If you work from home, having a home office may be a very big key to one of your home's area's lacking organization. Since you work from home, it is important that this area be a place that is neat and well maintained in the organization department so your work productivity doesn't slow down. Here are some tips for maintaining order in your home office:
Tips For Organizing Your Home Office
Have a dedicated space
Make sure your home office actually has it's own space that is not territory for anything else. You may not have an extra bedroom to do this in, but you should at least have a corner of your living room, Bedroom or even kitchen that you call your home office. Making sure you have a dedicated space will force you to keep the area organized and know when things are out of place to begin with.
Keeping mail, notes and other paperwork pertaining to your home office organized is essential. Make sure you have enough storage space for these items. Invest in a file cabinet or get a desk that has drawers that double as filing cabinets to keep it under control. There is nothing more frustrating than needing a particular document and not being able to find it.
Utilize your wall space in your home office area. Place a bulletin board in your work area to allow you to put important information on it so it is easily accessible. This is a low space way to keep phone numbers, reminders and notes off your desk.
Make Sure Your Desk is Not a Mess
Make your office supplies easy to find by keeping your desk space as clutter free as possible. This can be achieved by making sure papers get filed right away and you utilize desk organization tools such as pen holders, drawer dividers and filing boxes.
Many of your documents could be digital if you get a scanner. If it is something you don't need a hard copy of such as a note, scan it into your computer and move it to a USB drive. Make sure you name it something that you can easily remember.
Consider using a smaller computer to save space. There are some great all-in-one computers that no longer even have towers as computers once did. Instead, the computer is in the monitor. A laptop is also a good option, especially if your dedicated work space is very small.
Invest in a paper shredder. This will make it much easier to let go of papers that may have personal information on them that you no longer need, but have been holding onto.
Set Up A Way To file Your Documents
Get the most efficient filing system you can afford. For areas with limited space, consider a rolling filing system that you can tuck away under counters and in closets.
Gather all your papers in one place and start placing them in categories. Some suggestions include; family documents, such as birth certificates, Notes, Bills for the home office, Bills for the home, Receipts, tax documents and so on.
To efficiently organize your files, make sure the ones you use the most are in the front of the rest. This will make them easier to find and your work day more efficient. Make sure to periodically go through your files to make sure they are still current. Depending on how much work you do from home and what your paper clutter from it is, this should be done about once every 1-3 months.
Maintain The Space
Make sure to treat your home office as if it is not your home. This might seem counter productive, especially since you probably work from home simply because you feel lucky to have the privilege. If you treat your home office as if it is something that your “boss” might frown upon being in disarray, you will begin to keep it from becoming a mess.
As suggested above, go through your filing system on a regular basis. Not only will this clear clutter, but it will give you more area to put new important documents for easy reach.
If something such as a phone number or address changes with a business contact, make sure to change it in your files immediately. This will really cut down on the little scraps of papers we all keep around as notes and make fining everything in one spot possible.
How do you keep your desk and home office from becoming a paper filled nightmare? I would love to hear your tips!