Your home office is the staging area for your household, your home business and your own personal projects. Keep yourself functioning at the peak of productivity when you incorporate office organization ideas that purge things you don't need and put the things you do need at your fingertips. Take a look at these office organization tips to make your home office hum with efficiency.
Get Your Files in Order
Most home offices don't have the unlimited space needed to keep every possible piece of paper. Start trimming your files by purging the documents you no longer need. Next, convert as much paper as you can to a digital format. Use a scanner to transfer files to your computer or external storage, and don't forget to toss or shred the paper once you're done.
Consider color-coding your files to make it easy to head straight to the right category. You can use colored labels to indicate types of files, or choose file folders in different colors. The visual cue of color can make a huge difference when it comes to finding the document you're looking for. The average time spent looking for a single piece of paper is 10 minutes, but you can reduce that time drastically by using color.
If you're handling your household files, you might want to create separate categories for financial records, family medical records, vital records, insurance records, school records, and household repair, warranties and manuals. This way you can find what you're looking for quickly.
Categorize and Organize by Object Type
To begin a total home office organization, start by arranging all your office supplies and equipment into piles of similar items. For example, put all your different types of paper together. Place your invoices and billing materials together. All your software should go in one pile, blank CDs or DVDs in another, and mailing supplies such as stamps and envelopes in another. Do this even with your smaller office tools, such as hole punchers, staplers, sticky notes and paper cutters. You may be surprised at the number of duplicate items you have.
Once you've physically sorted your office supplies into different categories, you're in a good position to see what kinds of storage containers you might need. If your desk doesn't have organizer drawers, choose attractive storage bins that you can place on shelves and on the floor, and sort your supplies in them by category.
Put Your Most Needed Devices in Easy Reach
Arrange your most important tech devices so they're within reach of your desk. If you use your printer often, set it on a credenza or return so you can easily spin around to pull off printouts. Get cables out of the way by employing wire management systems, power strips and cable clips. Opt for wireless connections whenever possible. With the right tech accessories, you can avoid having to physically connect your computer to your printer or keyboard.
The same principle applies to your desktop and your top drawer. If you need to affix pieces of paper to each other frequently, make sure your stapler, paper clips and binder clips are on your desktop or right at hand in your top drawer. If you rarely use these office supplies, they can be stored elsewhere; there's no need to put paper clips in a top drawer simply because that's what most people do.
On your desk or credenza, place a series of boxes for loose papers. Start with an in box, an out box and a to-be-filed box. You may also want to set up boxes for specific projects. If your work surface isn't expansive enough to accommodate a series of boxes spread out, consider paper organizers that stack on top of each other. A series of cubbies can also serve this function. Without this kind of organization, paper clutter can build up and prevent you from finding what you're looking for. Clutter can also keep you from focusing on your work.
Office organization products can make all the difference when you're trying to get home-office clutter under control. Once you create a useful organization system for all the paper that passes through your office, one that helps you find the office supplies you need instantly, you can spend your time focusing on the things that really matter.
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