Are you one of the 3.7 million people who work from home at least half of the time? If so, you’re bound to be familiar with the phrase, “A cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed and distracted when you work from home. If it’s not the temptation to sleep in or stay in pajamas, it’s Netflix calling your name and the dog sleeping on your lap. That’s why it’s vital to have a routine and a dedicated and well-organized work area.

Here are 10 ways you can turn your extra space into the productive home office you need:

  1. Keep your desk clear. It’s easy for a work desk to get bogged down with paperwork, files, and other business-related things. Keep your desk—and your mind—clear by adding a small cart, bookcase, or filing cabinet next to it for all nonessential items.
  2. Get corked. Who says functional can’t look good? Go big with a giant floor-to-ceiling corkboard to display important documents, reminders, work calendar, and more. It also gives you an unobtrusive way to show off fun stuff, like client holiday cards, your kid’s latest work of art, or your four-legged friend’s picture.
  3. Keep cords in line. No one likes messy wires, especially in small spaces. If you need a large desk, find one with an area to feed your cords through (or drill one yourself if you’re feeling handy). Secure cords with zip ties to keep them together and use labeled clips to attach them to the sides of furniture.
  4. Elevate your monitor . . . and your posture. Elevating your monitor is a two-fold bonus: Not only will this free up space on your desk, it will help correct poor posture from constantly looking down at a too-low screen.
  5. Use washi tape for wishy washy plans. Don’t you hate it when your beautiful planner or calendar has a ton of cross outs from canceled plans and rescheduled appointments? Keep it fresh and clean by applying washi tape and writing on that instead. That way, if plans change, you can skip the unsightly eraser marks and cross outs and start again!
  6. Color code your work mood. Color schemes may seem like an afterthought but choosing the right one will have a big effect on your happiness and overall productivity. Blue will help with focus and logic; red represents strength and excitement; yellow is optimistic and friendly; green promotes harmony and balance; purple exudes luxury; orange creates a sense of comfort; and gray is neutral.
  7. Post your “office hours”. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you’re “at home.” The other people in your house need to understand that when you’re working, you may as well be at an office away from home. Set time boundaries by posting your office hours on the door and establish ground rules that, unless it’s an emergency, you are unavailable during this time.
  8. Go (kind of) paperless. Rein in clutter and make the best use of your space by digitizing your files and records. Just don’t make the mistake of disposing of the hard copies (you never know when your computer will crash, or you’ll misplace that thumb drive). Instead, invest in a small storage unit to house all physical copies in a safe and secure environment, like Gotham Mini Storage, where units start as small as 64 cubic feet.
  9. Spice up office supplies. Office supplies don’t have to take up space or be boring. Add a spinning spice rack to your home office and keep your paperclips, push pins, pens, highlighters, staples, and virtually any other supplies artfully displayed while conveniently within reach.
  10. Avoid temptation with a mini office kitchen. If you were in an office, you’d undoubtedly put in your time grabbing snacks from the kitchen, cups of water, and 3 pm pick-me-up coffees, so why wouldn’t you at home? The trick is to avoid shifting out of your professional mindset the second you walk into your kitchen and get distracted. Avoid this trap by adding a mini fridge, snack drawer, and personal coffee maker to your home office.

Now that you’re ready to stake your claim to the spare bedroom/basement/garage, what are you going to do with everything that’s occupying the space now? Contact the experts at Gotham Mini Storage for a secure and affordable home for your belongings.