I love the comfort and flexibility of working from home. It allows me to throw in a load of laundry or get the crockpot started. Like many, I am at my most productive when my home office is organized.
I challenge you to set aside time and commit to organizing your home office space now! Here are 5 tips to help you get control of your office clutter:
Tip #1: IMMEDIATELY make a decision about every paper that comes into your home. Put each in one category - Shred/Toss, Take Action or File. If it is junk mail, toss it. If it has important dates on it, get them on your calendar and then toss it. Create an Action file/bin on your desktop to store incoming important papers and go through it on a weekly basis. Anything that needs longertermstorage gets filed. This leads me to tip #2....
Tip #2: File long-term paperwork in zones.It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to make sense for you and your family. Don’t give in to perfectionist tendencies - just apply broad categories. I like using hanging folders or binders based on color-coded categories, for example, Green (Financial like bills, banking), Red (Medical & Pets), Orange (Taxes & Income), Yellow (House & Auto) and Blue (Memberships, School, Vacation).
Tip #3: Have a grab and go folder. In case of an emergency, organize your most important papers in a binder or fireproof lockbox for easy grab-and-go. Assemble those “must have” documents (like loan info, medical records, and insurance policies) so if disaster strikes, you won’t have to fumble through your files.
Tip #4: Keep your desktop clear of clutter. The most important physical space in your office is the surface of your desk. Moving paper piles around isn’t an effective way to manage clutter. Look closely at everything on your desk and ask yourself does this item have to live here? If it doesn’t need to be there or if it is something that you don’t use every day, file it. Or better yet, scan and file it electronically.
Tip #5: Tackle digital clutter. Organizing your digital life can be even more daunting than physically decluttering your home. While an empty inbox may be unattainable there are steps you can take to gain control of your digital life. Need to organize and better access your passwords? An app like 1password may make sense. Want to declutter your inbox? Sign up with unroll.me or sort emails into folders that go from general to specific.
On a regular basis, set a reminder to purge or archive unloved photos on your phone, electronic subscriptions, old apps, unused browser bookmarks, or files/emails you haven’t accessed in 90 days.