If you’re an entrepreneur who works from home, then it is very important to realize that your space has to be top-notch! And let’s face it, working with at-most dedication requires minimum distractions. The best way to avoid distractions is to organize your office so that it not only looks pretty but it also inspires you to work, work, work!
1. Toss out ye ol’ crap.
I say this a lot, I know. But I truly (undeniably and most definitely) mean it. I (a daughter of a man who’s in the stationery business) have spent my entire life collecting pens (of different colors and type) and notebooks (more than I can write in) and now have no idea where to keep it all. It’s a mess. A very beautiful mess, I must add. Clutter can be pretty, but it’s still clutter. It’s a huge distraction when you have so many things crowding your space. Sort out all your papers. Keep the ones you need. Shred the ones you don’t. If you have a drawer, or a paper tray, keep your most important documents in it. File out the rest and preserve them in a cabinet. When it comes to pens, old USBs that don’t work, artificial plants (that are collecting a lot of dust) and other table toppers; make a choice. Do you really need them? Is it helping you in any way? If not, get rid of it.
2. Find a place for every teeny-tiny thing.
Keep all your files together. Segregate them and find a nice filing system that works for you. I have an ottoman where I keep all my most important documents like my Grade Reports and my Photo Albums, whereas all my notebooks and papers go in drawers with my beloved stationery. They’re all organized by type and name so it becomes super easy to fetch anything I need. Dedicate an “Untitled” box or drawer for things that don’t really have a place. Say you have an old membership card you really want to throw away, but it brings back so many cherished memories, you want to keep it. Save it in a big box. Give that box a name and tuck it away neatly.
3. Binders be bindin’
I have a lot of binders. Here are some ideas for binders you could use.
- Manuals and Warranties: Since I have my very own tech addict in the house (my husband), I have to keep a lot of manuals and warranties along with their bills.
- House: Keep a track of all your electrical and water bills, phone numbers of painters, electricians, plumbers in this.
- Medical: Birth Certificates, medical records, X-rays and other related records go in here. This is so that if you ever shift doctors, or have an emergency, everything is in one place.
- Personal: All your personal data goes here.
3. Go fruitloops with stationery.
Use the following to help you organize all your things.
- Bulletin Board
- Magazine Holders
4. Use your beloved wall space.
A lot of us forget that our walls can be used for things other than hanging up posters and photos. Yes, shelves exist. I know you know. But I bet you forgot for just one tiny second. All your pretty notebooks, and novels (you must have in sight because they are your precious babies) can go up there! Not to mention those McDonald Happy Meal toys you collect (just for fun)! Speaking of shelves, I need some too.
5. Do up your table top.
After getting rid of the stuff you don’t need, it’s time to organize your desk. Have paper trays and little containers to collect all your paper pins and other small items. Keep a pen holder to hold your pens and pencils because those things get lost incredibly fast! I’ve had my pen for almost 2 years now. So proud. All the things that you require on a day-to-day basis must be within reach. So make sure you have everything you require either in drawers or on your table.
6. Ease up on your office equipment.
If you have a huge monitor, ditch it and get a light flat screen. If your office is crowded with a printer, a fax machine and a scanner, think about investing in a All-In-One. It doesn’t occupy much space, it’s really light and extremely useful. Invest in a wireless mouse. If you have a CPU, make sure it is under your desk.
7. Decorate your office.
Now that you’ve eliminated all the clutter and tidied up your desk, there isn’t much to do other than make it “You.” Claim your work space by personalizing it with things that you love or put you in the mood to work. Design your office and make it your dream workstation with these amazing tips.
8. Don’t let your wires play peek-a-boo.
I remember my roommate constantly tripping over in my side of the room because of the amount of wires I possessed. I used to be a PC gamer and was the GO-TO for all Computer/Movie/Music needs. This incredible gift of Geek-i-ness came with a curse. Wires. Now that I have my own home office, I keep all my wires neatly tucked away under my table with the help of zip-ties. Thank God for Zip-Ties. And this gives me the liberty to dance around my table without fear of falling over any pesky cords.
Zipties. Use them.
And if all else fails, go wireless.
9. Clear your desktop.
Don’t crowd your desktop. When your computer springs to life, you don’t want to see a million icons buzzing on your screen. It can be a huge put off for work. Sort out all your folders. Categorize your files and insert them into relevant folders. You can even customize the icons for all your folders so these eye-candies help you find your files quicker! Click here to learn to change icons in MAC.
10. Don’t let your inbox overflow with mail.
This may take an hour if you’ve never touched your inbox and have 2000+ mails. Good Golly. Imagine if your e-mail existed in the physical world. It would feel like Harry Potter’s living room and letters would keep pouring from every nook and cranny. Scary, isn’t it? First of all, create folders. In Mac Mail, click on Mailbox in the Menu. Now click on New Mailbox and name that folder. I have five.
- Nina (My Mother)
- Daniel (My husband)
- Blog Related (For all the blogs I follow)
- Mary Angela (My own Blog related e-mail)
- Other (Every other important mail that I absolutely can’t discard)
Now comes the fun bit. Sort out each and every mail you have. Either discard it completely, or put it in a relevant folder. Do it until your inbox actually reads 0 e-mail. Isn’t that fun? You have completely sorted your inbox!
Give yourself a pat on the back because you have just finished organizing your office from start to finish! Oh yeah! If you have any more valuable tips you would like to share, feel free to list them in the comments below. Until then, adios!