Getting Down to Business in Your Home Office
How to set up an office that meets your needs and uses what you already have.
Are you ready to set up a home office, but have no idea where to start? Take heart, your dream home office is easier to set up than you think. Whether you are decentralizing, starting a new business or a self-admitted workaholic, these guidelines will help you customize your space for all the workers in your home.
- Mark your territory
- Purge before purchase
- Identify what is working
- Use what you have
- Become a filing fan
- Avoid desktop disaster
- Shred it
Home offices often become multi-use rooms, so choose a room that has privacy, preferably with a door and away from the major flow of traffic. Enforce the "adult only" rule for this space to help create an environment for business, not play<.
One of the common pitfalls when organizing is buying containers for items that you may not need to keep. Finding out what you need to store first is the key. Start by purging old documents, outdated manuals, and non-working technology before buying elaborate systems to house these items.
Are you a Blackberry junkie? More laptop than desktop? Your work style needs to be considered before you lay out your space. Knowing how you work and what makes you efficient will help you get more work done every day.
Get creative with storage. Consider using a table you already have as a desk. Closets with shelves create instant storage and a trunk or chest can easily be converted to a filing system with a metal hanging apparatus.
The key to keeping a home office clutter free is having a good filing system. Whether you choose a traditional filing cabinet, storage boxes or discs, having a place for your documents that is labeled and accessible will help you find what you need, when you need it.
Assign zones for her work, his work and family documents. Designating drawers and color coding files are easy ways to stay organized. Maintain these areas by being diligent about returning files to drawers, books to shelves and supplies to closets. A fifteen-second task handled immediately will avoid pileups that will take hours to unearth.
Invest in a good quality paper shredder to eliminate junk mail, plus outdated and sensitive documents. This will not only prevent office clutter, but also protect your identity.
Mary Carlomagno is the owner of Order, which specializes in clutter control and shopping addictions. She has written two books on these topics, as well as articles for Care.com. Visit her website at orderperiod.com.