If you’re like many of us these days, you work from home either full-time or at least one or more days per week. To get the most out of your days, setting up your environment effectively is vital.

If you’re not a fan of clutter and get overwhelmed and distracted if you have too much “stuff” taking up your spaces, you might consider creating a more minimalist home office today.

Start by Designating a Specific Work Area

When working from home, we need to ensure we have a specific, designated work area we can claim as our own. To create a minimalist home office, we first need to work out what space is our work zone so we can set it up accordingly. A home office can sometimes also be a guest room, reading room, storage area, music room, child’s playroom, garage, basement, etc.

You might not be able to have as much control as you’d like over how the rest of a room gets used, but by designating a specific part of it to your office space, you can limit the chaos of other housemates or family and their projects and activities from affecting you so much.

Hopefully, you’ll be able to set yourself up to work from home in a separate, enclosed room. If not, take the time to define your part of a space by using some sort of partition. For instance, you might use a fabric divider, a curtain, a tall console, a big bookcase, or some other object for separation.

Place More Value on Functionality

If you want to create a minimalist home office, it’s crucial to place a lot of value on the functionality of the space. Every item should have a function and specific purpose for being there. Where possible, try to use multifunctional pieces, too, so you can get more out of each item and have fewer pieces to fit into the work area.

Don’t add goods into your office just because you may want or need to use them “someday.” Instead, be purposeful about all your choices and select just those few things that work effectively, are made to last, look elegant, and provide excellent value all around.

Declutter and Develop Systems

The key idea of minimalism is not just to have sparse spaces but also to be freer of guilt and overwhelm due to clutter. As such, you need to spend time decluttering your office and any surrounding areas as much as possible so you’re not constantly confronted by a million different things that you have to move around or that keep reminding you of tasks on your to-do list.

Eliminate as many goods as you can from your office. There are sure to be items you can sell, donate, recycle, shred, or move to a digital copy rather than a physical one. In particular, keep your desk clear, as this is where you’ll spend so much time.

Limit the number of stationery items on your desk and focus on things like your computer, keyboard, and mouse, a diary (if you use a physical one) or notebook, one inbox and outbox for files, and a small selection of quality writing instruments. For example, you might like to have one elegant Mont Blanc fountain pen, one or two red or black pens, and a pencil on your desk, and put everything else away in a drawer or cupboard.

Part of decluttering should involve creating smart systems, too. These will help you find a place for everything in the office so it’s easier to keep the space organized. Papers are one of the trickiest things to wrangle, so it pays to create positive habits for yourself. For example, you could start and finish each day by doing some planning and filing and sorting of documents. Scan and digitally store as much as possible, so you don’t have to keep it all on-site.

Also, it helps to opt out of junk mail, printed statements, and the like and ask for emailed or texted receipts rather than printed ones where possible. Sort your mail on the day it arrives, too, so these items don’t add up and turn into an unmanageable collection in mere weeks.

Keep Décor Neutral

Another excellent way to get your office’s minimalist look and feel is to keep décor as neutral as possible. This helps to avoid visual overwhelm. Stick with white, cream, beige, grey, or other simple tones on the walls and ceiling, and pick simple flooring options, such as wooden floorboards or neutral carpeting.

Choose pared-back shades for your furniture, too, then add little pops of colour with the odd artwork, book, organizer, and the like. Plus, pick simple lighting options and window coverings, and look for ways to conceal wiring to provide a neater, less busy look.

A minimalist home office can work wonders for your ability to focus, steer clear of distractions, and generally feel more productive and less stressed. Set yourself up in a streamlined office and see the results for yourself.