Are you ready to get your business (or home) organized?  Something has triggered in your sub-conscious and made you decide that now is the time to get it done.  I’m motivated and ready to see results and become organized.   Right now – no kidding – I’m ready to see it through to the end.  I am  determined that nothing will stop me from seeing it through to the end.  Decisions will be made, trash bags are available and ready to be used, the shredder is empty and waiting to be filled.  Now, where to begin…hhmmm.

Here are tips that a Professional Organizer will use with their clients to determine what to do first to get  organized.  We’ll focus on the organization of a home office.

1.  Remove everything that doesn’t belong in this space.  Let’s think about it logically, should your laundry basket be in your office (I know, this is a bit extreme but I’m making a point!).  Your office shouldn’t be the spot that you do your laundry – and you already know this – just consider this a friendly reminder.  Other things that I have seen in an office, especially a home office, are:  stuffed animals, children’s homework assignments, bags from your last purchase from Wal-Mart or Target and baby diapers (unused, of course).

If it doesn’t logically make sense to have an item within the space, find it another home – a real home.  Keeping the laundry, or any other unnecessary items, in your home office will stop your productivity and creativity.  You’ll never feel like you left your “household” chores and this will quickly become frustrating and distract you from what you really need to do.  If you were working outside the home, they wouldn’t allow you to take your laundry to work with you, would they?  So why keep it in your home office? 

2.  Get your filing and paperwork under control.  Go through the sorting process of what to keep, file and shred.  Don’t stop until you have gone through every piece of paper and made one of these decisions.  Before you start though, make sure that you have enough room to lay everything out.  If you have a portable table that you can bring into your office, that would be beneficial.  Or, three bins will work also.  Only you can decide what will be the best resource for yourself.  And, don’t forget to open all of your mail.  This may be the most time-consuming part of the process.  You really want to make sure that anything and everything that has your name, address and/or account number on it is shredded to protect your identity.

3.  Set up your office.  Keep your desk top  free and clear of items that do not need to be there.  Think about what items you use every day and find them a home on your desktop.  Of course, this would include your daily office supplies and files that you touch frequently, your laptop or computer and possibly an inbox and outbox. 

The best advice that I give to any client, no matter what the situation or personality, is keep your systems simple.  A complicated system will require time and energy that will stop you from doing more in less time.  After all, once it is organized, you will want to “keep it organized”, right? 

 Linda Clevenger, Consultant and Professional Organizer