Day 11: Home Office
If a home had an engine — it would be the home office. Most especially if you work from home, but even if not, it’s incredibly important to an organized life to have a dedicated space to conduct life’s business.
Different from a Control Center, the office is a dedicated resource room or space to conduct business, stock office and homework supplies, and so on.
If you don’t have a dedicated room for a home office, there are easy ways to creatively set up a dedicated space within your home.
Simple ideas could be (see foot of the post for inspiring photos):
• an awkward nook
• a hallway
• a guestroom
• an unused closet
• a corner of the living room
The last resort would be your bedroom, which should be your haven. Merely having office work in that room brings an element of stress best avoided if possible.
RELATED: Perfect Sleep Bedtime Rituals
Today, we’ll create or organize (if you already have an office) a computer station, printing station, a location for hanging files, and a place for office supplies.
The office area is so important that we’ve split it up into 4 days as follows:
• Day 11: The Office (today)
• Day 12: Creating a Filing System
• Day 13: Organizing Important Papers and Documents
• Day 14: Creating a Mail Station
Experts recommend that office supplies be kept out of sight. To maintain a clutter-free environment, supplies should be grouped by category and in containersInin order for an office to remain clutter-free, office supplies need to be out of sight. Closets, shelves, bins, etc. are great locations. Creating functional storage by category is important. My favorite way to store supplies is in labeled plastic containers we stock on shelves in the office closet.
Important tool: Label Maker
There are so many good ones. I have a Brother P-Touch and it’s one of my favorite tools.
Categories for Supply Storage
Depending on your office needs, like if you have kids in school, are are some common categories for supply bins. Label each container:
• Writing Tools (markets, pens, pencils, erasers)
• Mail Tools (stamps, envelopes, labels)
• Budget (checkbook, blank checks, calculator)
• Notebooks (spiral, composition)
• Office Tools (stapler, staple remover, hole punch)
• Miscellaneous (index notecards, post-it-notes, glue, file tabs, etc.)
Objective: Take simple steps to create space, declutter your office, and organize your supplies for effective life management.
• If you don’t already have a dedicated office, create a space for a computer station, printer station, hanging files and office supplies.
• Determine what is working about your current set up and what isn’t. Endeavor to change what isn’t working.
• Clear the desk and shelf surfaces. Sort contents in groups of like materials (bills, CD’s and empty binders, files, books, and so on) and place them individual boxes. Set aside. (You’ll be working with files tomorrow).
• Create a computer station.
• Create a printing station. If you have a wireless printer, it doesn’t have to be near the desktop or laptop. Create a place for printing supplies; ink, paper, and so on).
• Sort and store office supplies in containers and label. Utilize baskets, bins, or my favorite, labeled plastic storage containers.
• Keeping on top of office organization is an active project. Every day, day in and day out. To keep your newly organized space functioning, set aside 10 minutes at the end of every day to clear your desk, put supplies away, and ready the space for tomorrow activities.
Creating a Filing System
Important tools for tomorrow: Color-coded hanging files. (All office stores have these. Here are some at Amazon.com.)
GET THE BOOK:
Easy Steps to an Organized Life in 31 Days or Less (Amazon.com)
Supply Closet Idea
Creative File Storage
Finding Space in Awkward Nooks
Or Hideaway Offices