March 8 is National Organize Your Home Office Day – yes, it’s really a thing! After the past two years, more and more of us have been working at home and using our home as office space, and it’s time to tidy up. Regardless of whether you’re bringing work home from the office or your commute is just to the dining room table, it’s important to set boundaries between work and personal life. It can be freeing to work from home and keeping your workspace tidy can be a relief when you start every day.
1. Out of Sight, Out of Mind. If you don’t have the space for a home office in a separate room, set aside a designated area for working and work in that spot as much as possible. At the end of the day, put away everything. Clear off the dining room table, put your files in a tidy-looking box or basket, and your laptop out of sight. This has the added benefit of helping you mentally shift away from the stress of work and toward your family and personal time.
2. Books and 3-Ring Binders. Your office should be home to books that support your work and your future and you should keep the number to a minimum. That collection of time management books or continuing education materials? Choose only those that are of use to you for the future. Continuing ed stuff gets dated very fast and should be tossed at regular intervals. Your books and binders should be a collection of your hall of fame books that fit your future work, and the rest should be donated or tossed.
3. Manage Paper Ruthlessly. Your goal should be to have no paper in your office. None. You do that by signing up for electronic banking, electronic payment systems for utilities and electronic notices for everything possible. Get rid of any paper that you can find online – toss those product manuals now! The only papers you should keep are pending items – things you will take care of in the next week or two. Note:
a) Keep documents that you have a legal or business obligation to keep in paper form, and
b) shred any papers with personal or account information on them.
4. Find the Joy. We all collect little things and big things that reflect our personality, gifts from colleagues, plaques, and awards. Home offices can also become the dumping ground for lots of things we don’t know what to do with, such as outdated decor, broken electronics, cords of every sort; the list can seem endless. Gather all of those items into one place on your desk and ask yourself which of these actually bring you joy, lift you up, and make your office space a place where you want to be! Don’t keep things out of obligation; keep only those that remind you of why you do your work in the first place.
Your organized home office is within reach. Happy tidying!
Mrg Simon (Mrg rhymes with berg) is a Professional Organizer and KonMari® Certified Consultant. She can be reached at Mrg.Simon@Designed2Stick.com or (605) 929-1493.
The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC, doing business as Designed 2 Stick, is owned and operated by Mrg Simon, Glen Rose, TX. All images and content are copyrighted, and the property of Mrg Simon and The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC, unless otherwise stated. All header/banner photos are courtesy of Unsplash. The Reluctant Enthusiast claims no right in the registered marks of third parties, including KMI Media and Marie Kondo.. Mrg Simon and The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC are not acting or speaking on behalf of Marie Kondo, KonMari Media Inc., nor are they authorized to do so.
*Designed 2 Stick and Mrg Simon do not offer legal services. Mrs. Simon does not accept legal clients or provide legal advice.