Staying organised is one of the most important (and often difficult) tasks to take care of in a home office. Once you allow a little chaos into the room, your productivity is likely to take a dive.
"A place for everything, and everything in its place" is a philosophy that should keep you out of trouble if you follow it, but that's sometimes easier said than done.
Good shelving can go a long way towards helping you keep the office tidy, and makes it easier to store and find the things you need.
Being able to see in order to find those things is where lighting comes into it. Of course sight isn't the only means by which to find things. Blind people can sometimes manage quite impressively. But good clear vision definitely makes things easier.
What follows on the rest of this page is a few tips that may help you get more from the space you have so you can spend less time searching for things, and hopefully as a result be more productive in your work.
1. If you can, use recessed shelving
The advantage recessed shelving provides is that it gives you the storage space you need without intruding onto your floor space. Recessed shelves are also the easiest to provide shelf lighting for.
One potential complication that may rule the whole idea out, however, if that recessed shelving needs to be planned for from the start, before the walls of the office have been erected.
If you're building a new home and an office is definitely going to be included, then having recessed shelving included into your architectural plans is definitely the way to go.
2. Thick shelves are best
Good thick shelves are more sturdy than thin shelves and can bear more weight. Nothing could look worse in shelving that when the shelf material is too thin and begins to sag under the weight that has been placed on it.
Consider also that sagging shelves are potentially dangerous, and in any case if a shelf collapses it's going to be messy.
3. Stack shelves by weight
Whether you have free standing or built in shelves, the best idea is to stack the heavier items toward the bottom and lighter items toward the top. This way you are less likely to be injured and your shelves are less likely to fall.
This is just common sense, but you'd be surprised how common it is for people to not use sense when stacking shelves.
4. Long shelves are better than high shelves
When space permits, horizontal expansion is better than vertical expansion because it's safer. Stacking things high means you have more chance for them to fall down (and they'll fall farther when they do), and you may also need to use a step ladder to reach items stacked on high shelves.
Not using a step ladder can be even worse, because that invites more chance for you to be injured.
5. Free standing shelving units should angle toward the wall
To help prevent free standing shelving units from tipping over, they should actually lean back slightly toward the wall. This way even when the shelves become unbalanced, they are less likely to topple forward.
In other words, the bottom of the free standing shelving unit should not be perfectly level, but actually should allow a slight backward slant.
6. It's best to keep knick-knacks to a minimum
Some people like to decorate their shelves with ornaments, photographs, and so on. This is a waste of space, so unless you're decorating for effect, it's better not to include unnecessary items. If the decoration in question is your Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, it's possible you could make an exception.
7. Shelf lighting is a good idea
Shelf lighting is the finishing touch that helps make it easy to see what you've got stored. If you rely only on the ambient lighting in the room, your own shadow can fall on the objects you're trying to see.
Storing and organising things in the home office is not rocket science, but as with everything in business, a little planning goes a long way toward better efficiency and better results.