Tips To Organize Your Home Office!

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Tips To Organize Your Home Office!
by BB Lee(C)2003

550 words

You search your desk frantically for an important file.
An email you printed only moments earlier is lost under stacks
of overflowing files. The telephone is ringing, but you
can't reach it because you are at your fax machine retrieving
papers across the room.

You finally answer the telephone and search wildly around your
desk for a notebook and pencil. You find nothing, zip, nada!

So, what's the problem?

You finally realize that if you want your home office to run
smoothly you must take immediate steps to organize it.

Whether your business is full-time or part-time. Even if
you are starting small or on a grand scale, you will certainly
run into problems if you avoid pre-planning and organizing your
office interface to run in an efficient manner.

This is a no-brainer! You must organize your space so that all
essential office items are within arms reach. This will lead to
a smoother, more productive, work day. And make it easier to find
needed items at a moments notice.

It's surprising, the number of serious home office workers who
do not understand this important fact.

Are you ready to get organized? Let's get started!

The desk.
Get rid of clutter. Go through that stack of paper piled
high on your desk. Make this a habit at the start of the work day.
Be brutal. If you don't need it, toss it in the wastebasket.

Now search those desk drawers. Why are you keeping old
broken pens, yellowed scotch tape, receipts from purchases
made ten years ago or clips from a magazine you read last summer.
Either file the important stuff or toss it now! Also, purchase desk
drawer organizers at your local office supply store. These handy
items have compartments to neatly organize your extra essentials.

Your computer and keyboard should be the main focus of your desk.
Place a container with pens, pencils within arms reach.
Stack note pads nearby. Purchase desk top vertical or horizontal
organizers to stack important papers and keep them neat and orderly.

Stack reference books on a bookshelf on your desk, above your desk,
or one adjacent to desk.

Storage Disk
Store important CD's or floppies in a holder on your desk.

Place your fax, printer, scanner adjacent to your desk. So you
will only need to move a few inches to access them.

Your telephone should be close enough for you to answer
without leaving your desk chair. Believe me, running
back and forth to answer or make calls can be
very time consuming and tiring.

File Cabinets
If possible, place the files adjacent to the desk or in
a way to suit your workspace and give you easy

Keep personal items off your desk. This includes your
favorite magazines, a favorite crossword puzzle, personal
letters. And this certainly isn't the place to leave your
favorite hand held video game. All these items will cause
too many distractions.

Use the above tips as a starting point to get your office
organized efficiently and improve work production.

BB Lee is Editor Publisher Of SmallBizBits Home Business
Newsletter. Visit at:


About the Author

BB Lee is the editor and publisher of SmallBizBits newsletter. Your number one online resource for home business advice.


doggie_gone_crazy 09.03.2009. 01:16

I need some organizing tips for my house. it is such a mess and i have so much stuff. help me! For each room? I need organizing tips for each room. Laundry room, kitchen, bath room. bedrooms,(4), A home office, living room, dinning room. and a hallway closet
Please help me, i cant stand it.


Admin 09.03.2009. 01:16

I think you should start off with your closet.. if they are clean you will be able to put away more stuff and it will help keep clutter to a minimum.
Closet- Start of my sorting clothing my season. Put them in diff totes..only have this season's clothing out and available.
Buy a shoe organizer, they have ones that hook to the back of you closet door, of shelves. Depending on how much room you have to work with. I just purchased one for my kids at the family dollar for $6! Holds ten adult shoes (a pocket for each shoe) but bc they are kids shoes i was able to put a pair of shoe per pocket!
Space bag are great for bulky sweaters, blankets, and pillows. They are neat bc you can just hide them under the bed!

As for the rest of you house.. throw out every thing you dont need.
Have an assign place for every thing!

Buy a paper shredder.. shred junk mail and pd bill. (This is one i have problems with =D)

Buy Bins or baskets and store miscellaneous stuff in them.

Good luck!

*** I saw this closet doubler thing on the Racheal Ray show.. it is amazing!!! I have actually been looking for one for my closet. Here is the link!

I didnt know wal mart carried them.. this is a great buy really double your space!!


Connie K 03.01.2007. 22:52

What is your best organizational tip? I am trying to organize my life better (New Year's resolution). I have one teenager at home and a home office. Any tips?

Connie K

Admin 03.01.2007. 22:52

Consider creating a Household Resource Binder using a large 3 ring binder. You can use dividers to separate it into whatever sections you like. Here are a of our binder sections:

Family Dining (coupons, circulars, grocery list, weekly menu)
Take Out Menus
Contact information ( friends, relatives, teachers, etc)
Children (permission slips, field trip information, etc)
Monthly Calendar

"The Binder" is the first place we go to look for things. No one has to ask what's for dinner because it's listed in the binder. There's no digging through drawers to find the Chinese take out menu because it's safe inside the binder. Everyone knows when Dad works late because it's noted on the calendar inside the binder.

I've found that using a resource binder cuts down on excessive paper build up because everything has a place.

Make it as elaborate or as low key as you wish. Good luck!


G Lady 31.01.2011. 17:48

Home Organization - How to store bulky construction plans? My fiance has a home office and I try to keep it as organized as possible but it's not always easy. Lately I've been having a hard time organizing his rolled up architecture/construction plans. At first I thought of using a small trash can but it was too short and kept tipping over. Next I thought of an umbrella holder but the rolls are too thick to fit more than 2. Has anyone thought of a successful idea to store these plans without taking up too much room?! Any ideas would help!

G Lady

Admin 31.01.2011. 17:48

My step dad was a civil engineer, so I know what you mean.
He would buy the cardboard tubes and stick them in those and put them up in the attic so mother did not have to look at them.
other than that, if i found strays i would roll up and place on the top of the bookshelves.
We got cardboard barrels, years ago off ebay that were perfect height and they were wonderful too.
golly i could keep thinking up stuff, but now that its winter, have you considered using them as kindling..haha kidding!


Itchy McFanny 03.07.2008. 19:12

What are some great tips you have for organising you home and home office? I live in a one bed flat that is always a mess!!! I have a few weeks off coming up and plan to completely go though my flat and make it spick and span and organised. My biggest problem is college work all over my dining room table all year round!! I think i need shelves in a cupboard or something!

Itchy McFanny

Admin 03.07.2008. 19:12

you may put the phone, the computer, basic desk supplies everyday, your college works and books you often read. These should be located in and around the work area first and always put it back after use in the same place. Next, you'll want printer paper near the printer, reference books nearby, and backup disks handy as well. Finally, use upper shelves for software boxes, office supplies, archived papers, and so on. More tips on Basic Principles Of Storage


goofinoff 26.07.2010. 23:04

What is your best tip to organize a home office? I tend to keep too much paper and welcome any suggestions but especially wonder about using computerized or electronic means to sort and retrieve papers. My knowledge of such things is hopelessly outdated.
Thank you, Zarn! Do you recommend any particular online backup, or OCR software, for home use?


Admin 26.07.2010. 23:04

Google desktop makes things searchable on your computer in a similar fashion to a Google search. Using extensive metatagging is a necessity if you're planning on 'clouding' your archival solution in this manner - and you should probably still have some storage scheme planned for backup purposes.

Scanning with optical character recognition is one way of converting a paper document to a digital (editable) form. After having committed the scanned copy of the original document to your storage solution, you can usually dispose of the paper copy (depending on legislation and purpose in your area, of course).

Another thing is regular backups. You should consider efficient, automated ways of doing backup, preferably by for instance alternating between external drives that have the automated backup function stored as, say, a button to press. You should use at least two drives for this, and they should not be in the same physical location either.

In order to get proper redundance for this, you could also consider online backup and storage solutions. There's a plethora to choose from, all capable of being automated to some greater or lesser degree.


Jenni 25.10.2011. 15:34

How long should I keep important papers? I'm cleaning out our home office. I've always erred on the "safe side" and kept everything, but it's getting a little ridiculous!
How long should I keep:
*Bank Statements
*Credit Card Statements (one card has been paid off for 10 months, the other will be in about 6 months)
*Paycheck Stubs
*Receipts for paid bills
*Receipts for major purchases (like appliances,etc)
*Information about our health insurance policy



Admin 25.10.2011. 15:34

This article offers an excellent guideline for how long to keep various papers:

In a nutshell:

Paid Bills ? 3 Months or less.

Pay stubs- Until you Receive w-2

Bank Statements- 6 Months or less (bank has records available anytime)

Tax Returns- In most cases, you should keep tax returns for at least 3 years, since that?s the time limit to amend a return or for the IRS to audit good-faith returns. (There?s no time limit for the IRS to audit fraudulent returns.)

Auto Records- Keep maintenance records for the life of the vehicle.
Insurance Documents- When you get the new insurance card in the mail, throw away the expired cards. You don?t need to keep insurance paperwork that expired or that covered property you no longer own.

Health Insurance- Keep Medical Bills and documents for one year if you claim as a tax deduction.
Warranties & Manuals- Keep while warranty is still in effect, or the life of the item.

Coupons- When they expire. You can also send expired coupons overseas to the military bases. They can use them up to 6 months after they expire. For more info go here. For tips on organizing coupons check out my post here.

And remember...file the papers you do keep in a filing cabinet. It only takes a few seconds to file a document and it can save you hours of searching later. If you haven't been able to keep up on your filing, remember it only takes 3 months to form any habit, good or bad. So just make yourself file papers immediately and in 3 short months, you'll do it out of habit.

Good luck.



flowersinthewind 24.10.2010. 17:02

Im feeling a little overwhelmed , i have to organise a home office for a business? and dont really know where to start , i know i have to shred aload of rubbish and sort through boxes to find the relevant info i need but apart from that i dont really know any tips ?


Admin 24.10.2010. 17:02

Go to your Office max store and get ideas. Once you jump in, getting into action, it will be like a game. Do not be attached to having to have it perfect the first time.


Emily 001 28.12.2008. 19:49

How do you organize cash in your home? If you recieve cash on a regular basis and do not want to use a local bank, what is a good way to organize it in your home? Sort it out so I know exactly what to use for bills, food, pleasure, etc. Like a little bank with different compartments for bills so each pile is separated out. Do you know of a company that sells things like this? Or a way to make my own "bank" like this? Thanks!

Emily 001

Admin 28.12.2008. 19:49

Even though you do not want to use a local bank, you really, really should be making deposits as soon as you get the money if it represents earned income. You need a paper trail. In the event of an audit, showing that you consistently put all money into the account before pulling it out to pay bills is imperative.

Anyone who works in an trade that pays cash (including waitresses who receive tips) is a priority for IRS audits. If you get audited and the auditor even sniffs that you aren't telling the whole truth about your income, they can expand the audit into a lifestyle audit. Let me tell you, you do not want the IRS telling you that they think you spent $500 more on groceries than you actually did last month because that's "the average for your family size."

That said, many people use the envelope system. If the envelope is empty, they stop spending. (I used to write the big amounts ON the envelope so I wouldn't forget what I'd spent even if I lost the receipt.) You can use regular envelopes and store them in a large envelope, or you can get one of those expanding file folders at an office supply store and keep the money/envelope in each slot.


Heather 08.09.2006. 10:17

Any tips for cleaning house regularly? I'm a lousy housekeeper. My home is constantly cluttered. Any ideas how I can get my home closer to that "model home" magazine look?


Admin 08.09.2006. 10:17

Getting organized means you can organize your home quickly. Tips, articles, and links to organize every room of your home. Organize the office. Organize the garage. Organize closets. This site will help you organize the entire house. (About Housekeeping


Aaron 16.02.2013. 08:23

can someone give me some good tips on clutter clearing and mess? my place is sooo messy omg. I got so much stuff. I storage shed had a leak so I moved stuff in the house, my room mate moved out and asked me to keep stuff for them. I got stuff for memory..I dont know whatt o do. stuff I might sell someday..
or like'
someday I might use it" I've had this stuff sinse I wasa kid. a lot of its my family's. just growing up but its never used.
any tips.. my place is wreck mess every room you can walk in the floor is a scattered pile of stuff.

the kitchen is a mess too becase the dishwasher broke.


Admin 16.02.2013. 08:23

Clutter Clearing Tips
By Patrice Campbell, eHow Contributor

Relaxing in the midst of clutter is as difficult as it is to work. For many people, just looking at the untidiness gives them a feeling of guilt that gets in the way of focusing on more pleasant activities. Organizing belongings helps to maintain a soothing atmosphere in the home and the office as well as the car and the backyard.

Other People Are Reading
How to Clear Out the Clutter
How to Clean a Cluttered House

Clearing Out

People hang onto possessions that they'll probably never use again for a lot of reasons. From wrong size clothing that they hope will fit again someday to broken appliances they store in the hopes of making repairs, unused items fill many drawers, closets and garages. Add to these items the impulse purchases that have lost their appeal, duplicate items and those items the average person keeps on hand just in case they're needed someday, and reasons many homes are filled with clutter become apparent.

The first step in clearing the area of clutter, and possibly the hardest for many, is to get rid of all of the items that are not used. Items that are no longer needed can be disposed of in many ways. Sort items according to their intended disposition. Place containers to hold items intended for donation to worthy charities, to be sold, to be hauled away to the landfill, to be recycled and to be kept. Once you have sorted the clutter, immediately transport the items to their intended location to eliminate the possibility of them creeping back into the living areas.


Even after unused clutter is removed from the home most people find that their downsized possessions can create clutter. The next step is to organize the items so that they can be stored in a convenient place, and you can find them easily. Plan to store the items in the room where they are most often used. Decorative baskets and bowls can be used for storage in open areas. Attach shelving units beneath cabinets to free up counter space, and use hooks on the inside of cabinet, pantry and closet doors for more out-of-site storage space. Customizable dividers for drawer and closet organizers are available at most hardware stores and home centers. Don't forget the storage space available under the bed and at the back of closets for the out-of-season wardrobe.


Many people park in the street and use the garage as a workroom or as a place for storage. Once the clutter has been purged, the storage in the garage must be organized. Make use of pegboards and hooks to organize and store light items for easy identification and retrieval. Hang sturdy hooks from the ceiling to hold bicycles and other heavier equipment. Install shelving units along the walls to keep stored items safely off the ground and to take advantage of the vertical space. Store seasonal items in marked stackable containers to make them easy to locate.


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