Create A Home Office

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By: Cheryl Adelman Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers

Turn your desk into a home office. Make it a convenient, comfortable, even a beautiful space, where you’ll be able to organize everything you need to run your home smoothly.  If possible, don’t mix your business desk with your home desk.

Last month we talked about paper; what to file, shred, or recycle. If you need details please go back to my article, “Paper, It’s Complicated.”

At your home office desk, you’ll need a place for daily incoming mail near to where you pay bills and respond to correspondences.

Once a week, sort your mail into the following nine categories:

Catalogues: Please recycle those you are not using. If you want to stop receiving them, contact the company through their toll free number.

Junk Mail: set aside anything with your name for shredding. Recycle the rest.

Bills: open, note the due date and mark it on the front, setting all bills in due date order

Contributions: open and recycle everything you won’t need.

Time Sensitive: Invitations, events…Purge and file into Take Action file, To Read, To File or Take Action (Time Sensitive)

Magazines: If you’re not getting to them, end those subscriptions.

Contacts: business cards, return addresses, appointment reminder cards

Yes, that is 11 baskets, or boxes, or shelves, or drawers, or files, or likely a combination thereof. And have a separate box for current owner manuals. Set up trash, recycling and shredding containers close by.

Now that your mail station is set up, it’s easy to drop your mail daily in its place, then sort and take action once a week. When you make time to read, be sure to purge as you do.

Efficient and expedient filing can be easy when you use the system of General Category, Subcategory, Sub Sub Category.

Examples: 

General Category; Utilities 2017

Sub category; Electric

Sub sub category; April bill

or

General Category; Medical

Sub Category; Jimmy

Sub Sub categories; orthodontist, dentist, pediatrician, etc.

And don’t forget to label everything clearly.

When you are conceptualizing your office, consider what you’ll need; furniture, electronics and their supplies, lighting, filing supplies, mail system and office supplies.

You can chose items that are colorful or basic. It’s your own style. And keep your desktop uncluttered. Remember, copy machines do not have to sit on your desk taking up valuable space.

Simple daily maintenance will go a long way in saving you time in the long run. Now that there is a place for everything, make it a habit, at the end of your session to recycle, trash, file, and remove. It only takes a few minutes.

Cheryl Adelman is a Home Organizing Coach, Owner of Organize In a Day™. organizeinaday.com 609-287-3119. She also loves to write about and gives entertaining talks about organizing.