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Home Office Hacks for Small Spaces

16 Nov 2018

The key to living in a small home or apartment is not figuring out how to Tetris a life's worth of stuff into limited square footage. It's about understanding what you truly need—and don't need—in order to live comfortably and contentedly, day by day. Nowhere is this approach more important than in a home office, where papers and cables are constantly accumulating.

Below are our loved space savers:

1. Scan everything

Banish those boxes of receipts, financial records, medical documents, business cards, photos, and more with a compact scanner—some models are no larger than a thick ruler. Once you convert your documents to a digital format, shred the originals if you don’t need them and then organize your files electronically. (Be sure to keep a secure backup; external hard drives and cloud storage are smart options.)

2. Hide a wireless printer 

There’s no need to keep a printer on your desk. Even cleverly designed compact models are an eyesore and intrude on the aesthetics of a carefully decorated, multifunctional room. Instead, store a small wireless printer out of sight nearly anywhere (a large drawer or closet shelf would do the trick), and “connect to it wirelessly from all of your devices.

3. Get a shelf for your monitor 

While desktop computers are sleeker than ever, their accessories can clutter up a workspace. You can place risers with mini cubbies under your monitor, but they make a mixed-use room feel “office-y.” Instead, try securing a shelf to the monitor’s back side. This platform can hold an external hard drive, a portable scanner, and USB keys. From their perch, the devices remain plugged in and ready for action, but with their cords out of sight.

4. Shred paper right away

You can shred the occasional paper bill or personal file safely with a hand-operated shredder that’s about the size of a pair of sunglasses. If you need to shred a significant number of documents only once or twice a year, take them to an office supply center that offers bulk shredding. There’s just no reason to buy and store your own industrial paper shredder.

5. Wrangle cables

 Manage multiple cords with cable sleeves, which corral numerous wires into one bundle that you attach to the underside of a desk. Or, if you’re plagued by just one or two cords, keep them in place via small peel-and-stick clips that adhere to nearly any hard surface without damaging its finish.

6. Take your desk with you

 If you use a laptop, challenge yourself to keep your entire office in a stylish portable portfolio. Before investing in one, make sure it offers a handful of key features. Does it hold your charger, wires, earbuds, and earplugs? Will it fit your laptop or tablet? Does it cleanly sort pens, paper, and notepads? Is there a dedicated space for credit cards, an ID, and other items you’ll need on the go? Is it beautiful to look at and comfortable to transport?

 

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