If you’re searching for a place to sit or an empty space to place a file, it’s time to organize your home office! Organization is essential in your home, office or in your home-office if you’re to function at maximum efficiency and strive for increased productivity.
Some will claim that if they clean up and organize they would never be able to find anything, but this is rarely the case. These people waste a lot of time saying, “I know it’s here someplace.”
Most of the following suggestions hold true for both home and office or if you’re working out of your home in a designated office space. Find a place for everything and put everything in its place.
If you have a home or office that’s overwhelmed with clutter, divide the task into individual areas.
Table of Contents
A Quick Guide to Organize Your Home and Office
Have plenty of file folders, sticky notes, colored pens and storage bins on hand before you begin. This doesn’t mean run to the store and go buy pretty stuff to get organized. Work with what you have on hand. Add your personal style into your organization, using colorful wicker baskets, wire racks, or cute plastic buckets… whatever tickles your fancy. Organization can be both fun and functional.
Tackle the papers first.
Try not to handle each piece of paper or file more than once. Once I implemented this single recommendation my organization and productivity increased ten-fold! When you force yourself to make a decision with a piece of paper in hand, you’d be surprised at how much you will throw away.
Don’t get bogged down with in-depth reading of an article, recipe, letter, etc. right now or you’ll never get finished. Save it for later. Right now your goal is to clear clutter and get organized.
This is not the time to channel your inner-hoarder. A good rule is that if you haven’t read or used a piece of paper, a file or a notebook filled with remarks in the last six months you can probably trash it. But, if you’re still not sure and think you may need to keep it for legal reasons then prepare a long-term file bin.
Next up, drawers and files.
Once the top of your desk is clear and everything is in its place, start with the drawers. Clean desk drawers provide more storage space.
Keep your filing system simple. Don’t make it so complicated that it’s hard to find an item. If you’re afraid you might lose track of an article, store it in a clear sleeve or label it in bold letters.
Keep only the essential items on your desk top, such as a phone, calculator, computer, and office supplies you need daily such as tape, pens and paper clips. Okay, go ahead and make a space for a family photo or your significant other and a nice plant. There’s nothing like a plant or vase of fresh flowers to energize your spirit and keep you in a pleasant mood.
You tend to get much more accomplished if your environment is user friendly. However, other personal items, do not be in plain view or on your desk. Designate a separate drawer for personals and keep them to a minimum. And if you’re working from a home office, the rest of your home can serve as the personal space, so skip the personal drawer altogether.
Create a short-term to-do list and keep it where you see it constantly. If you forget to do something don’t use the excuse that you didn’t check your to-do list or your calendar. Keep your appointment calendar up to date and check it often. The top of your desk should have only one project at a time to keep you focused.
Keep your vision board and/or long-term goals list in plain view of your working space at all times. This will serve as your motivation when you just don’t feel like being productive. It’s ok, we all get in funky moods. Just embrace the funkiness, acknowledge it, and move on.
Reward yourself once you’ve completed your organization. I personally enjoy a smooth jasmine green tea or cup of java with some fancy flavored creamer as a reward, quite often I might add!
Now, the trick is to keep your space organized.
When a project is finished, put it away. Straighten your desk and work area at the end of each day so you meet the new day with a clean desk and a clear mind. Starting every day fresh will do wonders for your productivity!