10 Tips for Organizing Your Home Office

10 Tips for Organizing Your Home Office
by Kathy Paauw

1.Be sure that everyone in your household understands how
the space in your home office is to be used, when "business"
hours are, etc.

2.Choose a location that is conducive to conducting
business. As much as possible, keep this separate from your
personal living space.

3.Choose comfortable furnishings and adequate lighting that
will reduce fatigue, discomfort, strain and injury.

4. Create stacking trays which are labeled for the following
uses and place them within easy reach of where you sit:
Incoming -- where the mail goes until you open it
(once opened it never returns here)
Outgoing -- for outgoing mail
To file -- for items you wish to file for future
reference without any action required

5. Trim the F.A.T.-File, Act, Toss. Professional Organizer
Barbara Hemphill tells us that these are essentially the
only choices that we have when dealing with paper. If we
want to file for future reference, it goes in the "to file"
tray. If it requires action, we can either act on it now or
place it in the tickler file for action to be taken at some
future time. And, of course, 80% of what we receive we can
usually toss! Better to do this sooner rather than later.
Some questions to ask yourself when you are trying to decide
whether or not to keep something:

What's the worst possible thing that could happen if I threw
this away? Could I get it again if I needed it later? By the
time I might need this, will it be obsolete? Will it enhance
my personal or work life to keep this? (If not, toss it!)
Are there tax or legal implications if I toss this?

6.Place a wastebasket and recycling bin near where you open
your mail. This will make it easier for you to immediately
toss anything that you don't need to keep for action or

7. Create a tickler file system and place all of your
"action required" items in the system according to when you
plan to act on it. Paauwerfully Organized can teach you how
to set up an outstanding tickler file system.

8. Create a system for easy retrieval of electronic files
and for filing papers so you can find anything within 5
seconds or less.

9. For papers you are legally required to keep or for files
you rarely access, create archive files. You can store these
in a less accessible space, such as in banker's boxes in
your garage or a storage closet. This will free up valuable
office space for your action and reference files you need to
access more frequently. Be sure your storage area is safe,
dry, and free of rodents.

10. Use wall space for shelving and cabinets. You can use
this space to store books, notebooks, magazines, and office
supplies. These can either be built-in or stand-alone
shelves and cabinets. (SAFETY NOTE: If you live in an
earthquake zone, be sure that stand-alone shelving is
securely bolted to a stud in the wall.)

Kathy Paauw, President of Paauwerfully Organized,
specializes in helping busy professionals and
entrepreneurs declutter their schedules, spaces and minds.
A certified business/personal coach and professional
organizer, she can be contacted at mailto:orgcoach@gte.net.
Visit Paauwerfully Organized at http://www.orgcoach.net and
learn how you can Find ANYTHING in 5 Seconds - Guaranteed!