Organizing Your Home Office
In a business setting, being organized makes a world of difference. Organization not only helps in common tasks such as meeting deadlines, retrieving information quickly for an appointment, or keeping your desk pile free for your client who’s stopping by- it makes you a trusted business professional. Clients, vendors, customers, employees, and others will be able to rely on you to be on time for a meeting, pay bills on time, follow through, keep your word, manage a project well, and store records or papers without losing them. For me, it is crucial to practice what I preach. How can I tell clients to organize all day, if I don’t keep my business organized? I don’t stay organized for others; I maintain organization because it saves me a ton of time and prevents wasting money and energy. The efficiency and productivity from being organized is priceless.
Busy professionals often have desks and offices filled with clutter that drain their energy, make it impossible to find anything and cuts down on their productivity throughout the work day. If your office needs some organizing, we’re here to help. Your office is where you spend most of your time, working to make the most of your salary, to pay for most of the things in your life. An office is for getting things done. We want to be Focused. Efficient. Creative. Productive. Energized . Excited . and Inspired. Here’s some office organizing tips to get your office back on track.
Organize your Desk
- Designate one file folder, one pad of paper, or one e-document in the computer to keep all passwords and usernames organized. Of course, disguise or hide it for safety. If this is your home office and your family needs access to add or subtract new and old passwords, create a system the whole family can use and find.
- Keep your filing system simple. Only file permanent records and records used for taxes. Track business expenses by the month. If you don’t enjoy filing and don’t want a complicated system use twelve folders labeled the twelve months of the year. File business expenses and receipts by month. If you have several client folders you can organize them alphabetically or by year. If you’re not using a formal bookkeeper or financial software to track your business income or expense this will make it simple to integrate one later. Everything will be organized to make the system current.
- Go wireless. Less cords creates less hassle and mess. Laptops, IPads, and smart phones are common household electronics these days. Linking them all up to a wireless printer and accessing the internet throughout the office or home is common sense.
- Buy a large garbage bin and an expensive ($100 or more) shredder. The cheap ones break, always jam, overheat, or are super slow. Use your shredder daily as to prevent you having to shred for hours one day in the future.
- Set an audible phone or computer reminder everyday at the same time. Take 5-10 minutes to listen to it and act on it, by putting things away, throwing paper out, and filing. If you only follow or do one of these tips, this would be the best one, by far! Your desk will stay clear of paper and piles. Clear it off daily. Only leave out current projects or paperwork.
- To manage paper flow on a daily basis, ask yourself, “What’s the next action step required for this paper I’m holding?” - is it to do, to call, to delegate, to email, to research, to read etc. Take your five most common action steps, label trays or folders with that action word, and start to place paper in them DAILY.
- We often hold on to paper to remind us of something. Instead eliminate the paper and transfer that reminder to a list or calendar on your phone or computer.
- Containerize and label all the small things- CDs, cords, memory sticks, business cards, post its, pads of paper, coins etc. Give your junk drawers purpose and maximize space by clearing out the small trinkets, giveaways, and knick knacks.
- Use drawer organizers in every drawer so loose change, paper clips, and erasers don’t get out of hand.
We recommend these paper shredding companies:
- Shred First, Des Plaines, IL
- Shred Spot in Northbrook, IL
- American Mobile Shredding and Recycling, Inc.
- Docu Shred, Westmont, IL