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THE Weekly Mini-Projects: Home Office

If you are *still* struggling to adjust to the realities of working from home, we’re right there with you. It’s a lot harder to focus when the kids are constantly interrupting our Zoom calls and everything on the news is a literal nightmare.

For this week’s mini-projects, we’re focusing on systems to help you feel less stressed and more productive while working from home. The goal isn’t for you to tackle every project on the list, just the ones that apply to you!

From an official home office with a desk to a makeshift workspace at the kitchen table, even a small adjustment can help you streamline your daily routine…

Designate Your Workspace

If you don’t have access to an *official* home office but need your own space, all you need is an open wall. In the photo above, we customized an Elfa wall unit in a rarely-used guest room to include a built-in desktop, shelving, utility board, and drawers.

Store Your Supplies

The supplies you access the most frequently should be within your reach, but without taking over your workspace. You might have a desk with drawers or you might not have a desk at all. Either way, it’s important that you store your supplies in a way that makes sense for the space, your items, and your daily routine.

Drawers:

Use a combination of small and large inserts to fit the exact measurements of a drawer and the categories that live there. Drawers tend to take some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to move the contents around until you’re satisfied with the outcome. We always suggest adding a few dots of museum gel to the bottom of each insert so they don’t move around.

Shelving:

Stackable clear drawers or open bins are a functional solution for offices or desks without built-in storage. They can be placed on a shelf or within a nearby cabinet. Just make sure to label each category so you can easily spot what you are looking for.

Wrangle Your Cords 

Electronics such as printers and laptops come with a lot of connected cords. Using cord wraps to collect them helps keep everything streamlined and less cluttered. We also suggest adding cord labels to your power strip, which will prevent you from turning off your wifi when you just meant to unplug a lamp.

Dock Your Devices

Using a letter divider and a large USB port, create a docking station for your daily electronics (phone, laptop, etc.) so YOU can unplug from your devices while your DEVICES remain plugged in. 

Create a Command Station

On any given day, most of us have our fair share of ingoing and outgoing mail, papers to sign, documents to file, and schedules to keep track of. A command station streamlines tasks and avoids those neverending paper piles of doom.

When creating a system, it helps to think in three general categories: To-Do, File, and Recycle. As a reminder for tasks at hand, To-Do papers need to remain organized but visually accessible in open trays or letter sorters. Files can either be stored in hanging file or document boxes, labeled by category, color, or both.

Digitize Your Documents

If you are not a paper person (like Joanna), then you are probably a digital person (like Clea) who lives by the motto: Anything that can be scanned should be scanned.

Unlike with physical copies, a digital filing system, either on a hard drive or secure sites like Dropbox, allows you to pay little attention to space restrictions and get more specific with your categories.

All in all, the real gamechanger of a digital system is being able to search for files by dates or keywords, rather than wasting time rifling through paper. The way you name your files plays a large role in how easy they will be to find, so be consistent!)

If you decide to use a hard drive, label it and store it in a bin for easy access.

Add a Personal Touch

Make it smart then make it pretty. Feel free to display any items that make you feel happy and more creative. It can be anything from family photos, books in rainbow order, or if you are Joanna, a fun wallpaper that transports you smack-dab in the middle of an orange grove. An Instagram-worthy office can’t cure all your work-related stress, but it can make it more bearable.

For anyone looking to tackle even more mini-projects (wow, gold stars for you!) in other spaces in the home, scroll through the links below:

THE Weekly Mini-Projects: Kitchen

THE Weekly Mini-Projects: Playroom

THE 14 Day Mini-Edit

THE Extended Mini-Edit (Day 15-28)

xo,

clea + joanna

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  1. For digitizing your files (which would make a lot of sense for our small house!), do you have any recommendations for streamlining the scanning process? I feel like the process of using the built-in scanner on our printer is clunky. Do you scan documents as they come into the house, or do you do it once a month? Also, what have you found to be a helpful system for naming the files?

    1. Hi Katherine! Portable scanners are SUPER helpful (Here’s a good one!) You can just feed the documents/photos into the scanner and they automatically load onto your desktop.

      If you can scan documents as they come in, then that’s obviously best. But realistically, it helps to scan after it leaves the “to-do” category and needs to be filed away. For tags and keywords, it helps to think about how you will search for it in the future, and go from there. Hope this helps! Xo Clea + Joanna

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