Today I wanted to share with you some ideas on getting your home office/studio organised so that it’s a welcoming place to be and one that doesn’t fill you with the dread that comes with a huge but creative mess. I get messy when I’m creating with notes on paper and magazine cutouts for vision boards, but it can get overwhelming if there are papers and all sorts everywhere and I don’t feel like I have room to breathe. I’ve been working towards an organised office for a while now, but I think it fits nicely with my organisation challenge.
What you’ll need:
- Binders and a hole punch or plastic pockets
- A good printer or two and your computer
- A filing system and filing cabinet
- Storage space
- Art for your walls
- Books for inspiration and relevance
- A desk of a comfortable size
- A rubbish bin and a recycling box and shredder
- Optional: Photography space (if you’re doing any kind of indoor product photography for your business or blog)
- Optional: White Board
If you already have your home office, you probably have a little set up that works for you, but here are some things that have made mine a happier space to be in. Making your office a happy space is like any other area of your home: it will take time and patience, and you probably need to see how you use the room to work out what works well and what doesn’t.
I like to start with getting all the papers in order. I use binders with plastic pockets for my current year tax, with a pocket for each month and include all my incoming receipts (the money I’m paid) and all my outgoing receipts (all the money I paid someone else). Because I run my own business I keep paper copies of everything, but if you don’t you could probably keep them on your computer. I have a binder for all my client work too. I like plastic pockets for them too, because I tend to write notes on scrap paper and it’s good to keep it all in one place. I also have a folder on my computer too.
A good printer or two are essentials for my home office. I have one colour printer for all the good quality things I need to print. Mine is a multifunction so I use it for scanning and copying too. It’s great but it uses a lot of ink. I also have a black and white laser for printing receipts and documents that don’t have any colour or are drafts for editing. I love my laser as it prints around 3000 pages before it needs a new toner cartridge, which is around every 2 years for me. I’m looking to upgrade mine to wireless but I’ve had it 6 years and it works like a dream.
A good filing system is another must have and having a filing cabinet even though they’re not cheap is a great way to keep things in order. I tend to use mine for longer storage things like previous returns and documents that I want to keep but don’t need on a daily basis. It’s more long term storage but it keeps things neat. They can be not so fun to set up initially, but are great when you’re searching for something in your well labeled filing system.
Storage is king in my office. I have a book shelf, a wardrobe, a sideboard and my filing cabinet. I started using the sideboard because there’s no where else to put it in this house, but it’s actually the perfect size to sit the printers on and have room for a gift wrapping station when I need it. For you to decide what storage is best for you, it’s a great idea to think about what you have that could be used better, what’s working for you now and what you feel you’re missing. The bookshelf is my latest edition and it’s made a world of difference to how easy it is to work in the room.
Having art in your office, makes a ton of difference as to how nice it is to be in. It doesn’t have to be expensive pieces, maybe your favourite quote or something special that a friend gave you that makes you smile when you see it. I love colours and stripes so my office has a lot of bright colours in it. It also has framed artwork that were gifts. All my frames are the white Ribba frames from ikea, in different sizes. I love how they look on my walls.
Books are great in an office both for inspiration and for the ones that are directly relevant to the work you do. I like to read business books, but I also love a great coffee table book, so I have my collections of them in my office. I dream of one day having my own little library in my office, but for now I love having the books I’ve got within easy reach and adding a pop of colour to my little space.
Having a good desk (and a good chair) make a huge difference to how happy you feel when you’re working. My old desk was tiny and there was no room for me to spread out and I always felt claustrophobic sitting at it, so I went to ikea and got an inexpensive dining table in white and popped it on top of the old desk. It’s a third longer wider and 20cm longer, and with some chocks, it’s now the perfect height. I kept the old desk under it for the drawers but one day I hope to upgrade to new drawers and give the other desk a new home. I love my desk now.
Whilst they’re rarely pretty, having a rubbish bin, a recycling box and a shredder are all really important for keeping your office neat and tidy. The shredder is great for any sensitive papers that you no longer need and mine even shreds old credit cards. They can be a little pricey, but they’re good for piece of mind.
I use my white desk and the white wall behind it for the photos for my blog. I use a DSLR for the photos and also use a step ladder for most shots. If needed, having a dedicated photography space is a wonderful thing. It makes taking consistently good quality photos much easier too.
Having a white board is a great idea for things you need to remember and for brainstorming. I use mine for keeping track of my goals and for things that I need to remember. It’s not essential, but it’s made a big difference to me!
The way you organise your office will depend, as I’ve mentioned before, on how you use it. I think it’s really important that it feels comfortable for you to be in and that you can grab the things you need most often with ease. If you can’t see anything in the shops that match the storage solutions you’re looking for, think outside the box. A tool box or a tackle box might be perfect for your stamps or beads. Think also about what you have that could be repurposed or given a new life.
How do you keep your office organised? Is there anything you think I missed? I’d love to hear!
Something you might be interested in…
Also, if you’re in a creative business like I am and are looking to step it up to the next level, there’s an awesome conference that you should know about! The Artful Business Conference is a virtual two day conference, yes, you can attend in your pjs from the comfort of your own home, with 8 fantastic speakers that will help your business grow and give you a different perspective on how you can make your business great!
I attended virtually last year and was amazed at how much I got from it and am looking forward to September 3 & 4 this year, to be inspired all over again! It’s sure to be jam-packed with goodness and I can’t wait!
If you’d like to join me or find out more, take a look and get your virtual pass here!
I am an affiliate of Amazon (link for the book image) and the Artful Business Conference. If you choose to purchase through these links I will receive a small payment, which will go towards me bringing you more great things on the blog. I’m only an affiliate of things I believe are awesome. Just keeping you in the loop!