For those of you who have made it through the entire Real Organized series, today is your final project. I also know that it may not seem to apply to everyone, but I can bet you that, as a mom, you have papers and mail and all sorts of other stuff floating around your house that can quickly and easily make the house feel cluttered and make you wonder where you left that bill or that paper that needed to be signed, so while I'm showing you how to organize an office, I will also be giving tips and tricks on managing all those papers that go through our hands as moms.
For most of us, we don't have a fully dedicated space to keep all of those papers that we have to deal with, but we need to make one. Even if it is a notebook or a file sorter on the kitchen counter. That way, you have a place where all those papers go. That makes it easy to know where your papers are as well as keep track of what still needs to be taken care of.
For those of us who work from home, I'm hoping that you can carve out some dedicated space that can be your office. It may be a table in the corner of your bedroom or a desk in the living room, but you need some space that is your office. There are plenty of studies that show that we are more efficient if we go to our dedicated place to work. If you are a busy work from home mom like me, then you need to maximize your efficiency so you can get things done during the hours that you are working.
Finally, for those of you who work in an office, any and all of these ideas can easily be applied to your office space.
This post is part of my #RealOrganized series. If you want the whole series, just click the graphic above or you can click here to sign up to have each week of this series and all the freebies directly emailed to you. The goal of this series is for you to be able to organize some of the things that as moms, we have to deal with on a yearly, monthly, weekly, or daily basis. By getting these things organized we can free up time in our week as well as space in our homes and minds. The main goal is to feel more organized and less clouded as moms so we can find time and space to spend with our family as well as do things we love and find fulfilling.
Just to give you some visuals as we go through how to organize your space, I'm going to show you my office. The goal is to give you plenty of ideas. You probably won't need all of them, but I want to give you ideas so you can come up with your own space saving solutions and have an organized system for your papers or your office.
My office is in what should be the dining room of our house. I use the office space, my girls have a cabinet with craft supplies and my husband also officially works from home (though he travels so much, he doesn't use the office very much) and has his office in the dining room as well. As you can see, space is at a premium, so being organized is a must. I'm sure for most of you, you know what I mean and you need space saving and sanity saving ideas as well.
Once again, my first tip for you is to have some sort of dedicated space. If you work from home, you need some dedicated office space. That doesn't mean entire room, use what works for your home and your family as well as your distraction levels.
If you are seeking space to corral all of the mom papers, bills, mail, etc. A space like this would be lovely, but may not work for your home or your family. You can buy a wall mail sorter and divide the sections for different papers you need to keep track of or for different people in your family. Here are a few that I like on Amazon, to give you an idea of what I mean. 1, 2, 3, and 4 (all affiliate links).
Now, if you have an office or work from home, you likely have stuff associated with your job. Corral all of that stuff together.
Use a small bookcase or bin to keep things tidy and organized.
When you do this you will want to pull everything out that you currently have in your office (or all over the house if you are just creating an office). Purge first. Be ruthless in getting rid of things that you don't need or don't use.
Then sort like things together and think through what things get used more often. The things that get used most often should be within easy reach from your desk. They should be super easy to access. Things that don't get used as often should be farther away and not as easily accessed.
I know from talking with friends that they love the labels, but they don't generally label things. It is one of those, I'll get to it later type of things. Do it at this stage. It is worth the time and the effort.
Having things labeled means that you (and anyone else in the family or office) knows what is in that box as well as where to put things back that they have used. It means you will also know what goes in what box.
I know it may sound like I'm a labeling dork….and I am, they make me so happy! But, I promise you that in the end, you will be really glad that you took the time to label things. It will make you way more likely to keep things organized over the long run.
Use the space you have for double duty.
The bookcase I have at the end of my desk (pictured in the picture before this one) could just be blank space, but I use it to store my Cricut and Minc. I just move the Minc when I need to use the Cricut. It works perfect and saves me space.I keep my electronic tools on top of this cube/bookcase and just move the one I don't need off when I'm using one of them.
Look for space saving opportunities like this in your space as well.
Paper, papers, papers! No matter what you do, you will have papers. You will want to find a way to keep them organized and easy to access.
I find that either notebooks or file folders are the best way to keep them organized. I use both depending on the papers.
The cute file folder organizer contains more papers that rotate around or just don't work well in a notebook for one reason or another.
The notebooks corral the papers that I access frequently and don't necessarily change a lot or are things I want to be able to grab and go if I'm working on the road for the day.
You will want to do the same thing with your papers that you did with your stuff. Collect it all together, purge and sort like things together.
Once you have sorted like things together, determine what makes the most sense for your papers. Is it one of the mail sorters I showed you earlier in this post? Is it notebooks or file folders? You will likely have a combination of those.
Once again, label everything! Don't skip this step. It will make a huge difference in your efficiency. You will quickly and easily be able to see what you need and grab it and get to work.
The labels bundle in my shop contains all the labels you see to use on boxes, bins, folders and most anything you need to label to keep your home and home/office organized. Once again They come in the pink and blue and a solid gray.
Most likely you also have pens, computer cords, chargers for phones, and so on. If you possibly can spare the space a bank of drawers can help corral all of this in one place.
It can save your sanity as well! It is so nice to have all of this stuff in one space. Of course, it is labeled because you know how important it is to label everything.
If you don't have the space for a bank of drawers see if you can find a storage bin like this one or an organizer like this one (both affiliate links). Maybe you can clear a small corner of a kitchen cabinet and corral all of these types of things in one space. Once again label it. You and your family will know what is there and where to return things. Which always makes a huge difference!
If you are like me and have lots of little supplies and/or craft supplies (whether just for you or for you and your kids), be creative in how you store them. Find things that may look great and blend into your home decor as well.
At my home, I added this cute shelf from Target (affiliate link) a while ago. I use it to organize my washi tape, twine, and a few additional things. To me, it looks nice and keeps these things handy. By using the wall space, I freed up space elsewhere. You can do the same thing for your supplies.
Now I realized that probably not that many of you are going to need a photography studio in your home as well, but just in case, I'm going to show you my super space saving photography table.
I'm telling you, get creative and you can save so much space. This is just 2 of the 4 cube bookshelves with space in the middle (which I use for storage of my large lights).
On top of the cube bookcases, I made a wood backdrop. Then I can drape my other backdrops and photograph in the small space that I have.
It doubles as storage for all of the props and other craft supplies that I have for my creating blog posts.
Again, I realize that this probably doesn't apply to you, but I wanted to show you anyway because I bet you have your own unique needs that you can spend a little time brainstorming, searching Pinterest and wandering Target (affiliate link) and come up with a great space saving solution.
I'm sure you noticed it….yep….all the boxes, notebooks, and bins are labeled!
I swear they make a huge difference! I also swear that I am a label nerd. I love them. They make me happy, but they save my sanity. I don't have to answer the questions all the time from my kids as to where things are or where they need to be put away. I love that! I really think you will as well. I think the small investment of time and money pays off in the long run.
Finally, if you have open shelving, it is a great idea to label that as well. I know…I'm a broken record, but people will know and more importantly, you will know where to put things away. It will make you, your team and your family more likely to actually keep up with the organization that you took the time to create.
That will equal a more sane mom in the long run. That is our goal!
Open shelving can be great for items that are not going to fit into bins or boxes, especially when they are labeled. The shelf labels are also a part of the label bundle in my shop (pink and blue and gray).
For bins, tags are a great label. I would suggest that you print them on cardstock and laminate them for durability unless they won't get used much, but laminating them will make them last so much longer.
Here is one more idea for creative storage solutions for your office or misc cords, ink cartridges, pens, paper, etc.
If you have an entry hallway, you can purchase a small entry hallway dresser and use it for storage. You could even put one of the mail sorters I linked to earlier in this post right above it and voila! Office space! Maybe not a desk, but a place to corral the papers and stuff that can so easily get strewn all over the kitchen counters (I'm sure that isn't just my house!).
Mine is not used for cords, pens, etc., rather I use mine for photography props, but you get the idea that you can use this for storage that keeps everything in one place and looks pretty. Of course, my shelf labels work on the tops of the drawers as well, so you have no excuses, you can still label these, too! Yay!
You can do this! It may feel like there aren't ways to create an office space in your home, but I can guarantee you that you can get creative and create some space.
I can also tell you that taking the time to organize this area will make a huge difference as a busy mom.
You may want to start by getting the family papers and stuff(cords, pens, etc) organized first and then move onto your own office. Once you have taken the time to address both spaces, you are going to love that feeling of organization. You are going to love feeling less frazzled and knowing where things are and that you have taken care of what needed to be taken care of for your family.
Please listen to this label nerd and label everything! In the end, it is going to pay off in that you know what goes where and anyone who uses your office will also know what you have and where it goes. Pick labels that you love and have fun with it. I've got some for sale in my shop. The label bundle in my shop (pink and blue and gray) has a huge variety that you can use in so many different ways. You are going to love it! If for some reason, you love some other labels, use those. My feelings won't be hurt. You want to love the way they look. You will be more likely to actually want to use them and enjoy them.