the clock.”

Prioritize Your Supplies

It might be that you can go a whole day without ever using a pen, stapler or piece of tape. Nothing wrong with that but it means those items don’t have to be a part of your desk. Perhaps a pencil can will be utilized but any other office supply type of item can be tucked away. If you have desk drawers, then an organizing tray can help keep all those implements in the proper place.

Clean Out Your File Drawers

You want to declutter your file drawers. That is going to require sorting time to review each file and see if you need to keep it. If you need to make room in those file drawers, then consider scanning the documents and keeping them “stored” on a thumb drive. Once everything is cleared out, use color tabs for work papers to help you easily identify the folders.

Minimize the Personal Items

Your office desk shouldn’t become your “mantelpiece.” You can have one or two family photos but don’t overwhelm the space with photos that can be a distraction. The same can be safe for any knickknacks or toys. Keep them at a minimum to avoid the appearance of clutter.

Bundle Cables

You don’t want your desk looking like a bird’s nest of wires. Try to bundle all your cables together using zip ties. If you are using a power strip, then look into a cover to make everything look neat. You could also go wireless with your computer keyboard and mouse.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

If you can position your desk near a window, then you can take advantage of natural light. You should also try to move away from the door to avoid distractions from the rest of the house.

Dedicate Organizing Time

Even with all the organizing, you can still find your desk getting cluttered by the end of the week. Take the last 20-minutes on a Friday to organize your desk and make sure everything is in its proper place. That will be a great way to start on Monday!