For millions of people across the globe, working from home became part of the new normal in 2020. Now, as we inch further into 2021, we’ve become pros at keeping the cat off our keyboards, experts at breezing through video conferences and never before been more capable of achieving our work goals from a distance. While we’ve done the best with what we had when we were thrown into working from home with little to no advanced notice, it’s now time to upgrade the make-shift work space into a place where you’ll love to work. Here’s a few simple tips on getting started. 

Work from home office

Start From Scratch All Over Again

Think back to a year ago when you were setting up your home office. Books might have been used to prop up your laptop, glide-friendly mouse pads were replaced by scratched up notepads and your ergonomic work chair and desk were left behind for a dining chair and a kitchen table, or maybe even a yoga ball and an unused shelf in an overstocked closet.

Start your home office upgrade by looking at what exactly you need and set up a spending budget. Knowing that this workspace will be a permanent fixture in your house, try upgrading to furniture and accessories that will compliment the style you already love, especially if you don’t have a dedicated room that you can transform into a full-on office. Upgrading can be as simple as adding some organizers to keep clutter to a minimum, or as ambitious as setting up the office of your dreams. Lose the miss-matched boxes and books that crowd your desk and instead choose accessories that clean things up and add a touch of flair. You’ll be looking at this space a lot so you might as well invest and enjoy it. 

Keep your desk free of clutter

Keep accessories simple and to a minimum

Having a hodgepodge of different pen holders, paper clip dispensers, staplers and other tools scattered across your desk at home will only serve as things that take focus away from the task at hand. If you decide to go out shopping for some new accessories, keep it simple. Leather accessories are always a great touch but so are metal holders and accents. Stick to one color or theme and run with it. If you have some spare room, maybe a drawer, in your house where you can store your extra supplies, take them off your desk and put them away until you need them.

Top tip:

Instead of throwing out your older accessories, take them to your local goodwill center if they’re in good working condition. There’s always someone who may be in need. 

Create a work from home space you love

Spring cleaning all year round

Once you’ve chosen how you want to set up your newly upgraded home office, it’s time to pull up those rubber gloves and get scrubbing. Cleaning out your office area once in a while won’t just set you up in a sparkling clean environment, it will give you peace of mind. Taking the time to clean also helps with morale and boosts your sense of accomplishment. Doing this once a week feels like opening a window and letting in some fresh air and lots of bright sunshine. How’s that for motivation?

Pare down to only what you need.

When the time comes to start putting together your new space, only put back exactly what you need. If you’ve gone all out and upgraded that closet shelf and yoga ball into a compact desk and comfortable chair, start with that, then add your computer. Look at all the other things you’ve had collecting on your desk and ask yourself if they are necessary or just a distraction. If you’re adding some accessories and organizers, make sure they don’t consume your space. These accessories are there to serve a purpose and if they’re not doing a job, they shouldn’t be there.  It’s the art of home office feng shui.

Top tip:

Don’t let paper pile up. Keep a small waste paper basket within reach and once the day is done, take it out to your recycling bin. It works wonders on keeping clutter to a minimum and you’ll enjoy a more organized space.

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Blair Dohey