Organized Home Office Challenge

In celebration of my new URL for my website (, I am running a

“Organized Home Office For The New Year” Challenge!

There are two ways to participate:

  1. Share: Already have an organized home office or working on it now? Leave a comment and share you top 1-3 tips, or how you will organize your home office in the new year. (Feel free to post a pic of your home office along with your tips if you are a blogger.)
  2. Ask a Question! Need help in your home office? Post a question in the comments. I’ll be popping in to answer posted questions. If you’d like to respond to a posted question, please do so, just please be helpful and kind. 🙂

What you can win!

One winner will be chosen from everyone who participates* to win your choice of the following:

A paid one year subscription to “Organize” Magazine OR $25 Amazon gift card

This is about building a community and sharing ideas for getting organized in your home office, so I encourage you to get involved! So, if you have a suggestion or idea for questions posted feel free to share.The contest ends on December 31, 2007. So, show us what you’ve got and get ready to get organized in the new year!

(*Be sure to include your email address in the comment form when posting so I can contact you when you win!)

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Update: Charlene is the winner! Congratulations, and thanks to those of you who participated in the month of December.

The contest is over, and thanks to all who participated.

Comments are still open, so, share your best Home Office Organizing Tip or challenge!

5 thoughts on “Organized Home Office Challenge”

  1. Oh, hooray, I have a question.
    While I intend to move my desk into a more suitable and larger office in my home at some point in the next year, right now I have a desk in my kids TV area. Lovely! So inspirational, as you can imagine. It is the hub for everything I do, both personal and business. And it usually covered in a mix of children’s homework, action heroes, bills and miscellaneous things. While I work in interior design, and I appreciate having a lovely space, I really need to figure out how to ORGANIZE my one space for the different purposes it must serve.
    Can you have one desk that works for bill paying, children’s schedules and needs AND a business? Or is that asking too much of one desk?
    Help. 🙂
    An semi-organizationally challenged reader.

  2. Melissa,
    It might be too much to have all that one one desk. The other consideration is if you take a home office tax deduction, your desk/office area it can only be used for business (talk to you accountant for more details).
    If you have no choice and space is at a premium, you can make it work. The first trick is to have shelving above your workspace, and your supplies in portable containers. So, maybe you use a garden tote filled with office products that can be taken off a shelf. When they are not in use, they are stowed away. Same thing with children’s supplies, crafts, bills etc.
    If you line up containers that have a similar theme or color, the possibilities are endless! They will not only look beautiful, but serve a great purpose. (check out my link on the right to See Jane Work – they carry lots of attractive storage options.)
    The second trick is whoever uses the desk, they need to clear it and clean up when they are done using it. Sharing a workspace is difficult, but with a little creativity and persistence, it is possible. 🙂

  3. As a small business owner, how do you manage and store your client information (i.e. contracts won, marketing materials sent, follow-up techniques, etc.)? Do you simply use paper forms, or do you know of a fabulous (even free?) online solution? I’m just starting a small consulting business of my own and am definitely in need of some useful organizational strategies while my client base is still small…

  4. Hi Michelle,
    That is a great question, thanks for asking. There are several ways you can keep track of clients, and what works for your business will depend on the type of business you have and how much you would like to spend. One thing you should seriously consider is a contact management system which can track client details, contracts, follow-up, communications, etc. Here are some suggestions:

    1. OUTLOOK – Outlook comes bundled with Microsoft Office. It is an extremely powerful tool as well as very versatile. If you haven’t purchased it yet, consider MS Office Pro which comes with Outlook and Business Contact Manager.
    2. ACT – Many mobile and home-based professionals use this program. It has great tracking capabilities and is another option for those who want
    3. GOLDMINE – Another great option that syncs with Outlook and tracks customer databases.
    4. GOOGLE – I have seen a trend toward using Google as a contact management, calendar and alternative to MS Office with their release of Google Docs. It’s great if you need calendar sharing and mobile capabilities to use your information literally anywhere in the world. It’s all kept on Google’s servers so you don’t suffer with a PC crash in your office. The best of all? Google is free.

    As far as paperwork, be sure to keep copious files for bookkeeping and legal purposes. The IRS has a publication on bookkeeping and paper retention at Your system really needs manila folders to get started. Just keep it simple and assign homes so you can find things when you need them.

    Best of luck in your new venture!

  5. Some obvious but tips that really do work.

    Purge you files regularly. When you file something new, flip through the file and see if there is anything you can get rid of some paper you don’t need.

    One thing in, one thing out. Bought something new for the office? Get rid of what the new item replaces.

    Don’t let papers and mail pile up. Three-quarters of your mail can probably be thrown away. Act on the rest of it and get it out of the way.

    Don’t keep newspapers around. If you want to clip something, clip it and throw the rest away. When today’s paper arrives get rid of yesterdays.

    Have trash cans all over the place. They can be good looking so there is no excuse for clutter piling up.

    If you use it, put it back where is it belongs. That means having a place for everything.

    Scan your bookshelves regularly and purge what you don’t need, won’t read again, or won’t read at all.

    Just do it!

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