Today is “Organize Your Home Office Day”. Everyone has a home office whether it is for work, personal, or both. Below is a copy of my free weekly newsletter I send to my subscribers. I don’t normally post it on this blog so if you are not a subscriber please sign up on the right sidebar to receive future newsletters. The link for the March monthly newsletter is also posted on the right sidebar.
Decluttering Tip Newsletter – Home Office
Volume 2, Issue 10
Today is “Organize Your Home Office Day”. It would be nice to be able to take a whole day to organize your office. I don’t have a whole day for it and I doubt you do either. So I’m suggesting a “Organize Your Home Office Week”. By doing a little each day you will have your office decluttered and running efficiently by the end of the week.
If you work out of your home you probably have an office set up in a spare room or at least a corner of a room. If your home office is for personal use then you may not have a permanent office set up. It doesn’t matter. You can still organize your “home office” to help tackle that paperwork as efficiently as possible.
The easiest way I find to have an efficient and decluttered office is to break it into zones. There are three main zones and they will work whether you have a permanent office or a portable office. They are your “Active” zone, “Semi-Active” zone, and “Inactive” zone.
This area will be the desk or table you sit at and do your work. You’ll want to have all the supplies you use on a daily basis within arms reach. This would be the pens, notepaper, envelopes, stamps, bills, calendar or planner, phone, stapler, and any other items you find yourself using. Look at your desk area and if there are things you rarely use then think about where else you can store them. Free up this space for the items you use daily.
If you have a portable office then you will need to have a box, briefcase, or some way to store these items so it is easy to set up your office when you need to and put it away when you are finished.
This area should be somewhere nearby where you store extra office supplies, file folders, reference books, computer software, backup disks, etc. When you need a certain file or reference book you don’t want to spend a lot of time searching for it. If you don’t have a lot of storage area for office supplies you can store them together in a box in a closet or even under the bed. If everything is kept in one place then you can easily find the extra copy paper, printer ink, staples, or pens. Unless you go through your supplies very fast because of your type work or have a large family, don’t stock up too much. It will become clutter. Inks and pens can dry out. Paper and envelopes can turn yellow.
File folders you use on a regular basis need to be in this semi-active zone. If you have room for a file draw or cabinet then keep it in this room or near the area. Remember, this is for active files only so you shouldn’t need a wall full of file cabinets. Portable file boxes can be used if you don’t have room for a permanent file draw.
This is where you will keep all the inactive files that you don’t need to access more than once a year. Old tax returns, old bank statements, canceled checks, etc. These can be stored in the back of a closet, under a bed, or in an attic. I don’t recommend storing papers in a basement unless it is a finished area that you know is not damp.
This week focus mainly on the active zone and the semi-active zone. When these two zones are organized you will find you can get your work done more efficiently.
Decluttering and organizing the inactive zone would be a good rainy day weekend project. It won’t affect your daily work like the other zones but is still important in the long run.
To a lighter load along the way.
Please forward this newsletter to anyone you know who may benefit from this tip.