Do you sometimes find yourself carrying work home? Or you fully work from home? Have you thought of creating some space for a home office? Whether you work from home all the time or if you work in a profession where a lot of documentation is required such as an editor or financial manager, it is good to consider having an organized home office. Investing in a desk and an office chair helps you be comfortable and sets the pace for business.
Here are 5 quick ways to organize your home office!
- Clear your memo board
A memo or magnetic board is common in many home offices. It is usually used to pin reminders of tasks or projects. However, over time, not all material pinned is relevant, for example, one may have their children’s painting’s pinned, family photos, and reminders whose events have already passed.
To get the most out of your memo board consider de-cluttering it from time to time. Throw away reminders that are obsolete. Find an alternate space for your children’s painting and photos. Once this is done, purpose to clear old messages as soon as you are done with them or weekly. You will discover that you no longer struggle to locate reminders. Pinning one or two of your favorite quotes for inspiration is reasonable.
- Remove office equipment from your desk
Picture this! Your desk is occupied by a printer, fax machine, scanner, computer, and a desk lamp! What space do you even work from! You can create room for more workspace by:
Changing the desk light: do away with the desk light and invest in a standalone light. Direct the new lamp to illuminate your workstation.
Upgrading to an all-in-one: get a machine that has the printer, scanner, photocopier, and fax in one. You could place the machine on a floating shelf or a stand leaving more space on your desk.
Trading the large monitor: you could trade in the large monitor for a laptop and pay the difference or buy a flat-screen monitor.
Using online storage: register for virtual storage service and back up your documents online. Virtual storage is reasonable with prices starting as low as 25 dollars per year. This provides back up in the event your computer crashes or is damaged. It also frees up space on your desk.
Place the CPU on the floor: instead of using it from your desk.
- Create files for different documents
Having a stack of papers on your desk is not only unsightly but you also risk destroying or misplacing some of your documents. Locating specific documents is also a task by itself. To sort this, invest in a filing system. You could label the files with a label sticker. Making use of color-coded files with each color representing a major category is another option. For example:
Not only does this create order but saves you time when looking for something. You can also opt to have binders for different categories such as:
Bills: imagine seeing your water bill but missing the electricity bill! Consolidating your bills under one file saves you time as you can locate items fast enough.
Auto: store all your car-related documents here from maintenance records, insurance records to lease papers in case you have leased out vehicles.
Pets: keep your pet records like jab records, past medical records, and medication.
Official: keep all your work-related documents under one file for ease of reference.
- Arrange one desk drawer
Drawers seem to harbor many forgotten or dumped items. Pick a drawer in your desk. Sort through the contents throwing away pens that no longer write, office pins that are bent out of shape, old cellphones, and that forgotten chewing gum. For magazines and old newspapers put them in a carton or a basket on a shelf.
Documents are generally stored for a longer period, though you should destroy them after ascertaining you do not need them. Below is an idea of how long to store vital documents in case you are unsure:
Medical bills: one year.
Payslips: one year, or until you receive your W-12.
Credit card statements: one month, after confirming their accuracy.
Bank Statements: one year.
Investment Statements: until they mature and you receive the annual statements.
After this, you can store your extra stationery in a plastic organizer. The organizer will help store extra pens, staple pins, office pins, paper clips, highlighters, rubber bands, sticky notes, and white-out. Place the organizer on top of your retrieved documents and your drawer is good to go.
- Minimize cable clutter
Have you tripped a few times on your cables? Cables from the computer, printer, and power cables, in general, are a menace when left on the way. Tripping from them could land you in a hospital bed at worst. To minimize tripping over cables consider having them trunked.
Investing in wireless devices is also handy in controlling cables. Technology has devised a wireless mouse, keyboard, and printer. Adopt using such devices for a cable-free environment.
You could opt for a USB hub where a single USB cable is used to plug several devices to your computer. The remainder of your cables can be connected to Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS). A UPS backup is a device that helps guard your computer against data loss should there be a power outage. It also helps protect against data loss in the event of a power outage and does this by beeping when the lights go out alerting you to save your documents. The UPS has an internal battery that allows connected devices to continue running after an outage.
Another option is to route your cables through a hole in your desk and ensuring they are behind your desk. Using cable clips, ties and clamps also keep the wires out of your way.
Organizing a home office can seem overwhelming but you can easily organize and clear up your working space using the highlighted five simple steps that do not require you to buy any additional furniture. An organized office will not only be inviting but will also motivate you to work as it creates a conducive environment. The mentioned tips will not take more than five minutes to implement and they include de-cluttering your desk, clearing your memo board, and labeling and sorting your files among others.
About The Author: Laura Garbers is a home and interior décor specialist who has worked with numerous clients and companies to help create the best living and working spaces.
Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash
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