Guest post by Nancy Haworth, owner of On Task Organizing
Does your home office look like a tornado hit it? As a professional organizer, I help homeowners and business owners to de-clutter, organize and simplify their lives, saving them time, and allowing them to be more productive.
The home office is usually the most cluttered room in the home. Creating a more efficient layout and implementing a paper maintenance system can improve productivity and lower stress.
Tip #1: Remove Excess Items
The first step in de-cluttering a home office is to remove excess items that do not belong in that space. Often items such as toys, electronics, tools, and clothing take up valuable space in a home office. Removing these items from the home office will allow you to utilize the office for its intended tasks.
Tip #2: Think Vertically
Make use of vertical wall space surrounding the desk with wall shelving, peg boards, bulletin boards or dry erase boards.
Tip #3: Purge File Cabinets
Setting up a filing cabinet within reach of the desk chair will make it easier to file and retrieve papers. Schedule an annual file clean-out day so the drawers are not stuffed.
Tip #4: Corral Electronics
Create a designated area for the printer, scanner, shredder and other items. If you have out-dated or no longer used electronics, donate or recycle these to create more space.
Tip #5: Add More Storage
Be sure you have enough storage for your reference materials and office supplies. Carts, bookcases, or cabinets work well for these items. Adding shelving or cubical bins inside a closet can also hold these supplies.
When it comes to managing paperwork, daily upkeep of the incoming mail and other paperwork is key. Process mail near a recycling bin and shredder. Immediately discard papers you do not need.
The papers that remain can be placed in a desktop file box in labeled folders based on that paper’s next action such as “to pay,” “to file,” or “to read”. Schedule a time to address these action folders on a regular basis.
By removing excess clutter, reducing paper piles, and adjusting the layout of a home office space, you will reduce stress, save time, and be more productive.
Nancy Haworth is a professional organizer and is certified with the National Association of Professional Organizers. Nancy resides in the Raleigh, NC area. For tips, ideas, or to schedule a phone consult, visit On Task Organizing.