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How to organize your home office, according to a Cambridge expert

BoConcept’s Anthony Goodh says making it easy to put things away makes it easy to stay organized

A well-organized desk against a wall, with a closed laptop, a potted plant, and a lamp, and there’s a clock on the wall. Shutterstock

A lot of Boston-area residents are staying home a lot more due to the novel coronavirus. This presents challenges as far as organizing residential spaces to accommodate working from home—and oftentimes alongside partners and children.

What once worked when most people were out of the house, apartment, or condo for most of the day no longer works.

So Curbed Boston is putting the same set of questions to local experts in organizing. Next up is BoConcept Cambridge owner Anthony Goodh with a particular emphasis on creating and organizing home offices (even if you don’t have the real estate to have an actual separate room as an office).

Top two or three tips for getting organized quickly?

Goodh over email: Storage is absolutely essential, and is the only way to be organized. Buy furniture with storage for items of various shapes and sizes so everything can fit. If you don’t have anywhere for your things to go, they will just sit out.

When designing your home office, know what things you want to hide and what you want to display to inform your storage decision.

Most home offices function as more than just an office. Typically offices have a dual use as guest bedrooms for family or friends staying in your home and, because of that, you want your office to be more than a desk, chair, and pullout sofa. In making the office feel more comfortable, hiding the office supplies and accessorizing with decorative books, vases, and frames can make the space work as two rooms.

What’s the hardest habit for clients or customers to break?

A hard habit is always putting away your stuff; not everyone is good at it. Instead of trying to break the habit, try to work with the habit. If you are bad at putting things away, pick storage and furniture that makes it impossible to feel messy or disorganized. For example, we have a desk called the Cupertino where panels open at the top; so, when you’re done with your work, you can just slide everything into the desk.

A couple of organizational essentials for any home office right now?

Copenhagen is one of my favorite office pieces. It has the right amount of storage to hide my files and paperwork and open storage to display a variety of items like photos and keepsakes. I also enjoy playing with textures and colors in an office. When you create an office that is beautiful and you want to spend time in, you’re more likely to keep it clean.

One trade secret (or a hint) for decluttering fast?

Give everything a proper home. Know where everything goes, and you’ll never have to search for anything or feel overwhelmed by mess or loss of important items. Putting away your things can be fast if they have a designated place to be put away.