How to Stay Organized When Your Couch is Your Desk

If you read this post, you know that we don't all have spectacular home office spaces. Some of us would rather do our blogging and bill paying from a MacBook on the sofa. To keep yourself from taking over the living room and irritating your housemate with your organized chaos, here's a few rules to live by when your couch is your desk.

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1. Give yourself a steady surface.
It's not going to be as sturdy as a real desk, that's for sure. But make sure your handwriting stays legible when you're jotting down important notes by grabbing a lapdesk or a small-impact stand-up desk.

We love this lap desk ($36, Stacks and Stacks) for integrating a lamp and this portable stand ($50, Amazon) for giving you both a writing spot and a place to prop your laptop. Of course, the $18 Ikea Dave laptop desk is always a hit.



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2. Stash your papers.
If you remember, it was my stacks of papers on the coffee table that irked my other half most about my couch-desk ways. Stay organized in a less intrusive way by keeping your "stacks" in a paper organizer. Depending on your organizational needs, one of these three solutions should do the trick: An accordion folder, a cascading file folder or a file box (Various prices, all from The Container Store).

As a visual person, I'm going with the cascading letter file tote, which will let me essentially spread out my piles when I need 'em, then pack them up when I'm done.



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3. Keep a trash can nearby.
Nothing clutters up an office as fast as "to trash" paper stacks. Don't let your living room get overwhelmed by stubs and envelopes that should belong in the round file. Make sure you keep a trash can nearby and dispose of junk mail immediately. If you're looking for a few stylish solutions, try our post on 8 Terrific (Home Office) Trash Cans.



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4. Stay limber.
Working hunched over a laptop while you sit on a sofa cushion will wreak havoc on your eyes, back and neck. Add your wrists to that list if you're doing a ton of typing. Make sure to stay limber by frequently changing positions and stretching (Check out our post on The Best No-Pain Laptop Position, too!).

How will this help you stay organized? Well if you're comfortable, you'll be more likely to stay on-task and work through that mountain of bills, right?



(Top Image: Flickr user Dave Austria under license from Creative Commons.)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, designer, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She lives in an apartment in Atlanta with her fiancé, their Boston Terrier and lots of serving dishes.