When it comes to keeping the home front organized, it seems there aren’t enough hours in the day. You’re busy, and sometimes keeping your apartment tidy and organized is not at the top of your priority list.

However, trying to be productive in a chaotic space can slow down your work pace and distract you from getting anything done. to be productive. Many people evade getting their apartment organized because they think they don’t have the time, but it doesn’t need to be time-consuming. In fact, once you achieve organization in your living space, you’ll discover how much more work you can accomplish.

Achieving organization may seem daunting to the chronically messy. Remember, a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Start small and organize your apartment over time. Approach it as an ongoing project rather than trying to get it all done at once. Below are five tips to help you get started:

Clear and organize your desk space

It might seem easier to head to the local Starbucks or a nearby campus library to work or study, but wouldn’t it make sense to do those things from home?  Set up a home office. If you haven’t already put a desk in your apartment, get one. Designate a corner of your living room or bedroom to create a workspace anchored by a desk. Even if your apartment is small, you can find a proportionate desk to place in a corner or an unused nook.

After creating your desk/workspace, pick up some inexpensive accessories to organize your stuff such as:

  • A desk caddy to stash pens and pencils, scissors, a spare phone charging cord and the like.
  • A charging station for your phone, tablet, and iPod.
  • A slim, storage tower on casters that tucks away next to your desk.
  • A corkboard for the wall on which to pin reminders, inspirational images, and important notes to self.
  • A couple of storage boxes to hold printing paper, printer cartridges, envelopes, etc.

Maximize digital capabilities

If you’re still relying on paper in your line of work, you’re creating clutter unnecessarily. It’s easy to find yourself overwhelmed by paper documents, mail, old manuals, etc. If you’re still reliant on paper, you need to quit. Going paperless is a no-brainer and it’s simple.

Start by tossing any documents, instructions, day planners—anything you can do online. Scan whatever you have that can’t be tossed and file the physical documents in a box, in a closet. By scanning documents, you’ll eliminate a great deal of clutter and your important documents will be forever saved and filed electronically. With everything digitally backed up, you’ll never have to worry about losing an important document again.

  •  Toss the sticky notes and replace them with a note app.
  •   Upload your CD collection to your computer and store those disks away, out of sight.
  •   Use a cloud storage service to keep your documents safe and access

Embrace the freedom of digital technology and take back your apartment by reducing or removing the clutter altogether. You’ll not only find it easier to stay organized, but your productivity will improve in ways you never imagined.

Don’t overlook storage essentials  

If your line of work requires you have certain tools readily available, don’t underestimate the value of filing cabinets, shelving units, and drawers. Interior design, for instance, requires a host of gear and paraphernalia that you can’t scan to the computer. The right storage system can simplify your life and make it much easier to find what you need when you need it.

A few storage ideas for home offices requiring an excess of equipment and gear include:

 A modular desk with storage that keeps the tools of your trade at your fingertips. Modular desks come in all sizes—there are even options for small spaces and options for closing panels to hide your work gear from sight.
•  An armoire is a great storage option for home office supplies.

  •  Wall and door storage rackshelp make the most of limited space.
  •  A rolling cartis another great solution for keeping a clutter-free home office in a small space.

When you’re considering storage for your office space, see what storage options you can find to organize your clothes and household items while you’re at it—the more you de-clutter, the more room you’ll have for your workspace.


Do not make the mistake of buying a cluster of storage boxes and of boxes and randomly packing things into them. Take the time to create a system for organizing and then commit to sticking to the system. By training your brain to break bad habits and adopting the practices of organization, you’ll be astonished by how much time you’ll save, and how much more productive you’ll be.

Enhance your apartment’s décor for added incentive to keep your space tidy and organized

Although we’ve focused on accessories to organize a home office space in this article, consider whether your apartment’s color scheme is conducive to your productivity and whether it motivates you to keep your space tidy and organized. The right color scheme can relax you or brighten your mood.

10 productivity-improving wall colors include:

•   Off-White. …

  •  Teal/Light Blue. …
  •   Gray. …
  •   Light Blue. …
  •   Blue-Gray. …
  •   Brown. …
  •   Pastel Yellow. …
  •   Purple.

Fabric, carpet, and upholstery patterns also make a difference.  Select patterns that speak to you in a positive way without distracting.

Examine your apartment’s lighting. If you have harsh incandescent lights, replace them with energy-efficient LED bulbs to improve the quality of the apartment’s lighting. Color, patterns, and lighting impact your productivity. The right combination can motivate you to get your work done.

Daily to-do lists

According to Forbes Magazine, if you’re struggling to get focused on work, a properly written to-do list is a good place to start. Find a productivity app you like and make it a habit of making to-do lists daily. If you prefer to compose your lists by putting pencil to paper, do it as long as it works for you. What’s important is having a list of tasks to accomplish each day, and don’t let them just pile up uncompleted or you’ll just be adding to your overload. Check off each task as you accomplish it. If completing your task list isn’t reward enough, treat yourself to ice cream to celebrate.

Are you motivated to put some (or all) of these tips to work in your apartment?

Whether you try just one or dive in with all of them, remember to approach organizing your home office space as an ongoing project to avoid becoming overwhelmed and giving up. Each step closer to organizing your space will pay off in spades. Train your brain to shed bad habits by committing to stay on top of the clutter. Always return items to their designated place and enjoy all the extra time you’ll have to be productive when you aren’t wasting it sifting through the mishmash.