Today is Organize your Home Office Day and I’m celebrating! The home office is the #1 room in the house that I get questions about regarding organization and it’s the room that I get called on most frequently to help clients. Whether you use your home office to manage the family finances or you work out of your home office 40+ hours a week, this room should be an inviting place where you can not only accomplish what you have to as “family manager” or “business manager” but also be inspired. This room should be the example of productivity for the rest of the household.
If your home office makes you want to cringe at just the thought of entering the room, let alone working in the room then today is your day. Today is the day where you can take control and Organize your Home Office!!! Make sure your workspace is in a room where distractions are minimized. I know working from home can be distracting. Sometimes it’s the kids, the tv or even the dirty laundry that can sidetrack you from being productive in your home office. Learn to minimize those distractions by shutting doors, wearing headphones and listening to your favorite music, or setting a timer to help you stay focused on your task at hand.
Keep your desktop clear and the necessary accessories at your fingertips. Here are some tips to start and maintain a clear desk policy in your own home office:
- Clear the desktop of any eye-catching distractions (this includes the rock your daughter painted in Girl Scouts that you use as a paper weight or your dish of M&Ms). If you’re not using a file that is out on your desk right now, then put it away. Remember, our goal is a clear desk!
- Only keep items on your desk that you use every day. Start with your computer and telephone. Consider putting the sticky notes, paper clips, stapler, etc in the drawer for the sake of a clear, distraction-free workspace.
- Are you right- or left-handed? Think about this as you arrange the items on your desk. For example it’s probably more natural to pick of the phone with your right hand if you’re right-handed so the phone should be on the right side of your desk.
- Keep the center of your desk empty. This gives you immediate workspace. At the end of each day, take 60 seconds and put files and accessories away to ensure your desk is clear for the start of the next day.
Most of the clutter in your home office is likely paper. Paper is the #1 culprit of clutter. Start today to get in the habit of tackling the paper as it comes in the house. Don’t just throw it in the office with the “I’ll deal with it later” attitude. Later is now! Take 30 seconds to sort the mail. Weed out the junk mail and get rid of it before it hits a surface (i.e. counter top or desk top). Check here for more tips on managing paper in the home.
Celebrate Organize your Home Office Day by clearing your desk, minimizing distractions, and tackling the paper…soon you will love your home office and the work you do there!