Well, we’re coming up on the one year anniversary of the 14-days-to-flatten-the-curve…And a lot of us are still working at home. Working at home has its advantages, especially if you need child care because your kids are doing school hybrid style (Hybrid, now THERE’S a word that suddenly went from describing a car to describing an educational style), but sometimes your works space invading your home space can all of a sudden blur the lines between work, home and family. Altho there’s some parts I love (gotta love those zoom calls when you can wear your nice blouse or shirt and pajama bottoms), there’s some parts of it I not-so-love. Over time many of my clients have found that their home office is more of a hindrance than a help, and they are just flat sick of looking at it. If that's you, let's help you out a little....
So, it’s been almost a year. Time for a home office fresh-up? Does your home office look less like a workplace and more like ground zero? Start by simply cleaning off your desk or work area. That's right, remove everything. Now take a look at what you really need to use every day. Start by putting that back. Take a realistic look at what you are using, and what you aren't. You don't have to get rid of the 3-hold punch from the 70's, but does it need to live on your work surface? How about the stapler--could it live in a drawer that's easily accessible? Do you really need that giant container of paper clips, or could you use a small one and refill it when you need to? When was the last time you used scotch tape?
Paper control? Or is your paper OUT of control? Remember, paper needs a path. It needs and “entrance” (what do you do when it comes in?) a “port” (where does it live until you deal with it promptly?), and an exit or resting place. Don’t overthink this. Don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. I recommend binders to many of my clients—they are easy to locate and store, and easy to retrieve information you need at a moment’s notice. You want to make sure the info is easily retrieved, so make sure they are all labeled well. Some of my clients like color coding them to make things easy.
Last but not least, cut down on the visual clutter. Are you a “all of my file folders need to be the same color or it drives me nuts?” kind of person? There are many nice file folders out there that don’t have to be boring old manilla colored, but can be uniform. Or are you the kind of person that meeds the visua cue of different colored files (“Oh yeah, the bills are in the green, the events are in the red, Susie’s school papers are in the yellow”…) and filing them in a desktop vertical file while waiting for their final resting place clears gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
One of the reasons why home offices get so cluttered is that their owners either stubbornly refuse or don't take the time to throw things away. Take a few minutes to purge your office of everything you're no longer using. Here’s my permission to toss these things NOW:
· Pens that no longer work
· Paper clips that are bent out of shape
· Old magazines and newspapers
· Unused or broken office equipment, including old phones, computers, and printers/scanners (you can recycle many of these products)
· Outdated documents
Getting your home office organized doesn’t have to be daunting. Need some more tips or help? Of course, I’m always here. Need some more impetus to get this done? Drop me a line here at my website and tell me you want to subscribe to my weekly newsletter for more hacks and organizing tips.
And remember, It’s Not About the Stuff….