An organized home office is a key to your success! Whether it’s an entire room or a corner of your kitchen, a home office is more than just an office – it’s the command center of your home and life, and maybe even business. It might be home base for everything from bill paying to party planning to conference calls and more. And whether you’re working on organizing an existing home office or you’re creating a newly organized home office, this is the perfect time to make sure you use the right space and set it up for success. Let’s talk about a few keys to success when creating an organized home office.
First, you need to define and dedicate some space for your office. This may be dictated by what space you have available – it could be small, such as a mobile filing cart or you might have a whole room to work with. Whatever the case, don’t fight natural tendencies – try to set up your office where mail, paperwork and other important items already tend to accumulate.
Next, take a few minutes to list out what functions your office needs to support. Having this list will make it much easier to figure out what you need in the space and what you don’t.
Knowing what you are trying to accomplish in your office will help you corral the supplies you need – think supplies for opening and processing mail and school papers, paying bills, making new files, and anything else you need to routinely do in your home office.
If you’re dealing with a big paper mess, such as piles all over your desk, it can help to kick-start your process with a quick sort. First, gather all your surface paperwork into a box (or boxes). Then do a quick sort by looking at each paper and sorting it into 1 of 3 categories – To Do, To File, or To Toss. Your Toss pile might be a mix of things that can be recycled and things that should be shredded. Once you have tossed your Toss pile, you’ll just be left with 2 piles – papers you want to keep but don’t need to take action on, and those that require some sort of action. This quick sort strategy allows you to start taking action on top priority paperwork, as you work on setting up an improved filing system without worrying that pressing action items are buried in a pile somewhere.
After you’ve calmed that chaos, it’s time to set up simple systems for incoming paper, projects and more – do what works for you and your family, and don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be!
You’ll also need to make time to practice your new routines – it takes time to create tried and true habits, but it’s well worth it!
Want to learn more? Download our e-Course, Down to Business, Make your Home Office Work for You. You will learn a step by step process to create an organized home office!
Certified Professional Organizer®, Sarah Buckwalter has over 15 years of experience running Organizing Boston, the 2014 winner of Best of Boston Home™, Best Professional Organizer. Highly regarded and nationally recognized as an industry expert, Sarah shares her knowledge and experience through her speaking, coaching and training programs at OrganizingU.com