Organizing your home office
Keeping your home office organized doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task.
Whether you work at home full time or just bring work home with you, organizing your home office is a must. It's easy to let clutter and piles build up, but it's very difficult to be productive when nothing is in its correct place. The saying "A place for everything, everything in its place" is especially true when it comes to your workspace at home.
Furniture and equipment
Organizing your home office doesn't have to be expensive, but there are some necessary items you will need to purchase to make organization easier.
First, you'll need to decide whether you'll have a permanent desktop at home, or transport your laptop back and forth. You can also use a portable hard drive to transfer information back and forth. Computer cables can easily become a tangled mess of dust bunnies. Purchase a good cable management system to keep those wires under control.
A desk and chair:
A computer desk is a must. Do your research and don't settle for the first one you find; you'll be spending a lot of time at this desk, so make sure it's comfortable. If you won't be storing many files at home, then a computer desk with one file-sized drawer will probably be sufficient. Make sure the spaces for your computer tower and monitor are the correct size for your equipment. Sit in several chairs before bringing one home. Your desk chair is one area you won't want to skimp on; your back and neck will thank you if you choose wisely.
If you plan to keep more than a few files at home, then the file drawer in your computer desk will not be big enough. Purchase an inexpensive file cabinet – two-drawer or four-drawer, depending on your requirements – for keeping your files organized.
If you have reference books and organizational binders that you refer to frequently, you'll want them within easy reach, but not right on your desk. A small bookshelf next to the desk or attached to the wall over the desk will keep those books at hand. Use your shelves to keep your software organized as well. You'll also want shelf space for office products like paper, files, and labels.
Files and labels:
One of the most important ways to stay organized is to keep your paperwork filed away. Have enough hanging files and labels to keep every paper in its place. Decide on your categories, label your file folders, and get everything sorted. Then keep everything put away: as soon as you handle a piece of paper, file it. If you have a file for your "must handle" items, then you'll never forget anything, but those items won't stack up and clutter your desktop.
Paper and writing utensils:
Have enough printer paper and legal pads or other notebooks on hand, because running out of supplies is a good way to become unorganized very quickly. Find a pen that you like writing with, and stock up. Don't forget the sticky notes and flags for marking papers and files.
If you work at home full time, or plan to spend a lot of off-work hours in your home office, then you'll want pretty much every type of supply you have at your main office. Don't forget a stapler and staples, a three-hole punch, paper clips, blank CD-Rs or DVD-Rs to store information, rubber bands, pencils and erasers, and envelopes of all sizes.
Organizing your home office doesn't have to be an overwhelming task, but it is important to your productivity and it will save you time in the long run.