5 Home Office Organization Tips

Here I provide 5 home office organization tips to ensure that you remain focused and on target. Working from home is on the rise and these tips will make working from home enjoyable and productive.

1. Group Like with Like

Grouping like with like is a key organization tip for the office, making it much quicker to find things.

Take an objective look at your home office design. Are there piles of paper building up in the corner or CDs balancing on top of books?

Do you have a place for everything?

Many people that I work with would say "Probably not".

An organizing tip that many professional organizers suggest is that your office has to have a home for everything and to put everything in its home.

2. Keep your desk super clean

Whether your home office is on the kitchen table or a dedicated home office you need to deal with the daily bombardment of information.

If your desk is cluttered with faxes, reports, and pieces of paper, it can be distracting and reduce productivity.

Messy desk

As an efficiency and effectiveness consultant I have worked with many people to organize their desk. I remember one person say to me "Kell, I didn't realise that a messy desk meant I had a cluttered mind."

Having a messy desk means that you are likely to be distracted by the paper that clutters your desk.

3. Organize and centralize your paper files for home office organization

Did you know that the information that we receive on a daily basis is the equivalent to what our great grandparents received in their entire lifetime. Not managing paper clutter effectively at home is a quick way to frustrate your family as papers move from the office to the dining room table.

It is important to bring your files to a centralized location.

Working files need to be in arm's reach

If you have your working files in the garage and a laptop set up in your home office, you may want to consider moving your working files closer to your computer.

An executive I once worked with had her working files (files that needed to be accessed several times a day) at the other end of the room. Each time she got up to access a file, it took her about 30 seconds. She did this about 10 times a day - about 6 minutes in lost productivity.

This may not sound like much but over a year this added up to almost 25 hours of walking back-and-forth across her office.

The point I am trying to make is to organize your files and have your working files within arms' reach. At work you may have to file according to the rules of the office. At home you are the boss!

4. Organize and centralize soft files

Many of the people I have worked with in developing effective home office organization systems use their home office computer also as the personal computer.

Do you use your office computer as a personal computer?

Do other family members use the home office computer?

If so, then you may benefit from:

  • creating a separate file for your work documents
  • developing a separate user account and login for your work. You can password protect this from others who may accidentally change or delete important files.

Whatever your decision, make sure folders and files on your computer reflect the same filing structure for your paper files.

5. Straighten up at the end of each day.

You can make or break home office organization by the manner in which you manage paper clutter. At the end of the day re-file the loose papers and clear your desk.

Leaving work with a clear desk means you don't have a mountain of paper waiting for you the next morning. Having a clean desk to start your workday does wonders for your stress and productivity levels.

If you liked this article on home office organization then you may like this article on the organized home and how to declutter.

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