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The home office serves many purposes from housing important documents to being the spot where you go to work if you have a home-business or telecommute. If your home office is unorganized, then it is hard to be efficient and get work done. Home organization projects can take a full day or more depending on how much you need to de-clutter and organize. It is now time to put the home office organization ideas that you have jotted down into action.
How to Organize a Home Office
To get started with your home office organization project, it is important to create a plan for your office and desk. Following some simple keys to office organization will keep your office and desk clear of clutter and help make items easier to find when you need them.
- As with any organization project, the first step for home office organization is to clear the room and desk. Throw away any broken or old equipment such as fax machines, printers, or scanners. Discard broken pens, paper clips and dried out highlighters and other older office supplies. If you haven’t used equipment in over 6 months, it might be a good time to donate, sell or place it in storage. Consider donating excess office supplies that you no longer need to your local school. There are guidelines for how long to store business and personal documents. If you do not need to keep the documents, then it is time to purge them.
- Purchase organizational tools, such as filing cabinets, storage bins and desk organizers for your office and actually use them! Every office should have a trash basket, shredder and a recycling center. Desk drawer organizers are a great way to store pens, paper clips and other everyday items. Use available wall space behind the desk by adding shelving for reference materials including binders or manuals as well as more storage bins.
- Set up a personal filing system for your filing cabinet for all of your documents from business bills to family documents, however make sure to keep business and family documents separate. Create an inbox and outbox system. Put “must dos” such as projects, bills and assignments in your inbox. Move the completed items from your inbox to your outbox. Make sure to clean the inbox and outbox at the end of every week. This system will help create a daily workflow and process.
- The desktop should only have your computer, monitor, (if using a desktop computer), and phone. Move all other electronic equipment off of the desktop. Try to use WIFI whenever possible to limit the amount of cords that you need. Use Velcro or binder clips to bind wires together under or behind the desk and out of your way. Don’t forget to label the wires so you know which wire goes with which piece of equipment.
- Put the items that you use the most near you and within reach. This includes desk accessories and your files. Only have items on your desk that you have to use on a daily basis. You are more productive when you have the items that you need directly in front of you and will prevent wasting time looking for items that you can’t find in a cluttered office.
- Scan important documents and store them in the appropriate folder on your computer’s hard drive. This will reduce the amount of clutter in your files and on your desk. Back-up your computer files to an external hard drive or via an online back-up service.
Keep Your Home Office Organized
Organizing your office and especially your desk can be an easy weekend project. The hardest part is to keep it organized throughout the year! Remember to go through mail on a daily basis, clean through your inbox and outbox and file away projects or documents you no longer require. If you feel that the room is getting cluttered again, then go through the organization process listed above every few months.
If you have additional home office equipment or business documents that you want to remove from your office but don’t have storage, place the items in a storage unit. Self storage is a great business storage solution. ezStorage has 50 locations in the Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia area that can help with your business and household storage needs.