To get you started, SheKnows spoke to three experts about their do's and don'ts for home office organization.
Do: Just say no to paper. "Invest in a scanner and get all those documents that you have floating around onto your hard drive," Jordan says. She cautions that, if you go with this method, you should invest in a backup drive for your computer. She also recommends ditching your paper trail in favor of Google. "Anything you can find on the Internet -- for example, the instruction manual to your vacuum cleaner -- toss it."
Don't: Share all of your space. Your home office probably serves as everyone's access to the Internet, and it's probably the place where adults pay bills and family members file important papers, too. With so many people using a small place, items can get misplaced and an organized desktop can turn into a document dumping zone. To save yourself those 15 minutes looking for the receipts you're sure you placed right there, Jordan recommends reserving an area just for you. Mark off a part of the desk or section of the room that is yours and yours alone for important filing and work. Be sure that trespassers know they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the No Dessert After Dinner Law if caught.
Do: A home in your home office. Go through your office and give every single item a home. "Once a place has been established for everything, use it systematically. Take 10 minutes every night to put things in their place. You will enjoy finding your home office in order every morning," Charlotte promises.
Don't: Brand yourself off. When you're buying furniture for your home office, select a modular system of shelves and cabinets. "Don't buy an off brand that may not be there in a couple of years," Charlotte warns. The point of investing in a modular system is to be able to add to and tweak your organization design as your home office needs change. Be sure the manufacturer is reliable, and you'll be free to revamp when you want.
Do: Trays, trays, trays! "Hands down, they're my favorite way to make my less-than-organized piles of random items look streamlined and put together," says Abby. Trays are also a great way to insert some style into a room that can feel stifling with boring organization items. Look for bright colors, interesting designs or fun objects that can work as trays. An antique breakfast tray as your inbox might make looking at those to-be-filed items just a bit more pleasant.
Don't: Pile on. Creating piles of things that need to be filed or done may seem like you're moving toward an organized space, but the truth is that you're just delaying actually getting yourself organized. Plus, a desk full of piles on the verge of teetering over is not exactly motivation to be productive. Instead of making piles of paper that need to be filed, recycled or alphabetized, skip the pile-making step and get the actual work done.
Let these expert tips inspire you to make your home office a more organized place to take care of business. Do you have any of your own tips for simple home office organization? If so, we'd love to hear them. Leave us some love in the comments section.
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