Whether you work at home or just have a separate space for some peace and quiet outside of work hours, your home office is one of the most vulnerable to clutter. Old papers, office supplies… occasionally, it can even collect some items for “storage” that don’t quite fit as well into other places in the home. Take a look at some top tips for making sure your office doesn’t take over your home.

Conduct a Paper Cut

Cut out all of your excess papers. This can be a huge part of cleaning out and organizing a home office, as papers are one of the main elements that seem to continue growing every day. Take some time to really get into your paper piles and sort out what’s important and what’s trash. Once you’ve found the good stuff, move on to a good filing system.

Filing Your Files

A good filing system can have invaluable results. It not only helps you to clear out your current clutter, but it also helps you to stay organized moving forward. Many people opt for a color-coded filing system where hanging folders and tabs of different colors represent categories of files. For example, green can be personal files, yellow for financial, and red for medical.

Contain the Supplies

Many people develop one or two nightmare drawers that are full to the brim of different types of supplies. To help ensure that this chaos doesn’t continue, you can separate different types of supplies into containers. For example, a small Tupperware for all of your pens, one for your paper clips, one for your thumb tacks, and so on. Then they can all fit nicely into a couple of drawers.

Place Like Items Together

Continuing on the path of the drawers full of office supplies, it’ll help to better organize your office and help you find things when you’re looking for them if you store like items together. For example, all of the writing utensils in one drawer or area, all related files and papers in one area, budgeting tools together like your calculator, bill calendar, and checkbook.

Consider Open Shelving

Instead of bringing in a clunky book case, think about an option like a book spine that you can install along a wall. It will take up less room and leave your office feeling more open and accessible, all while allowing you the ability to organize your books, manuals, and notebooks.

A home office can be an important space for concentration and decision-making, so make sure you’re making the most of it and minimizing your distractions.