Is a cluttered home office making your insanely busy life more stressful? Take a few minutes and read our 10 steps to getting organized. Either do it yourself, or have one of our trained professional organizers whip your home office into shape.
1) Checklist of the basics: A desk, chair, shelves, trash bin, filing cabinet, and file rack are essential.
2) Create a clean slate: Start by removing everything from the desk and go through each item. Throw out dried-out pens and highlighters as well as bent paper clips. Trash, donate or recycle unused equipment like phones, computers, and printers.
3) Use a filing cabinet: Use hanging folders if you can (or expandable), divide paperwork into main categories (e.g. utilities, medical, auto, birth certificates, banking) and then subdivide into individual manila folders.
4) Pick a system: Use a system you like to organize your files – alphabetical, numerical, or color-coded. Label everything.
5) Review all documents: It’s always best to seek advice from your accountant, but certain documents may be pitched. For example, many experts say tax returns can go after 6 or 7 years.
6) Remove cable clutter: Plug everything into a surge protector and keep under the desk, and use cord wraps. Use as many wireless devices as possible (e.g. mouse, keyboard, printer).
7) Create a minimalist desk: Only items used everyday should be on the desk (e.g. computer, pen, pad of paper, filing rack, lamp). A drawer can house things like scissors, staples, tape, post-it notes. Relocate personal items like plants, kids’ artwork, and photos.
8) Keep essentials nearby: Keep the things you use all the time handy. Don’t waste time searching for supplies you need regularly. Store frequently used books and other items on a shelf next to the desk.
9) Modernize: Get rid of the old, over-sized monitor even if it works perfectly. Replace it with a lightweight flat-screen. More desk space is better.
10) Organize your PC: It’s also important to de-clutter your hard drive so you can quickly find what you need and don’t run out of storage. Organize your files so you can quickly find what you need, delete old files that haven’t been modified in a long time, and organize your emails with a folder system (e.g. by topic, sender, or date)
If you’re short on time, or just need some helping getting started, call Potomac Concierge. Our Personal Organizers will help turn your home office into a productive workspace.