Let’s be honest. It’s not all roses working from home. You have to take good care of the office area and organize it to increase productivity. But most organizing tips found online include high-budget accessories: desk organizers, supply caddy, etc.
That’s a shame because not everyone wants to spend a fortune on these supplies. So, here we go with our top home office organization ideas that won’t break the bank.
Getting rid of unnecessary supplies is the best way to avoid a cluttered office. Plus, it costs you nothing. Secondly, try some DIY storage organizers/containers from already existing furniture within the home.
Of course, there’s more to it. Stay tuned with us to grab some awesome organizing tips for your new home office.
10 Home Office Organization Ideas
Are you planning to switch your remote job soon? You see, temporary remote workers seldom want to invest any money in the office area. That’s also true if you run your side hustle from the office desk. Still, we miss an organized workstation where everything is within reach. Trust us, it’s possible to achieve without breaking the bank. Check out our tips below.
1. Make Use Of The Existing Items
When you are decorating a home office, you don’t have to start from scratch. Many people assume they need to buy every single item including clocks, calendars, curtains, couches, etc for the empty workspace. That would require a huge budget.
We suggest buying the essential items only. For example, nothing can be used as a substitute for a computer or printer. These are the things you have to spend your money on. But there are certain objects that don’t seem to be too necessary. For example, you might be fine using an already existing couch or chair.
Do you own an old bookshelf currently staying in your attic? Then, you can use it as a file organizer. All you have to do is hone your DIY skills. Create a list of your must-have items for daily tasks. It should include a desk, computer, printer, files, notebooks, and stationery items.
If you have a lot of papers to store, you might also need a file rack soon. Other than that, you really can skip getting more office accessories at the initial stage.
Since you have a tight budget, we won’t suggest putting too much consideration into aesthetics as well. Of course, you should paint the walls to make them more presentable. However, investing in organizing tools like installing wall cabinets can be avoided.
2. Keep The Desk Less Cluttered
The desk is by far the most important home office furniture. No matter what type of job you have, you must have a desk sitting in the office. And, sometimes it’s the only item there. Logically, people keep everything from papers and stationaries to electronic gadgets on top of it. That might look convenient. But in the long run, you are going to have a hard time locating a mail, highlighter, or even a pen.
The only way to clear this mess is to keep the desk less cluttered. It includes finding a suitable place for most of your electronic gadgets, cables, mail, and stationaries. The more spacious your desk gets, the easier it is for you to stay focused.
For example, avoid putting mail on the desktop. Install a separate mail station on the wall for that purpose. You can bind the cables together so that they are not scattered all over the desk. Another important tip is to clear up the area under your monitor. Yes, you can do that with a monitor stand.
These stands keep the monitor’s base higher than the desktop. As a result, you can put files and other small items underneath the computer screen. But a monitor stand can be quite expensive compared to the space it saves. As a DIY trick, we would suggest stacking up heavy books and putting the monitor on top of them.
As for the stationary office items, the cheapest option is a plastic container. Make sure it has multiple compartments to fit everything. You see, an organizing desk doesn’t have to be too expensive.
3. Invest Into Furniture With Lots of Storage
It’s always better to invest in furniture that has a lot of storage options. That’s only possible if you haven’t already bought one. For example, if you need a desk, go for one with multiple drawers and cabinets. That saves you a lot of money.
You don’t have to buy separate organizers like file racks, supply caddies, or storage containers. Each drawer can be dedicated to a single purpose. You can use one drawer for stationaries only. While the other can be used to organize your bills and important documents. It just works perfectly.
Even if you end up requiring more furniture, the storage options should exceed your current need. You never know what the future holds. There is a big chance your office supplies will increase in number asking for more space. It’s better to be prepared for that as well.
Buying bigger or more spacious furniture on the first go will save you more money than buying several storage items later.
4. Sort Your Paper Everyday
The most crucial habit for an organized home office is decluttering. It’s always better to deal with as few items as possible. You should go through the papers entering your office every day. Then, sort them according to their purpose.
One great way to sort the papers is strategically using desk organizers. Don’t worry. You don’t have to invest in something fancy. A small basket would work to store the bills and small notes.
We would suggest getting a sorting tray for every incoming document. That way, you don’t risk losing anything while decluttering. Also, your office desk looks more organized.
5. Use Your Computer For Multi-tasking
Do you have a computer inside the home office? Congrats! You can literally avoid getting a bunch of stuff for the workstation. And, less stuff means less clutter. For example, you can get rid of the physical day planner, calendar, table clock, notebooks and so many other items from the desk. We admit, there’s nothing more satisfying than using a luxurious schedule planner on the desktop.
But we are trying to organize the desk with a limited budget. In that case, our suggestion is to use your computer to replace the planner. Use online apps that would remind you about the appointments. If you don’t like giving an effort. A spreadsheet would be fine to keep track of your daily tasks.
Plus, you can minimize the documents stuck inside the drawers. Just make a digital copy and store it online. Yes, it’s possible to rent space on the cloud and store your files, images, etc. The monthly subscription is lower than buying extra cabinets from the thrift store.
In fact, more than the monetary value, it’s a tedious job to organize the papers inside specific files. We would highly recommend you leave this task to your computer and enjoy a spacious desk.
6. Don’t Neglect The Space Under Your Desk
One of the cheapest options to stack up your files and other documents is to get a simple rack. You can get the job done using a basket as well. But the question is how do you make them look good? Of course, a rack full of paper isn’t as aesthetically pleasing like a filing cabinet.
In that case, we have found the space under your desk to be very useful. Not many people make use of that area and leave it empty. However, it serves perfectly when you want to hide some objects from the visitors entering the office.
You can put a small basket or organizing rack under the desk and grab any piece whenever needed. Even if it gets a little messy, you don’t have to fix it right away. Next, you can also install a cable organizer underneath the desk surface.
It is becoming quite popular among remote workers. If you use multiple computers at the same time, it would be a hassle to organize the cables that come with them. Try to clip the wires together and put them inside the carrier under your desk. That way, you can’t see them while working and there’s no chance of tripping on them while walking.
7. Toss Useless Papers Into the Trash Can
It sounds like a no-brainer. But trust us, you can change how the office looks by placing and using a trash can religiously. As soon as you identify a piece of paper as useless, throw it away.
We have seen people delaying tossing a pile of trash because the garbage bag is outside. That’s how you collect garbage on top of your desk and reduce your quality of work.
But keeping a trash can inside the office space is not enough. In fact, the most important factor is where you are keeping it. If you put it beside the door, it’s not going to be as effective as you think. You might procrastinate and end up keeping the rubbish for a long time.
Instead, try to keep the trash can right beside your desk or where you handle or sort the paper. That way, you can get rid of unnecessary items as soon as you locate them. That’s the key to a clutter-free home office. It’s perhaps the cheapest way to organize and minimize your office’s clutter.
8. Use DIY Storage Options
You can recreate a lot of storage facilities for your home office without buying the full piece from a store. If you love DIY methods, there are hundreds of ways to add more storage to your work space.
Take for example, where would you put the headphones. It takes up a lot of space on your desk. But you might not need it the whole time you are working. So, try drilling a hanger or hook under the desk surface. Now, whenever you are done using the headphones, you can put them away from the table. And, how much money did you need for this? Literally, zero.
Another useful technique is mounting shelves on the wall. All you need is some wood blocks. We suggest you check the storeroom for any old or broken furniture. Customize some shelves for your office out of the furniture. Then, paint those pieces to match your office interior. You don’t want it to look awkward.
Finally, attach each shelf to the wall. You can use this area to keep your office supplies, decorative items, etc.
9. Don’t Put Every Gadget On The Desk
Your desk shouldn’t be used for accommodating every electronic tool you use. Both the printer and the computer would overburden a small desk. We are not talking about the weight limit. In fact, you will find a hard time doing work freely since it’s a tight space.
Plus, you have to dedicate a separate area with blank papers to be used while printing. That’s a total waste of your desk and productivity. Instead, use a separate side table to keep your electric tools like a printer or scanner.
The stool doesn’t have to be costly. If you have some kind of furniture with storage opportunities on top of it, you can use that space as well. For example, the top section of a filing cabinet or book shelf. Make sure you keep the printing supplies away from important documents. It would be super hard to sort out later.
10. Buy A Second-Hand All-In-One Cabinet
Don’t like the DIY trouble? Then, get yourself an all-in-one cabinet. It might be a bit of an investment, but that’s the only thing you will require to run the office. It literally has everything we have been talking about. You get a separate filing section to hang files in a folder (both legal and letter).
The upper cabinets are a bit smaller and can be used to store stationaries like pens, pencils, paper cutters, staplers, etc. and, the top of the cabinet is not useless as well. You can place gadgets like a scanner, router, family photos, file basket, and so on.
It’s really the handiest office item if you struggle to keep up with a lot of paperwork. However, we understand the budget constraints as well. that’s why we don’t recommend buying a brand-new cabinet from IKEA. Instead, search the local Dollar Tree or a Thrift store for the best deal. There are also a lot of online marketplaces for reselling used items. Make sure you go through them all.
Before You Go!
We have briefly covered some decluttering tips with you. However, achieving a minimalist office is not so straightforward. You have to be extremely precise regarding what type of items you don’t need inside the office. Otherwise, you are going to regret it badly.
That’s why we request you check out our detailed guide on what not to throw out while decluttering.