Home Office… a well thought out hub of activity, bill paying, filing, crafting, computing and home based business center, or black hole of misery, piles, stacks, late fees, phone messages and last year’s school work? How can the black hole find its way to the light at the end of the tunnel?
Paper and paper management is the number one complaint I hear about home offices. The answer, a usable filing system, filing items not where they go but where you will find them. I know you’re probably thinking about the four drawer currently stuffed to the brim. Start fresh with new fun file folders, which reduce the dreariness of paperwork and a banker’s box. Sort your piles into like categories, business vs. personal, then break it down further, insurance (auto, life, home, medical, dental, vision), vehicle maintenance (car 1, car 2), financial (banking, charity, investments, credit cards, taxes.) Keep the recycling bin nearby, it’s safe to say that a large percentage of those papers should find their way out of your office altogether. Then what? Opt out of mail, go paperless, sort mail over the recycling bin, find out from your CPA what you need to keep and for how long, archive elsewhere (storage room.) Once you have a handle on the current inflow, schedule a time to purge that four drawer and make the best of its space. Can it be overwhelming, yes? Does it have to be, no. Take a deep breath, allow yourself to let a few things go and find your way back to a more centered space.
If you feel you can’t do it alone, professional organizers like myself, love to help you make decisions, create new habits and reinforce a better working environment. Find someone locally to help you create a home office you will love to enter and in which you can get to work.
Jessica Bair has run a successful home based professional organizing business for the last four years. She focuses on taming the mess by downsizing, de-cluttering and recycling, while inspiring, assisting and increasing her client’s awareness of the space around them.