Interior Home Technology

15 Home Office Essentials You Didn’t Know You Needed

Working from a home office presents a few challenges, but some unique and innovative products can help you get organized, stay safe, and streamline your workday.
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The Work-From-Home Scenario

A few lucky home workers have a dedicated room for their office. In contrast, others have an alternative office space—say, a kitchen table or a converted hall closet—but no matter your setup, getting and staying organized can be a chore in itself. When you work from home, your office space has to compete with the rest of your home’s rooms, and that’s a recipe for chaos. To work effectively, you have to block out home life and focus on the job at hand. The following items will help you keep your workday organized and help you de-stress so you can enjoy both your work and your life.

Perch Modular Storage

Add an attractive modern touch to your home office with the Perch Magnetic Modular System Components from The Container Store that you can stick on the side of a file cabinet or a refrigerator to help you stay organized. Choose from various containers in chic white or cool teal for holding pencils, pens, scissors, and much more. The Perch wall components are designed for use with dry-erase markers so you can write and remove text as you like.

Eye Strain Reducing Lamp

Nothing’s worse than straining to see in low lighting. With the Ivomax Cordless Eye Strain Reducing Lamp from The Grommet, you’ll have all the clear, bright light you need to go over papers and reports. The Ivomax light comes with a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery that charges via a USB port, and it provides glare-free light for up to 40 hours on a single charge.

Related: 10 Ways to Boost Productivity at Home

Cable Clips

If a tangle of PC, printer, and speaker cords, lurks at the back of your desk, welcome to the club! A mess of cords going in all directions is distracting, but with the Shintop Cable Clips from Amazon you can gather them in neat bundles to tidy up your technology. Each colorful clip holds cords snugly and comes with an adhesive backing so you can run the cords out of sight along the back edge of a table or even down the side of a desk to keep them organized.

Cord Cover

Camouflage a whole bundle of unsightly cords within the D-Line Cable Raceway Cord Cover available on Amazon. It comes in five colors, including white, black, and wood grain, to match your home office décor, and it measures 2 inches, by 1 inch, by 39 inches. The back comes with peel-and-stick adhesive, so you can position the cord cover along a wall or baseboard will it hide a lot of cords.

Organization Vault

Keep important papers and documents in one spot in the All in One Organization Vault, available from Uncommon Goods. The vault’s elegant fabric binding gives it a classic look that will complement a bookcase or tabletop. It measures 10 inches by 13 inches by 5 inches, offering ample space for storing reports, files, and even essential lists and schedules.

Smartphone Sanitizer

Kill germs, bacteria, and viruses that might be lingering on your phone with the PhoneSoap Smartphone Sanitizer, available from Uncommon Goods. This easy-to-use sterilizer uses ultraviolet rays to zap microscopic germs and reduce the risk of passing on any infections. Just put your smartphone in the case and close the lid to start the sanitizing process. At 7.6 inches by 5 inches by 1.75 inches, the PhoneSoap case is large enough for all smartphones and charges via a USB cord. The unit is portable can sanitize your phone up to 45 times on a single charge.

Portable Document Scanner

No room for a large scanner in your home office? No worries. The Doxie Intuitive Portable Scanner, available from Amazon, is just 12.25 inches by 2.25 inches by 1.75 inches, so it can be tucked away behind a monitor or stowed in a desk drawer until you need it. The scanner runs on a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery that will scan up to 400 documents on a single charge, it’s fully portable, and it produces crisp, full-color scans up to 600 dpi. Users can save the documents in a range of formats, including JPEG and PDF, and the scanner integrates with text-recognition software to make PDF scans text-searchable.

Tech Taffy

Keyboards and other frequently used electronics are prime spots for dirt and bacteria to hide, and they are notoriously hard to clean—until now. Tech Taffy Dust-Devouring Compound, available from The Container Store, is a cleaning goo designed for cleaning and sterilizing nooks and crannies that you can’t spray with disinfectant or other cleaners. Just pinch off a bit of the taffy—which contains boric acid for disinfecting purposes—and press it repeatedly between keys or along the mouse’s buttons to remove dirt and bacteria. The goo is reusable, and it leaves behind a clean scent.

Addressing Stencil

Unless you have perfect penmanship, addressing envelopes by hand can result in sloping text lines that are embarrassing to mail out. Clean up your handwriting act with the Lettermate Envelope Addressing Stencil from The Grommet. This translucent stencil features cutouts that will keep your writing straight and uniform, and it comes with smaller lines for writing return addresses. A ruler along the bottom edge helps ensure your text is centered.

Identity Protection Roller

Redacting your personal information from documents and reports has never been easier. With the Guard Your ID Wide Identity Protection Roller from The Grommet, you can effectively camouflage entire areas of paper documents and letters to keep curious eyes from seeing sensitive information. The roller cartridge is covered with an encryption pattern and delivers an oil-based ink that penetrates the paper to make the text beneath unreadable, even if the paper is held up to the light.

Mug Warmer and Phone Charger

Keep your coffee or cocoa piping hot with the Self-Warming Ceramic Mug and Charger, available from Uncommon Goods. It keeps beverages in the ceramic mug (included) at a consistent 130-degrees through the use of metallic particles that operate on electromagnetic energy. Once the coffee is gone, remove the mug and place your smartphone on the pad to wirelessly charge it. This double-duty beverage heater and charger is only 4.3 inches in diameter, so it won’t take up much space on the desk, and you won’t have to keep hopping up to reheat your coffee in the microwave.

4-Port Charger

Save space and charge all your devices in one handy spot with the 4-Port Charging Station, available from The Container Store. It holds and charges up to four phones or tablets quickly with its fast-charging ability, and it comes with clear dividers that keep the devices neat and orderly during charging. The charger is compatible with most Apple and Android devices.

Friendship Lamp

It only takes a touch to let loved ones know you’re thinking of them—even if they’re far away. The Long Distance Friendship Lamp, available from Uncommon Goods, allows you to rest your hand on top of the lamp, which will light up your lamp at the same time it lights up your loved one’s lamp. In order for the two lamps to sync, both homes must have a 2.5 GHz Wi-Fi connection.

Clear Calendar

Paper calendars look good when you change the page to a new month, but after a few days of writing appointments and then scribbling them out, it starts to look messy and disorganized again. Keep your calendar looking clean with the Russell + Hazel Acrylic Clear and Cold Weekly Calendar, available from The Container Store. It hangs on the wall but lets the wall color show through. It features a pre-printed column for every day of the week, and it comes with a white and a black dry erase marker for writing.

Related: 14 Ways to Make Your Home Office Work Better for You


Give your feet a break with the DAGOTTO Footrest, available from Ikea. Just 19.75 inches wide, the footrest fits easily under a desk or table and lifts your feet off the ground to encourage better leg circulation. The foot platform tilts for varied foot positions using just the pressure of your feet, and its surface is textured to keep your feet from slipping off. Rubber guards on the bottom of the footrest keep from marring hardwood flooring and keep the footrest from sliding.