The home office should be a place to get things done and have some organization in an already hectic life. Yet what happens what the home office is even more cluttered than the mind? Papers get lost, bills become unpaid and important document are crumpled or lost in a mountain of useless paperwork. An organized office is the key to an efficient office and more organized life.
There are many ways to organize an office and people must tailor things to their own personal style and preference. However, not everyone is equipped with the organizational gene to get themselves started so a few simple, generic tips will help get those people started!
The file cabinet is the most important element of an organized office. This is where all of the papers should be, not strewn all over the desk and floor. The file cabinet should have at least two drawers. The top drawer should be for paid bills and the bottom drawer should be for miscellaneous information.
Top Drawer: There needs to be a color coding scheme which there are a few ways to organize. The first way is color coding for each person’s bills. Professional Organizer Mia Stickel was on an episode of HGTV’s Mission Organization. Stickel was organizing a home office and stated, “Color-coded files make it easy and fun to find categories of paperwork related to home, work and leisure.”
If the husband and wife have separate bills the wife’s folders can be red, for example, and the husband’s can be green. Then within each color there will be separate tabs for each individual bill. The second way color coding can be utilized is by assigning each type of bill a certain color. For example, utility bills will be in blue folders, car payments can be green folder, etc. This way when looking for a particular bill it will be easier to go right for the correct area instead of searching around the drawer for the correct tab.
Bottom Drawer: This drawer can be organized in much of the same manner except instead of filing bills it’s going to be information. This could include credit card statements and contracts, health insurance information, car titles, insurance policies, etc.
Make sure to keep clutter to a minimum; everything should have a spot to “live”. Depending on the size of the desk, it’s a good idea to keep an “inbox” or a place to put bills that need to be paid or things that need attending to. After a bill is paid immediately file the bill or paper away to help eliminate piles and clutter.
Buy drawer organizers, if there are drawers, for pens, pencils, stamps, and other miscellaneous items. If there are no drawers then there are a few solutions. One is to get a mini desktop set of drawers. They are available in all price ranges, from plastic to wood to metal for all styles. Or a larger version will work just as well and things like reams of paper and cords can be kept in there.
A few quick rules of thumb to keep the office looking sharp; don’t keep anything that isn’t needed, shred it along with the junk mail. There are three places for paperwork, in a file, in the shred bin or in the inbox.