When it comes to designing your home office, there are two main categories of design that can be used in a variety of interesting and functional ways. The two categories that can inform your design are modern and classic.


A modern design for your home office will focus on minimal, clean and organized functionality. This allows you to remain focused on your work and prevents you from being distracted by clutter. Contemporary design schemes are comprised mainly of white and grey with accents or pops of a single bright color like yellow or green.


A classic design is more focused on the coziness or warmth of the room. This type of design tends to incorporate warm colors and wooden furniture with a number of personal items to help you feel at home in your space. When considering this design theme, it is helpful to think of the type of design you might see in a grand library.


With either of these design choices, there are a few central organizational concepts that will be essential. The first concept is consolidation and simplification. By consolidating how much paper needs to be stored in your office, you will significantly reduce the amount of storage space you need. This allows you to open up your space and makes things easier to find. For those files that do not need to be kept in physical form, scan and upload them to your computer or an external hard drive. For those that are not well versed in the use of a scanner, there are many services out there that will scan and shred them for you.


The Organizer Group Inc. Owner Kayla Williams explained paper management is the number one challenge she faces when walking into a new organization project for home offices.


“The first thing that needs to be done is to set up the flow of how paper comes in and out,” Williams said. “Things can be done digitally rather than keeping all of the paper and things. I assess a lot of things and it’s not just black or white, so it all depends on what you are wanting to achieve and how you want the space to feel. You want it to be a space that’s empowering.”


Williams went on to explain file management and developing a filing system are essential when it comes to cleaning up the paper in an office.


“That to me is a big piece that we encounter all the time — not having homes for the paper that you need,” Williams said. “Setting up a quality workspace and thinking through all of the supplies you need is important. You should have easy access and not be piling up your drawers so you can’t get to everything you need. Maintenance is important for all of those areas so you are able to keep those things maintained and you get all of those details in order.”


Another essential concept when it comes to designing and organizing your office is storage. For what you must keep in physical form, there a number of attractive storage options that can help you stay organized while also keeping your space aesthetically pleasing. For those going with a more modern approach, open shelving is a popular option. Utilizing baskets or other containers on the open shelves is a helpful way to store items that aren’t meant to be displayed. A more traditional style office will likely feature classic bookshelves along with other wooden furniture pieces like file cabinets that can provide enclosed storage.


Keep in mind that while classic and modern styles are the main two categories, there are many who choose to combine these for a unique look that suits them personally. Feel free to get creative with the space. It is all about designing an area that inspires you while also satisfying your needs in a work space.


If the prospect of organizing your office seems overwhelming it might be time to hire an expert. Williams, who has been in the organizing business for 21 years, said the first step is to set up a consultation. She explained a typical consultation runs between $85 and $250 dependent on the square footage of the home. The consultation includes information gathering, assessment and planning. When it comes to the actual job of organizing the space, rates vary between $165 and $180 per hour for a three-person team or $125 and $145 per hour for a two-person team. These rates vary based on the scope of the work.