Day 15: Office
Hello, friends! Welcome back to our How to Organize Your Home in 20 Days series!
You have worked so hard organizing your home and it definitely shows.
I hope you are starting to feel more at ease as you are clearing your home of clutter. Today’s project... the office!
The office in your house is shared by many people for a lot of reasons. It’s an easy dumping ground for miscellaneous items and the never ending stack of papers.
Today we are going to clear out that office so you have a peaceful place to work. Let’s get started!
In this particular project, we helped our client get rid of 90% of the paper she and her husband had been accumulating over 30-40 years.
We donated 5 filing cabinets. At the end of the project, our client was able to keep all her important paperwork in the built-in filing cabinet in her desk!
First step of organizing your office -- start putting everything in your office in a pile in the middle of the room.
Bring out all of the books, papers, knick-knacks, small office supplies (stapler, tape, thumbtacks) and large office supplies (printer, desktop monitor, keyboard).
The large office supplies are fine to stay on a flat surface, you don’t have to put those on the floor!
By bringing out all of the items from their spaces, you will be able to see which items in your office actually belong there and which items are just adding to the clutter.
As you're pulling things off the shelves and out of cabinets, categorize everything into groups, putting all of the like items into groups.
We like to categorize things AS we pull them out to keep things efficient and to make sure the piles don't become overwhelming.
Group together all of the books, all of the papers, all of the folders, all of the charger cords, all of the pens, and so on until everything is in a group with like items.
By putting everything into groups, you will easily be able to see the items you really need, items you have too many of, and items you didn’t even know you had!
Before we start to clean your office, we need to dive more into the paper situation.
If you really want to declutter and organize your office as a long term solution, you need to sort through all of the papers scattered about.
Paper contributes to the most clutter in an office, so it’s important we take time now to deal with it.
Sort all of the paper into categories based on short-term needs (coupons, information flyers), action items (bills, invitations to events), long term filing (birth certificates, passports), leisure (magazines, newspapers) or recycle (junk mail or anything you no longer need from the previous categories).
In this example, we put all the file tabs on one side. I've found that this is efficient for people who don't have a lot of tabs. It's also more efficient when all the tabs are in a row. If you add more folders and tabs, you can add it in without changing all the other tabs!
Put short-term papers in a spot where you can easily locate and use them in the future. Store action items in a spot where you can see them frequently and take care of them.
If possible, opt out of paper billing when you are able to, many billing companies give you a discount when you make the switch!