How to organize your home office

Make sure you do not keep unnecessary papers.

There are two things that you will definitely need in order to run a home office successfully. The first thing is a good work schedule – otherwise you won’t be able to get anything done. If you do not have a good work schedule, and stick to it, you’ll find that you are continually getting distracted by things that can come up around the house – which could mean that you end up working a lot of overtime in your home office. Even though you are working at home, you should still make sure that you keep your work and your home life as separate as possible.

The other thing that you will need is a good, well organized home office set up. Without a good organizational plan to your home office, you’re likely to find it hard to keep all of your work papers straight – which can lead to missed deadlines and, yet again, working late.

The first thing that you should realize is that when you’re working at home, you will not need to keep everything. While you will probably end up with a file cabinet of two in order to keep track of all your papers, you should not be afraid to throw away things that do not belong in your office, or that do not need to be kept. Any junk mail or magazines that you do not need should either be thrown away, or have the subscription cancelled right away. The last thing you need is to waste valuable time organizing something that you aren’t even going to keep anyway.

Next, you should make sure that you utilize technology when you can. Sure, some things are best kept if you need an original – for instance, sales receipts, or official documents. However, in a lot of cases, while you do need a copy of the page, you do not actually need the original. In this case, you might find it worthwhile to save the pages to your computer instead. This will save you a lot of paper shuffling in the long run.

Laptop with a yellow folder and the word "Organize" on the screen.

Finally, make sure that you keep your computer organized as well. Your My Documents file should be kept to a strict organizational standard so that you can find any of your computerized documents within a few minutes, either for referral or for printing. Though, if you do decide to use your computer in order to reduce the amount of paper you have in your home office, you should make sure to keep several copies of your files – both on your hard drive, and on CD backups – and make sure to check your backups for flaws regularly!