Home Office Organization: Part 1

I have recently been working with a client to get her home office organized.  There really is a lot to getting a home office/information hub for the family organized, so I thought I would give some tips in a couple of posts.  This is what I wish my dream home office looked like…maybe one day 🙂

After assessing the situation, one of the first things we did was to start making files for all of the stacks of papers that were cluttering the desk (and surrounding areas).  Always try to get rid of as much paper as you can…studies have shown only 20% of things we file will ever be retrieved again!   Sometimes it is hard for people to purge the paper, so I love this list of tips from Julie Morgenstern who wrote Organizing from the Inside Out: The Foolproof System for Organizing Your Home, Your Office, and Your Life.  This is a list of some of her “no brainer” items to toss in your home office:

  • Junk mail
  • Expired Coupons
  • Outdated schedules
  • Old greeting cards- unless they contain a very special message
  • Old grocery receipts
  • Old invitations
  • Expired warranties and service contracts
  • Expired insurance policies
  • Old catalogs – keep only the current one (LOVE THIS TIP)
  • Business cards from names you don’t recognize (FYI, You can also get rid of your business cards altogether and use a great app called CardMunch…all you have to do is snap a picture of the card with your phone and it automatically organizes and saves all the information for you.)
  • Old tourist brochures from past vacations
  • Articles or clippings you haven’t reread in more than five years
  • Recipes you haven’t tried in five years (I need to chunk mine)
  • Checkbooks- if they are more than six years old, or the account has been cancelled
  • Unread magazines -if they are more than three months old
  • Road maps you haven’t used in 10 years

While going through the piles of papers, we also created a few main files that she will be able to easily access on a daily basis.  These files will stay on top of her desk in a pretty vertical file holder with folders like these from Martha Stewart for Staples.  The main 3 files most people need access to in a home office are: “Things to Do,”  “Bills to Pay,” and “To Read.”  Of course you can always adjust to your needs!  Grab your “to read” file with you the next time you are headed to the doctor’s office or to sit in the car line at school!

The other files were stored and labeled in a file cabinet under her desk (of course we used the label maker to make the files look professional).  Use straight-line filing where all the tabs are on the left, right, or middle to keep all of your files in order…it helps your files to look more orderly.  More tips next week!  I’ll leave you with a couple awesome office pics!

She did this herself….love the wallpaper under the glass as the top of the desk! Scroll down on the link to see her “studio” and how she did this!

Martha Stewart office makeover


7 thoughts on “Home Office Organization: Part 1

  1. Pingback: 10 Tips for an Organized 2013 | Ducks in a Row Organizing

  2. Pingback: Confessions of a Binder Hoarder | Ducks in a Row Organizing

  3. Pingback: 10 Tips To An Organized 2014 | Ducks in a Row | Lowcountry Parent

  4. Pingback: 10 Tips To An Organized 2014 | Ducks in a Row Organizing

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