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10 Quick Fixes for Creating Space in a Cluttered Home Office

10 Quick Fixes for Creating Space in a Cluttered Home Office

While the tendency to clutter your corporate office desk with stray papers and food wrappers is easy, imagine adding bills, letters, junk mail, kids toys and, you never know, even a cat to the mix. This is the reality of working from home.

Sadly not everyone has the luxury of knocking through walls to create a vast home office. You get just one room in the family home and, often, not a very big one at that. This makes keeping the space clutter free even more important. A messy environment creates a messy mind and can turn your professional sanctuary into a disordered space where you struggle to boost your output.

There are, however, ten very simple things you can do to create more space in your home office in no time at all.

1) Get a space-efficient desk

Home office desk with storage drawers

    Image credit: Home Decorators Collection

    One of the things I notice in more disordered home offices is the size and state of the desks inside them. Often intentionally too big for the room so an abundance of papers, documents and other items can be stored alongside a computer and keyboard, they can quickly sap up any spare space. Smaller desks don’t have to mean less space though, especially if you buy one that incorporates a roll-out shelf for your keyboard and mouse, storage drawers and room underneath for a bin and/or paper shredder. Not only will all of your essentials still be in one place, but stored safely away from the main hub of your desk and organised into their own unimposing spaces.

    2) Switch to a laptop

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    laptop on home office desk

      Image credit: Refinery 29

      Unless you’re a designer who relies on a larger computer screen to complete their work, it’s worth switching to a trim laptop to create more desk space. In addition to leaving more room for you to spread out when working, laptops use eight times less power than desktops and will save on your electricity bill in the long run.

      3) Organise loose stationery

      home office desk storage

        Image credit: Stylizimo

        Anything that’s rolling around loosely on your desk is instantly going to make your home office look more cluttered, no matter how small it is. In addition, imagine how frustrating it will be when you’re trying to work with all of those pens and pencils getting in the way. Investing in a simple desk organiser can work wonders, and they’re available in a variety of styles to suit every kind of home office.

        4) Tie up wiring

        laptop wires tied up

          Image credit: Suck UK

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          Loose wires can quickly get out of control and, as well as looking unsightly, can become a safety hazard. Tying them up, getting a desk that incorporates cable management, or strategically hiding wires behind things like bookshelves all work wonders.

          5) Be brutal with what you throw out

          home office paper on desk - cluttered

            Image credit: She Knows Living

            Before you sit down to some serious work, take some time to walk around your office and discard every unnecessary item you can find. Throw away or shred unimportant documents, give old office décor you’re no longer fond of to a charity shop and put any stray food items back in the kitchen. Anything you don’t need while you’re working should be removed, which also goes for distractions. Game consoles and televisions have no place in a home office.

            6) Prevent décor build up

            home office desk decor

              Image credit: Jennifer Daigle Blogspot

              While throwing out old bits of paper and junk documents goes a long way in creating space, you shouldn’t neglect your office décor too. Designing a workspace at home is fun, and when something that’s completely you catches your eye in a shop, it can be difficult to pass it by. If you simply have to buy it, then get rid of something already in your office, and that you haven’t used or liked as much over the past six months to stop items building up.

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              7) Utilise wall space

              drawings and paper on home office wall

                Image credit: Boligcious

                Not all clutter is rubbish, and sometimes you might not want to throw out all those inspiring magazine pages or images. So why not make a feature out of them? Creating a pin board or mural out of items like these is an increasingly popular trend, you can even pin important notes up there too to free up more desk space. In addition, go for tall bookcases, recessed shelving or floating shelves rather than wide storage to utilise an empty wall without taking up valuable floor space.

                8) Decorate using neutral colours

                neutral coloured home office

                  Image credit: Ffffound

                  The shadows and atmosphere cast by dull and gloomy rooms doesn’t just impact your mood, but actually makes a home office appear smaller. Decorating in neutral colours is one of the best ways to open up a smaller space by reflecting natural light and making it appear brighter. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to white paint though – robin’s egg blue, light grey, beige, cream, pastel green and off-white all look great and are a subtle way to include more adventurous colours.

                  9) Don’t be tempted to over furnish

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                  home office desk in nicely furnished room

                    Image credit: Minimal Desks

                    While the home offices featured on interior design blogs incorporate bookshelves, chairs, coffee tables and sofas to stunning effect, the reality is that many of these spaces are considerably larger than your average home office. While a home office does have to be as attractive as it is functional to make working in there enjoyable, over furnishing for stylistic reasons will only make the room feel claustrophobic. Plus, simply filling it with really essential furniture will look much more aesthetically pleasing than if it was full to bursting.

                    10) Keep the room single purpose

                    single purpose home office

                      Image credit: Melissa Mercier

                      Your home office is for working in, so try not to let other areas of your life intrude. Deal with junk mail and bills in a separate room, keep out kids toys and dirty crockery and leave any leisure or “down time” items like televisions and books elsewhere. Once other areas of your life start creeping into your home office, it’ll quickly become disordered.

                      As you can see, a small home office doesn’t have to look as compact as it actually is. Creating the illusion of more space with these simple tips is a sure-fire way of not just opening out the room, but making yourself more productive in the process. Remember, an orderly space makes for an orderly mind.

                      Do you have any of your own tricks for creating space in a cluttered home office?

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                      Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                      How to Overcome Boredom

                      How to Overcome Boredom

                      Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

                      I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

                      If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

                      What is Boredom?

                      We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

                      You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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                      It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

                      If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

                      When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

                      Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

                      If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

                      Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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                      Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

                      In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

                      It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

                      Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

                      Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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                      In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

                      3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

                      1. Get Focused

                      Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

                      You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

                      Here are a few ideas:

                      • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
                      • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
                      • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

                      2. Kill Procrastination

                      Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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                      So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

                      Here are some ideas:

                      • Do some exercise.
                      • Read a book.
                      • Learn something new.
                      • Call a friend.
                      • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
                      • Do a spring cleaning.
                      • Wash the car.
                      • Renovate the house.
                      • Re-arrange the furniture.
                      • Write your shopping list.
                      • Water the plants.
                      • Walk the dog.
                      • Sort out your mail & email.
                      • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

                      3. Enjoy Boredom

                      If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

                      Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

                      So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

                      More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

                      Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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