Unclutter Your Home Office

Straighten up your work space with ease


Credit: courtesy of ClosetMaid

By: Point Click Home Dot Com

From: Point Click Home Dot Com

Written by Mervyn Kaufman

A dedicated home office is practically a luxury. Instead, we're forced to resort to the design equivalent of a hostile takeover, claiming a spot in the kitchen or family room. No need, though, for the takeover to be hostile. The trick is in controlling the clutter. Start with paper, the main culprit. Piles of documents and a profusion of sticky notes may be great reminders of what's next on the to-do list, but spread all over your desk they become unsightly. File, recycle or shred papers and mail every day. And be sure you have enough storage. Instead of drab metal file cabinets, consider file boxes that slide onto shelves. Bright or whimsical desk accessories can help round out the look.

Niches and open shelving are convenient places to stash items you want to keep track of. Compact cubbies make nice interim storage for bills, incoming mail and papers requiring attention—just don't cram them full.


Credit: courtesy of ClosetMaid

Open shelves—or glass doors—put supplies on display. Books and catalogs should be stored vertically, bindings facing outward; magazines and newsletters should be kept in uniform containers with labels. Not only does it look tidy, it makes things easy to find.


Credit: courtesy of ClosetMaid

Arrange cards, notes, photos and anything else you need to see on a bulletin board. To make a design statement, cover a corkboard with fabric or wallpaper—anything that will create an attractive background—and use uniform pushpins to give a neater look.


Do you have enough drawer space and cabinets to hold your work as well as backup supplies? Always allow room to grow when choosing storage options.


Empty drawers, clear off surfaces and wipe everything down. Sort your stuff: papers to file, supplies, gadgets and tools. Separate out the items you need at your fingertips, such as your calendar and address book.


Neatnix fabric memo board. $32. 800-600-9817; organize.com.


Designate drawers, bins or boxes for everything. Labels can help you put items back where they belong. Drawer and desktop organizers keep smaller items accessible.


Dozi paper-clip holder. $21. 800-447-6662; momastore.org.


Consult your accountant or financial advisor about how long you need to keep certain documents. Shred everything that's old enough to toss.

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