As working from home has become the new normal amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, and will likely remain so for the unforeseeable future, it is in your best interest to ensure your work from home office space is organized and conducive to a productive work environment.
From personal experience, when my environment is disorganized and chaotic, it is much more challenging to remain focused while working. There are some very useful items that you can add to your at-home workspace. These can significantly improve your focus and workflow by helping you stay organized.
While each individual has their own preferences in terms of how they set up their workspace, it is essential that your office space is set up in a way that enhances your productivity by helping you to stay organized and on-task.
3 Characteristics to Consider
When choosing which office items are essential to keep you highly organized, there are a few characteristics I like to consider:
- The size of the organizational tool is something that is important to consider in order to prevent from unintentionally adding more clutter and chaos to your space. It is wise to select those organizational office products that are most compact yet effectively accomplish their desired purpose based on your specific work needs. For instance, if you are looking to buy a document organizer/filing tool but you only have a few documents lying around, a smaller on-desk file organizer may be a more suitable option than a full filing cabinet to ensure you’re not wasting office space.
- Versatility is another characteristic I look for when considering what to invest in for my work from home office. Items that can provide multiple uses for various work-related tasks, and/or are easily portable so they can be used in different workspaces, are essentially providing more bang for your buck!
- Lastly, I consider price. If an object can significantly transform the ease, efficiency, and productivity of your work activities, it may be worth it to spend more on those items. However, as you will see in this list, a lot of the organizational products are very cost-effective while still providing plenty of organizational benefit.Here is a comprehensive list of “must have” and “nice to have” office products that will help you stay highly organized while working from home.
Here is a comprehensive list of “must have” and “nice to have” office products. These will help you stay highly organized while working from home:
The Must Haves
A docking station is essential for providing the ability to connect your host computer to multiple peripherals, which allows you to transfer files and data quickly, connect to multiple displays, print documents, and charge your device simultaneously.
My Recommendation: UtechSmart USB C Hub
Not only does this UTechSmart docking station enhance your multitasking abilities, but it also takes up minimal desk space so your work station can remain clutter-free. It is compatible with both MacOS and Windows devices making it a versatile and handy piece of equipment to add to your home office.
This office addition efficiently declutters your space by helping you keep all your cords and cables organized and accessible. You can stick this wire holder system directly onto your desk or simply rest it on the desired surface.
My Recommendation: Self-Adhesive Multi-opening Cable Clips
It can hold up to 7 different cables, which increases the ease and convenience of finding cables and utilizing multiple different peripherals simultaneously. This product comes in a pack of two so you can use the two different cord organizers for two different cord purposes (i.e. charging vs. other) if you’re looking to up your organization game even further.
A whiteboard is another organizational tool that is essential for helping you keep your to-do lists, demonstrations, and goals easily visible throughout your day.
My Recommendation: WEYOUNG Magnetic Whiteboard
This mobile whiteboard option is especially useful as you can bring it with you around your home if you decide you need a change of scenery while working. It is also magnetic so you can keep important documents or reminders in plain sight that you don’t want to forget about. This particular WEYOUNG board is taller than other mobile boards, making it more ergonomic to write on while standing. For more on whiteboards, you might also want to look into calendar whiteboards.
If you have a pile of random paperwork on your desk or stuffed into random drawers in your office, a filing cabinet is worth purchasing to help you keep all your documents in order.
My Recommendation: Lorell File Cabinet
This small, sleek, two-drawer, mobile filing cabinet is a great tool to help you keep your workspace more organized and functional. I find it useful to fill the top drawer with documents that are needed relatively often or that are most pertinent to your day-to-day tasks, while the bottom drawer is reserved for documents that I don’t use as frequently. If you don’t have a ton of physical paperwork, an on-desk document organizer like this one may be a better fit for you.
Desk or Wall Calendar
A large desk or wall calendar is a must to help you stay on track with your daily, weekly, and monthly goals.
My Recommendation: Professional Desk Calendar 2020-2021
The act of physically writing down important tasks helps to keep me on track and motivated. Furthermore, because of how big the calendar is, you definitely won’t forget about those important objectives and reminders you added to your calendar. If you decide to keep it on your desk, it is very easy to place your computer and other materials on top of it so it doesn’t limit your desk space.
Desk Drawer Organizer
This is a very small investment yet high impact purchase for your office space.
My Recommendation: AmazonBasics Mesh Desk Drawer Office Organizer
This desk drawer organizer will help you take back all the wasted minutes sifting through your drawers searching for a paper clip. Not only does it encourage you to finally go through and throw out all of your old pens, markers, and highlighters that have run out of ink, but it also keeps all of your office supplies easily visible and findable when you need them.
The Nice To Haves
An additional monitor can help keep you more organized and productive by allowing you to view multiple windows and perform various tasks simultaneously. Although it may take up more desk space (unless you purchase a monitor stand), an additional monitor has the potential to greatly transform your workflow. If you are looking for a monitor that can be flipped by 90 degrees, check out these vertical monitors instead.
My Recommendation: HP VH240a 23.8-inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED Monitor with Built-in Speakers
The HP VH240a features a thin bezel-less frame and an ultra-widescreen for greater screen space. It also has built-in speakers, and VGA and HDMI ports that allow you to connect to MAC OS and Windows laptops and devices. The monitor can be rotated horizontally or vertically and has tilt and height adjustment capabilities, making it fully customizable to your viewing preferences.
Monitor Stand With Desk Organizer
Although this may not be “a must,” especially if your office is already equipped with a cable organizer, filing cabinet, and drawer organizer, this multi-purpose monitor stand is a “really nice to have” if you’re looking for an all-in-one organizational tool.
My Recommendation: 1home Wood Monitor Stand
For a very reasonable price, this black, sleek computer stand features a cellphone holder, a cable management hub, an extra storage shelf for smaller desk items or important documents, and an open bottom to allow you to slide in your mechanical keyboard, mouse, or laptop to free some desk space when you’re not using them. It also gives you a greater ergonomic desk environment by raising up your computer screen approximately 5.5 inches, preventing you from slouching over while working on your computer all day.
If you don’t need all the extra perks that this monitor stand provides but still want the benefit of a raised monitor, this compact and sleek computer riser is a great option, or check out our other laptop stands.
A bookshelf can help you clear up your desk space as much as possible and diversify storage options to promote a systematic office layout that best fits your day-to-day work demands. If you’re lacking the wall space to add a bookshelf, a more compact option would be these plastic, stackable drawers for store under your desk or in a closet.
My Recommendation: Furinno Pasir 3-Tier Open Shelf Bookshelf
This black, sturdy three-tier bookshelf would make a great addition to your office to help keep all extraneous books, binders, and smaller organizational containers that are laying around your home or office more organized and accessible. Its dimensions are 22.7(width) x 31.5(height) x 9.7(depth) inches so it can easily fit into your space. Try placing all related binders or books together or compiled in a way that would make it easy for you to locate what you need when you need it. This bookcase would also work great in your living room if you work from there most of the time.
Sit Stand Desk Converter
his product is another great, multi-functional addition to your office space. Fundamentally, a sit stand desk converter allows you to work at your computer, and use multiple displays, from either a seated or standing position.
The Halter ED-600 is compact yet provides ample surface space to store your keyboard, mouse, coffee cup, and writing utensils. It is one of the more pricey objects in this list, which is why I consider it “nice to have” rather than “must have.” If you have a monitor stand or computer riser, as well as other storage and organizational products from this list, it may not be necessary for you to have a sit stand desk converter.
However, if you have a lot shoulder or back pain from sitting at your desk for long periods of time, this product may be worth investing in in order to reduce the stress on your shoulders and spine due to long periods of sitting at your desk with poor posture.
Full List of Products & Prices
You don’t need to break the bank to invest in products that will transform your office and help you become a highly organized and efficient worker. Here is a table that lays out each product included in the list above with its cost, the total of which is around $660.
Must Have Product List & Prices
|Docking Station||UtechSmart Triple Display 12 in 1 Dock Station||$79.99|
|Cable Organizer||Self-Adhesive Multi-opening Cable Desktop Management, Wire Holder System||$7.95|
|Whiteboard||WEYOUNG Magnetic Mobile Double Sided White Board 47 x 32 inch||$134.99|
|Filing Cabinet||Lorell File Cabinet, Black||$73.13|
|Desk/Wall Calendar||Professional Desk Calendar: Large Monthly Pages – 22″x17″||$21.95|
|Desk Drawer Organizer||AmazonBasics Mesh Desk Drawer Office Organizer||$10.39|
Nice to Have Product List & Prices
|Additional Monitor||HP VH240a 23.8-inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED Monitor||$109.99|
|Monitor Stand With Desk Organizer||1home Wood Monitor Stand Arm Riser Desk Storage Organizer||$27.99|
|Bookshelf||Furinno Pasir 3-Tier Open Shelf||$23.82|
|Sit Stand Desk Converter||Halter ED-600 Preassembled Height Adjustable Desk Sit to Stand Elevating Desktop||$169.99|
The items you fill your office with aren’t the only aspects to consider when looking to improve your organizational skills, motivation, and focus – your work output also benefits from setting aside time to engage in some form of exercise throughout the day, drinking enough water and eating nutrient dense food, and taking some scheduled rest breaks. These things may seem unrelated to work when in reality the correlation between the health of your body and mind, and the ability to think clearly and work more intentionally and productively is great.
Here are three simple ways to support a clear mind and a healthy body without leaving your office:
- Keep a water bottle or glass of water on your desk at all times to encourage you to stay hydrated. When your bottle or glass is empty get up to refill it. Here is a water bottle with labels to encourage you to drink more water throughout the day.
- Set a timer on your phone to go off every 30 minutes to an hour to remind you to stand up (or adjust your sit stand desk converter), take a lap around your office, or perform some seated or standing stretches.
- Keep nutrient dense snacks on hand or in the fridge for you to eat while working. Try replacing some of your packaged and processed snacks with whole foods like fruits, nuts, or vegetables and dip.