Office styles vary as much as business types do. But the one thing that they should all have in common is that they fit the owner’s needs and business. Since we are talking about getting your business organized this month, your office is something that you may need to organize as well.
Let’s start with the question “What does your ideal office space look and feel like?”
Mine would include a wall of windows looking over a beautiful landscape of some sort. (Trees, hills, mountains, beach…I’m open! Lol) It would also include a large desk with plenty of storage positioned so I am seeing the beauty outside the window. A wood-burning fireplace for days when the windows just aren’t working to keep out the winter chill. Windows that open to a nearly screened-in-porch feeling when the weather is perfect. Not only ergonomic seating at the desk, but comfy living room style furniture because I rarely like to sit at a desk. (My preferred work seating is a comfy rocking chair with a foot stool. Perfect for laptop use.) A surround sound stereo system is a necessary part of my dream office as well. And, while my son is still young enough, a small table for legos and other activities.
So now that you have thought of your dream office, the next question is…
What is your REAL office situation?
Mine…is that it’s pretty much non-existent. Terrible. Inexcusable. But the way it is. Been living in this too-small house that is in a constant state of upgrade for too long and there is just no space I can call my own. One of these days I may take back the space that was intended for my office when we moved in. But for now my office is officially in my head and in my favorite chair.
How about yours? Do you have a real office but its piled high with unfiled papers or craft project “to-do”? Are your work materials just strewn around the room or organized nicely where they are easily retrievable? Is it an area where you can free your mind or an area that brings you constant stress?
Now we need to ask ourselves what can we do about our situations to get organized?
If you need an office space, like I do, take an honest inventory of your house. Is there a guest bedroom but never any guests? Is there a playroom that is only collecting dust bunnies? Is there a sunny glassed in porch? What space can you turn into your office?
If your office is a shambles, not just disorganized but missing major elements like a desk and shelving, then take measurements and do an honest inventory of what you NEED and also what you would like to have. If you have the money, head on out to the nearest store that carries these items and have fun shopping. Recruit your spouse, friend, grown child, neighbor or some stranger off the street to help you get it all put together in your space. (Just kidding about the stranger.) If you can’t find anyone to help you, try calling your local homeless shelter or food pantry. They often know people who are willing to do “spot jobs” of a few hours or a few days for a few bucks an hour.
If you just need to get organized, try the 15 minutes a day approach. No matter you have planned for the day, you can spare 15 minutes. Spend those 15 minutes sorting through one small space. A drawer, a shelf, 2 sq foot corner of the floor. Whatever space you pick doesn’t matter, so just pick one.
- Have a box for stuff to give away or sell, a trash can, and a box for things that belong somewhere else.
- Take everything out of the space you are organizing (dump the drawer, empty the shelf, etc).
- As you pick up each item that came out of it, decide which spot it belongs. Do you need it or truly want to keep it? Then put it back in the drawer neatly. If its trash, toss it. If someone else could use it, then give it away or sell it. If it’s the missing blender beater from the kitchen, then put it in the box to put elsewhere.
- Don’t stop until you have touched and sorted every item. As you put things away in the space, be sure they are neatly organized. If you think some kind of organizational tool will make it better, then put that on your shopping list and make it be a 15 minute project for another day.
- Take the trash out.
- List the for sale items on Craigslist, store them with your upcoming garage sale items, and stash the giveaway items in your car so you can drop them off next time you go out.
- Take the box with items that belong elsewhere and put them away.
If you move quickly, with some upbeat music playing, you should be able to do all of that in 15 to 20 minutes or less. Just do not allow yourself to get distracted! Found a novel you half finished? DON’T finish it right now! J
Now its time for me to take my own advice. Ha!
What needs organized in your home office space?