Simple ways to organize your home office

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Home offices were once at risk of losing priority to guest bedrooms, workout rooms, and the like, but now, home offices are all the rage.

Even if you already had a proper office at your disposal, you know how spending more time there—much, much more time tjere—can easily turn a pile of papers into a mountain of mess. If a document is not in “the cloud,” it’s more likely to be in the trash.

Luckily, there are quick tricks to add order to your office at any budget. Whether you plan on staying home for the indefinite future or just want to refresh your occasional workspace, scroll through the 14 simple ways to organize your home office below.

1. Use Vintage Filing Cabinets

home office

A filing cabinet fresh from the office supply store fills most people with dread. Thankfully, the same can’t be said about these early 20th-century solid oak cabinets with metal plates. They’re full of character, and their semi-gloss finish reflects light into the darker room.

If you want to avoid adding more wood to your room, a 1940s industrial-era file cabinet with brass hardware will also look great.

When going with bigger, vintage filing units, you can add specialized organizers to each of the drawers to tidy up everything from receipts to protractors.

2. Maximize Small Containers

wood home office

If the items you need to organize are much tinier, save yourself future headaches by opting for multiple small organizers. That way everything can have its own space, and you’ll always be able to find a pen without scrambling. Tucking a rattan box container onto a bottom shelf is a great way to store infrequently used odds and ends.

3. Mount Long Floating Shelving

floating shelves

Creating a side table and floating shelves all out of the same wood creates a beautiful, cohesive look that’s perfect for smaller offices. It keeps the space from feeling claustrophobic and the items on your shelves from looking cluttered.

4. Hang Up Minimalist Shelves

home office shelves

If your home office was once a guest bedroom and will return to being a guest bedroom someday, you need to be strategic about your organizational choices. Minimalistic shelves will keep clutter off your desk and still look perfectly at home once you switch the room back.

Need all the arm room you can get? Opt for a wall sconce with an adjustable head. That way, you will always have space and light where you need it.

5. Double It Up

home office two desks

Do both you and a partner need to work from home now? And you have kids who need somewhere to do their schoolwork? Turn a hallway or side of a room into an office area with a strip of connected desk units. You both can have your own set of drawers, and you’ll always know who stole your phone charger.

6. Tuck Away the Clutter

office shelf organization

If you’re installing cabinetry, it’s a smart trick to build in hidden horizontal shelves along the sides of the vertical units. This shiplap wall desk will stay organized without much work, but it has enough flair and personality to look great even in a bedroom.

7. Use a Desk Tray

desk tray

A desk table adds dimension, and you can also use it to bring in a pop of color, texture, or shine to your work area. They’re also great for keeping everything orderly on a free-standing desk without cabinets.

8. Install a Cork Wall

corkboard office

Like to have everything right where you can see it? Install a cork board wall. You can hang up your calendars, schedules, to-do lists, reminders, and quotes to keep you going. You can buy a roll of cork and DIY a whole wall, or you can get one sheet of cork and temporarily secure it.

9. Mix Open and Closed Storage

open closed cabinets

Being bookended by tall vertical cabinets can make you feel like you’re working in a closet. For a quick fix, take off some (or all) of the doors on one side and leave it open. It might take some time with your power tools, but you won’t succumb to office dullness as quickly.

10. Think Vertically

desk organization

No matter how you use them or where you put them, binders will take up a lot of desk real estate. So, if you need to store manuals and other tall packets of paper, try vertical magazine file organizers to keep them orderly.