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Photographer John Gruen and his wife, Beth Adams Gruen, an illustrator, had outgrown their cluttered home office. It was more than just an eyesore, it was also a study in inefficacy. The room's layout didn't allow for more than one person to work at a time. Storage space was scarce and what little they had was filled to the brim with disorganized paperwork. But we were able to help the Gruens turn their home around by suggesting the purchase of a few key furniture pieces and the implementation of simple clutter-busting strategies. The same ideas can work for you, too.
Begin by weeding through all the materials in your home office and tossing anything outdated or superfluous. Then scrutinize the room with one goal in mind: to make the space work for your family. It sounds elementary, but often clutter is born out of an unrealistic assessment of your lifestyle and needs. Do you need more drawers for supplies? Can you give up some work surfaces for file space? With your needs in mind, consider investing in an armoire desk with doors, or cabinets with file drawers -- the more items stored out of sight, the better. Last, when choosing accessories, avoid conventional office supply products; instead, choose baskets, colored boxes, or bins, which offer both style and function.
Smart Office Furniture
Using three joined lengths of wood painted a durable high-gloss white, we created a sizable desktop that has enough surface space for everything. Instead of resting on legs, the desktop is supported by storage units -- a handsome set of file drawers and CPU cabinet from Pottery Barn -- and has a hutch, also from Pottery Barn, on top to keep everyday items organized. Thomas O'Brien's desk lamp from Target offers sleek task lighting, while Smith+Noble's wooden blinds allow just enough sunlight.