In the home office, space is at a premium. For most people the home office is usually an afterthought, or a room that was never intended for such intense paper processing and electronic equipment. Here are some tips to organize, rework your home office and increase your productivity!
- Build up: Utilizing the walls, and rearranging the storage can help. If you don’t have a large footprint in your office, consider using the walls, and build up!
- Reposition your desk: Consider creating a “u-shaped cockpit” with everything you need at your fingertips. (Just make sure not to have your back to the door!)
- Move those files! Reference materials should be within reach of your chair, but archives should be moved elsewhere – ideally relocated out of the room.
- And there was light! Bad lighting can really put a damper on your work – not to mention your eyesight. Have ample overhead lighting, as well as task lighting to brighten your workspace.
- Ergonomics: Start with the chair, and get one that fits you perfectly. You’re going to use it a lot, so make sure you’re comfortable in it!
- Boundaries are key! Working at home is no picnic with constant interruptions, but it can be done with communication. Talk with your family, partner or roommate about when it is and isn’t OK to disturb you in your office. It’s a shift worth making, and everyone will be happier for it!
What’s your home office challenge?
Do you ever feel like you are drowning in paper? Loathe the thought of getting it all put away? Is your filing system a force to be reckoned with? Is it time for reboot?
There are many products out there that can help, but you can do it yourself with a little preparation, dedication and patience. Here’s the basics:
1. Gather supplies: Get yourself some banker boxes, manila folders (and hanging folders if you must), tab labels and paper clips.
2. Unload your filing cabinet one drawer at a time, and…
3. Sort, sort, sort! Sort out old paperwork that isn’t necessary (i.e. old utility bills), and start putting the “to keep” papers into categories. If you abhor filing, consider doing this project in 30 minute increments over a few days.
4. Load your papers into your banker boxes as you go along. Use categories that make sense to you.
5. When you are finished, reload your banker box contents into your old (or new) filing cabinet.
Lastly, be sure to keep up with your filing. Have a place for “to file” or put your papers away right when you get them. Set aside one day per week to actually DO it. Keep your filing system as simple as possible and keep on top of it. Now, get to it!
Ever had a computer crash and lost everything? Working from home and don’t have access to the corporate backup service? It’s a good idea to back up your files on a regular basis. What does that mean? It means copying your files onto an outside source. Here’s a few options to backup your PC or laptop – and avoid a personal melt down when and if your computer goes belly up.
External Mega Drive: For the heavy PC user with lots and lots of data. The capacity you will need will depend on the size of your files. Whether it’s an 80GB or 500GB, this is one that will grow with you.
Jump Drive: These are small little cards, and generally are great for a home PC. Generally they run 1-4GB, and are small enough to fit in your pocket (think the size of a small pen or MP3 player). These start at around $20 each.
Store Everything On An External Drive: I recently spoke with a graphic artist who stores nothing on his laptop or desktop. Zilch, nada, nothing. He had experience crashes and lost everything, so he chooses to use an external drive 100% of the time. This would need to be considerably large to hold everything (100GB and up would be best) Just be sure to back that one up as well!
Did you know that today is “Organize Your Home Office Day”?
Having a home office is a big deal these days, but for some, organizing it to fit your needs can be even more of a problem. Most of us have very busy schedules whether it comes to managing your home, finances, your family’s activities and schedules, your college schedules or even running a business. Some of us may be blessed with a large home office while others may only have a corner in a room to work from. The key is to create an environment that is efficient and works for you and whoever else you share with. Whatever the size of your space, here are some very important things to keep in mind while organizing your home office. Continue reading Organize Your Home Office Day
Tip #10: Use Attractive Storage on Open Shelving
(Part of the 31 Days of Home Office Organizing Tips)
Have open shelving that looks like piles of stuff? Oh sure, you can find what you need, but do like looking at it? If you happen to be a visual person, stylish storage can be just as important as having storage.
Simple banker boxes, cardboard magazine files and plain boxes will do the job, but, why not do something a little more stylish? There are so many different kinds of storage that can go on shelving and look great. Antique apple boxes, bins from a hardware store and gift boxes are all things that look great, and work even better. Use your imagination and see what you can find.
Can’t find what you’re looking for in your own home office? Try this: Continue reading “Hey Good Lookin’”, or Use Attractive Storage
I happen to love antiquing and vintage inspired office solutions. I also love to find original, budget friendly storage projects. So, I thought I would share three great resources I found on the Better Homes & Gardens website. So inspiring!
Vintage Home Office Ideas
Continue reading Home Office Inspiration: Vintage, Budget Friendly Storage & A Little Bit Country