Know the basics of what you need. Of course this list can and probably will change with time but get together a list of basics you need to keep your home office in order. Feeling clueless? Well you need a place to file things, a desk space to work on, and probably a bookshelf to store various items space permits.

  • Start filing. If you have been neglecting your filing or don’t have one now is the time to set up your filing. Get a box or cabinet with hanging file folders and labels and start filing. The sizes and options are many so have an idea of how much you need to store. A single person working outside of the home might get by with one of those simple boxes with a few hanging files in it. Start adding family and you will want a filing cabinet. A small two level for a small family. Add homeschool and a small home business then a lateral file (I like the extra space on top) is a great idea.
  • A home for mail and bills. This is probably where the majority of home office mess comes from. Knowing how to deal with it can keep your office much neater. This is where I like intricate wood boxes and such but a simple wire or cardboard mail sorter will work just as well. You’ll need a mail in slot of some sort and then a place specifically for bills and a slot for pens and stamps. For regular mail just a nice slot. If there is something pertinent for a family member I like Emile Barnes method of placing it on their pillow (or was it under).
  • My favorite part have a calendar in clear view. This can be a desk calendar, your open daytimer, or a wall calendar. And USE IT! Write in those dates and appointments. List when bills are due or when Billy has a doctor’s appointment. The family will come to rely on this so keep it up to date.
  • Finally set up your workspace for working. If it’s cluttered it won’t work. Make sure you have a clear spot on your desk to get things done. Do you use a phone, computer, etc in your work? Set them up for easy access and usability. Don’t make it a hunt to find the printer. Need to access files? Get a good filing cabinet and don’t block it’s access. A good format is to use an L-shaped formation. You have a computer and telephone on the side and clear desk space in front of you. Very efficient.
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