“Where’s my…?”, “Did someone move my…?” Can anyone relate to this? Whether you are working remotely during this time or utilizing a home office for paying bills, going through correspondence, and managing your household (or all of the above!), an organized home office space can save you time, money, and frustration. Home offices can take longer to organize than other spaces, namely because of paper clutter, but you’ll be able to locate items you need with ease once a great system is implemented.
To begin, take out all items from your workspace, Yes, all. It’s helpful to have small boxes and a trash bag ready before you start. Categorize the items, keeping like with like. If you immediately recognize something that you can toss, do it!
Time to determine which items you use daily, weekly, and occasionally and then sort them further into categories. Depending on the size of your workspace, keep items you reach for daily within arm’s length (see what I did there?) either on top of your desk or in a drawer. Store items you use at least weekly in drawers as well, corralling all like items together. Occasionally used items and other office supplies can be stored out of reach, such as a bookcase shelf or closet shelf.
Think outside of the box when looking for desk accessories and storage solutions. Anthropologie has pretty cups that can double as pen holders. If your taste is more modern, The Container Store has lovely lucite makeup storage containers that can be used multiple ways. I found a gorgeous set of antique Limoges china at an upscale thrift shop - the small saucers are great for paperclips.
Onto the bigger project - paper clutter! Although daunting, once you get your paperwork in order with a proper system that works for you, it can be easy to maintain. For efficiency during this process, try to not get bogged down by poring over letters, cards, and other sentimental paperwork. Set all of this aside to go through at a later time. You want to maintain some momentum and it can become overwhelming if you don’t move quickly. Sort all of your paperwork categorically: receipts with receipts, bills with bills, bank statements with bank statements, and so on. Not sure how long to keep a document? This is a great article with guidelines on how long you need to keep records and paperwork: https://www.consumerreports.org/taxes/how-long-to-keep-tax-documents/.
Once you have your paperwork narrowed down to categories, create a filing system that you can keep up with, try to be detailed so each paper has a home. I use these file boxes from The Container Store, they are small enough that I can keep my filing systems categorized by box: https://www.containerstore.com/s/bigso-white-stockholm-desktop-file/d?q=file+box&productId=11004014. When completed, you should be able to find anything within minutes, as well as quickly and efficiently file paperwork when it comes in the door!