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Make over your home office for fall

Tips from the author of “Unf*ck Your Habitat” on how to refresh your home workspace.
Trick yourself into doing work by transforming your home office into a place you don't hate. Photo: ISTOCK

Whether you work from home or find yourself often bringing work home with you, convincing yourself to be productive in the place where you live is always challenging. There are so many distractions and comfortable places to lounge, like, your bed, that it’s a wonder we ever get anything done. Now that summer is petering out, we all tell ourselves we’re going to buckle down. But if you’re filled with dread every time you glance over at your messy desk, you’ll likely head straight to the couch and queue up the Netflix instead.  

The trick is, well, learning to trick yourself into doing the work by transforming your home office into a place that you don’t hate being. Rachel Hoffman, the author of “Unf*ck Your Habitat,” tells us her hacks for making your home workspace positive and clutter-free. 

Personalize it

“Make it a space where you don’t feel like you’re being put in time-out,” advises Hoffman. She suggests incorporating things that you enjoy, from framed photos to inspirational mood boards.  

Or, literally bring life into your work area by adding plants to your desk or your office. “If I put plants in a room, I have to eventually go water them,” she says. 

It’s important to make yourself comfortable enough that you don’t automatically retreat to your bed: “If you’re going to invest in one thing, get yourself a good chair so you can do your work and not want to escape,” she suggests. 

Remember that your workspace doesn’t have to look a certain way to be effective. If you do your best work sitting on the couch using a laptop, why not bring a couch into your office? 

Cover up your cords

If you have cords running everywhere, your work area will look chaotic and you’ll feel chaotic, too. Investing in cable management, using wraps and covers to conceal all those pesky wires and chargers, will make a big difference in helping you declutter.  

Find the storage system that works for you 

“People often force themselves to change their organizational style to fit the system they think they should be using,” Hoffman says. Instead, figure out how you organize and then come up with a system that works for you. 

Not everybody files papers; Hoffman says she prefers to stack them. She fills labeled boxes with tidy stacks of papers and instead using her filing cabinet to store bulky objects, such as her printer.