Does your home office look like a cyclone passed through? Finding yourself hunting though heaps of files to locate that elusive document or receipt? Having a hard time remembering what your desk’s surface look’s like?
Maintaining an orderly and clean workspace can do wonders to your productivity, job satisfaction, and work-home life balance. It’s not just a matter of taste or personality; it’s a necessity.
Here are a few tips to give your home office a much needed facelift:
1. Tackle your work area first – File documents that you don’t use on a regular basis and don’t hesitate to dump unneeded print-outs in the recycling bin. Organize the documents you need every day.
Where there are a lot of papers prepare three in-boxes labeled “To Be Done,” “To Be Read,” and “To Be Filed.” Go through all those piles on your desk and sort them into the various categories. If a document doesn’t fall into any one of these categories, out it goes. This task is not meant to occur once a year but rather once a day. Make a point of working through your new “To Be Done” box each morning and do your best not to fall behind.
2. Rearrange your desk – Don’t you just love to remodel? Try a complete makeover of your desk. In keeping with that fresh spring spirit, make it look and feel like it’s completely new. Buy some new accessories for your desk. Place your computer at a 90 degree angle to your desk. If you’re right handed, the phone should be situated on the right side of your desk; if you’re left handed, reverse the process.
3. Set up an office supply drawer – Are you always misplacing office supplies? In order to avoid amassing a bunch of office supplies on your desktop or simply misplacing them, set aside one desk drawer for office supplies only. Throw away dried out pens and broken pencils and treat yourself to some new ones.
4. Take a look at your use of space- Make sure that you are making the best use of the space available for your home office. This means paying attention to your office furniture, such as desks, shelving, and file cabinets. Replace or refurbish old furniture and clean out cluttered areas.
5. Getting enough light and air?- Check your light fixtures and windows to ensure that your work area is well lit. Also, where possible bring in some potted or hanging plants.
6. Spruce Up Your Computer – Your virtual files need a good dusting too. Help lighten up your computer’s load by archiving old client files into an external drive or an online file storage service. Make sure to rid yourself of sensitive client files that you no longer use, such as passwords and other log in information. Delete files that are no longer relevant. While you’re at it, clean out your email in-box. Make order of the chaos by setting up sub folders for messages you want to keep or need to respond to so that your inbox remains fairly clear. Remember to set up routine backups for your computer.
7. Update Your Client Database – Make sure that your client database has only current email and shipping addresses, telephone numbers and other client information you need to keep.
8. Clean your office space – Wipe down your computer and monitor, dust the shelves and make sure to vacuum the carpet.