Organize Your Home Office
With the arrival of spring come thoughts of airing out, cleaning up and organizing, so now is the perfect time to organize your home office space! Home offices tend to be a “catch all” space, making them less than efficient and you less than productive when you are in them. If you’re like most people, the home office is a space that has to function for a lot of different activities such as paying bills, household maintenance, filing papers, homework, gaming and more. It might sound overwhelming… how am I going to organize one space to support so many things. Have no fear, we have compiled our top tips to help:
SET IT UP!
- Go through all the pens, markers and highlighters you have. If they do not work, throw them out. You might be surprised how many just need to be tossed. By the way, this would be a great project for your children to help with!
- Go through your desk drawers and collect any loose rubber bands, staples, paper clips and erasers and consolidate them into one place. This will be easy to maintain if you store them in a drawer organizer like the Everything Organizer.
- To keep papers from taking over your desk, try using three trays or baskets on top of your desk for easy access: “Requires Action”, “Bills to Pay”, and “To File”. Stacking them is a more efficient use of space and keep “To File” at the bottom so it can’t grow too large.
- Remember, your goal is to create an efficient and effective area to work.
- Family pictures are nice to have in a home office; however, instead of cluttering up the top of your desk, try hanging them on the wall or a bulletin board to free up valuable desk space.
- As you are clearing off your desk, for anything that you cannot make a decision about, put it in a box labelled with the date and a comment “Toss in 6 months”. If you never go in it again then you have made your decision – toss it all!
- Take the time to clean off the top of your desk. Nothing is nicer than the way a space lloks and feels after a good spring cleaning!
- If getting up from a task causes you to lose focus, then arrange furniture in a way that will keep you from moving too often: filing cabinets or drawers where you keep frequently used documents should be close to your desk chair.
- Position phones, printers, computers and fax machines so that they are an arms-reach from where your chair is.
- Keep a large wastepaper basket, maybe even a paper shredder, next to your desk to allow you to purge unwanted paper easily.
STAY THAT WAY!
- A single notebook for tracking all the things you need to do. First thing in the morning, jot down all that you need to accomplish, when you want to have it done by and how long you think it will take to do. This will allow you to better plan your day. If you are going electronic, consider using an app like Wonderlist.
- Regularly go through your to-do pile. If you find papers or projects that you have been holding on to for a long time it might be time to consider if it is really something you still need to address. If so, set a deadline, schedule it and then get it done! Otherwise… it’s time to say goodbye.
- Regularly go through your computer’s hard drive and delete unwanted “cookies” and files, even defragment your hard drive for better efficiency.
Happy Spring! Throw open your windows, take a deep breath and dig in. You can do this and when you are done you will work so much more efficiently, effectively and happy.