What are the top 3 to 5 main functions you would like for your home office?
! Tip: IF you have more than 5 main functions then it will be hard to keep all managed well.
- Function 1
- Function 2
- Function 3
- Function 4
- Function 5
- What is working?
- What is NOT working?
- What is most important?
- Why get organized?
- What is causing the problem?
The two main functions in home offices are for business and for personal use. Some are used for both. If this is the case then business and personal should be organized separately in your office even if that means just having their own file drawer. Unfortunately, the home office becomes the place where you will come across something you don’t know what to do with at that time so you, “Just put it in the office for now and I will deal with it later”. Here are suggestions on where to begin and help keep your office organized.
- The first step is to take a basket or bin and go around your office removing anything that does not pertain to what you want your office function to be. Find homes for them so they do not end up back in your office. Eg: toys, magazines, clothing, food, tools, housewares, unused supplies, purchases that are still in their bags, cleaning supplies.
- Do a quick sort of what is left in your office. Use bins or baskets to help separate the things into different functions and categories. E.g.: business, personal, papers, books, supplies, reference books, etc.
- With your functions or vision for the office in mind create the different areas you would like it to have. E.g. filing, supplies, computer, business, personal, research etc.
- How is your furniture placement? Do you feel things flow in your office? Do you like where your desk is placed? Tell yourself what it is you like and what makes you comfortable in your office and what it is that you need to change to have it that way.
- Place the pertinent items you sorted into the areas that you have decided on and work on one area at a time.
- Have things you use daily within arm’s reach. You should not have to get out of your chair to reach them. Remove seldom used things from your primary working area.
- Have vertical storage for your incoming paper, Eg: portable hanging files or magazine holders. If you are one to like your paperwork in piles, use trays to help keep your things e.g.: projects, mail, papers) organized on your desk.
- Set up a tray/file for filing – and do it on a regular basis. Keep your filing separate from action documents or reading items.
- Avoid outdated information in paper-based directories and maps and reduce the bulk in your office by utilizing Internet-based online reference tools.
- If you are often on the road to work with clients, develop a ‘client’ kit. Keep extra copies of forms, marketing material, file folders, and any other things you would need. Leave it in your vehicle so you will always be prepared.
- Don’t waste your space hoarding supplies at your desk — only keep what you need nearby and put the rest in storage.
- Use a drawer, tray or low baskets to keep paperclips, letter openers, staples, tape, glue, and other small supplies in order.