Reducing the Clutter for 2013: Reorganizing My Home Office Space

by Melanie Edwards on January 29, 2013 · 2 comments

in home, Wahm, Working Mothers

Reorganizing & Decluttering the Home Office

With 2013 being the year of change, streamlining, and lessening the chaos, I have been throwing out, donating, and reducing items in our household little by little. Nothing major – simple, yet effective decluttering is how I’ve been going about it. For example, as I’m washing and folding laundry, if I notice that some items no longer fit the kids (or myself), I take that chance to put them in a donation bag. Or perhaps if I see some toys that the kids don’t seem to be playing with much, I go ahead and toss them to make room in the toy bin. It feels good to take little steps for lessening the overall clutter in the house.

A problem area that has been sitting untouched for months, though, is my downstairs work desk. I have an informal home office space in the living room for my laptop, where I mostly do my work each day. Having this desk downstairs allows me to work with baby boy at home without restricting him to the upstairs office. This work area also allows for baby girl to do any online homework on my laptop, or some days, she plays games while I cook – all with me in the room and able to supervise. It’s worked out quite well, except for the clutter that has accumulated!

Home Office Clutter

Because the desk is easily accessible, it means lots of times paperwork, flyers, mail, and other miscellaneous items are tossed onto my desk. I’m partly to blame for this too – not just the kids and my husband! We’ve all contributed to the clutter and my work space has become a mix of important papers, in-progress notes, extra electronics, and the kids’ artwork. So, I had to do something to change that.

Through a declutter challenge offered up by Walmart, I took the opportunity to focus on reorganizing, decluttering, and re-purposing my home office area. I decided to make it functional for both my work and for the kids. If I give them the space and designate areas for them to have their papers, then perhaps it will lessen the clutter and mess.

Desk Organizer and Wall File Sorter

I found a new desk organizer and wall-hanging file sorter on that I thought would help. I chose this desk organizer because it has drawers I thought would be useful for smaller papers, plus it has a space to hold notebooks in a standing position, which will help avoid a large stack. Though this desk organizer has less shelves than the one I previously had, I thought that would actually be a good thing since it means there’s less room for dumping mail, loose papers, and such.

Wall-mounted File Sorter The wall file sorter I purchased will be used to better organize those in-progress notes, mail, and to-do items. I also designated one of the pockets for the kids, so they have a reserve of printables and activity sheets they can easily access. I labeled each pocket on the wall file holder to help my daughter know which pocket was for her use, and help me see at a quick glance where everything is stored.

My desk is now clear of clutter, is better organized, and will hopefully remain that way with the organizational system I’ve set up. I’m hoping it really works for the entire family and provides me a cleaner space to be productive in 2013! Check out the before and after – much better, don’t you think?

Before & After of Home Office Reorganization

What area in your house could use some decluttering and reorganization?

Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

All photos © Melanie Edwards/modernmami™

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1 Leah February 20, 2013 at 3:00 pm

How do you keep baby boy from getting to your desk? I currently have a desk set up in our “formal living room” (which has become the playroom) and I have one of the accordian baby gates set up to separate playroom from office area. I’d love not to have that set up, but with our 19 month old getting into EVERYTHING, nothing is safe. I’d love to move the desk into the actual family room so I can be in the same room as hubby & baby without having to migrate my laptop and paperwork from the desk to the kitchen table…which even though I have the desk set up, is usually where I do most of my work. Terribly inefficient as it just clutters the table and I end up not decluttering for days at a time, until we need to use it again!

2 Melanie Edwards February 21, 2013 at 10:55 am

They’re so mischievous at that age, aren’t they? LOL I never had the baby gate up. What I would do is set him up with a bin of toys in the middle of the floor and let him make a mess as I worked. Sometimes I also set up a kid’s table near my desk and have him color while I sit on my desk. Of course, there are times he climbs up in my lap and I just work with him sitting on me, or take a break and come back to it later when he’s more cooperative. I usually leave the laptop closed, because he now knows to push the power button. And, I just simply repeat “No, that’s mommy’s desk (or mommy’s stuff)” over and over to get him to not touch. He’s learned and is much better about it. I think you’ll be surprised if you try it!

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