8 Things That Are Making Your Home Cluttered And What You Can Do About It

Sometimes you walk into your home or a room in your house and you think to yourself, “why is this place always looking so cluttered?” The whole house doesn’t have to be in disarray to make you feel that your home is out of control. Often a small space or a small area that is causing you grief can make the difference between feeling defeated and feeling like you have things under control.

Here are 8 common areas that you can tackle quite quickly.

Cosmetics drawer

I am somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to make up and I know others that are quite the opposite. Regardless of how much cosmetics you have, the key is knowing what you have and having it accessible. Otherwise, you’re wasting time tearing through your drawer or purchasing items you don’t need because you can’t find them.

Cosmetics drawer

There are many inexpensive organizing trays you can use but remember to store like with like and to toss old make up on a frequent basis. Some make ups can be a breeding ground for bacteria so know when it’s time to replace an item.

Junk drawer

I don’t like to use the term “junk drawer”. I do have a drawer in my kitchen for pens, a pad of paper, mini stapler, eye glass cleaning cloth and a few other items such as bag clips and twist ties. It’s still an organized space. I have seen a lot of junk drawers that are full of just that – junk. A place you drop things into because you don’t know where to put it.

If you cannot easily locate what you are looking for it kind of defeats the purpose of having a “miscellaneous” drawer. Let’s keep it organized with everything contained.

Souvenirs

I was recently down south and was strolling through one of those markets that sell the tacky cheap souvenirs and wondered who really buys those?

Souvenir plates

Well, I have seen some pretty strange knick-knacks in people’s homes over the years letting us know where they have vacationed. Before you know it you can have a collection of clutter. Photo albums, memory boxes or mementoes that have real meaning to you are a better way to cherish the memories and keep your home organized.

Collections vs. obsessions

Many people collect items for various reasons and it can be a great way to pass time and to show people your interests. However, when it starts to control your home it has become an obsession. Invest in the storage system that is appropriate for your collection and proudly show your collection to your friends and family. Keep in mind that an interest of yours may not be the interest of others so don’t let it take over your home.

Entry way closet

Your entry way closet is normally the first place people see when they enter your home when coats are hung up. If space is a challenge, keep items seasonal by taking the spring and summer clothes out and replacing with the fall and winter wear and vice versa when the seasons change to make more room. Each time you do this, take the items you no longer wear or that don’t fit anymore to a local donation center. Boot racks and hanging shoe bags can be used to increase the vertical space needed for larger families.

Refrigerator

The fridge is an appliance you use several times throughout the day and can easily become a cold, cluttered mess each time you peer inside. I know we all have grown a science experiment in the back of the fridge at some time.

Resolve to go through the fridge prior to each major shopping to toss spoiled foods and to take stock of what you have so you are not purchasing items that are not required.

Magazine rack

If you’re still subscribing to magazines and newspapers, the old fashioned magazine rack can become an eyesore with past issues stuffed in there. Keep no more than the last two issues of any magazine and if the last 2 issues have not been read maybe it’s time to cancel the subscription.

Mag rack

Better yet, most magazines can now be purchased in an electronic format or are available with an app service such as Texture. Once read, newspapers should be tossed into the recycle bin. Are you really going to refer to yesterday’s news?

Your “In” basket – the OHIO rule

We all have an in basket for mail, flyers, bills or any other miscellaneous pieces of paper that comes into our home. Try the OHIO rule to keep the in basket to a minimum. Only Handle It Once. Pay it, file it, take action on it or toss paper when it comes in.

It’s typically the smaller areas of your home that can give your house a cluttered look and that you can easily tackle within a short period of time. Have a go at them and let me know how you make out.

Is Technology Preventing You From Staying Organized?

Technology has come a long way and I sometimes feel as my parents used to feel in not completely understanding or being able to stay caught up with the new technologies that are constantly introduced. In some ways I don’t care if I stay current. In fact, I often lament to whoever will listen that technology is pushing us apart from each other. It got me to thinking – Is technology preventing you from keeping organized?

Organize your time yourself, don’t let email organize it for you

“Snail mail” seems to have become something that is a vehicle for junk mail these days. We used to eagerly await the arrival of the mailman to our front door or go to the mailbox once a day to receive our bills, letters and other important documents. We knew what time to expect the mail and would plan around it and once it arrived we made the time to open the mail and react accordingly.

email

Now we receive most of our mail electronically and it comes in constantly. It’s almost impossible not to reach for the phone or computer when you hear that “ding” that tells you that mail has arrived. Just like today’s snail mail I’ll bet a lot of your email is junk, both at home and at work.

Unless you are expecting something very important to come through, try turning your notifications off and checking email once an hour or so. If you are like a lot of folks you receive a lot of emails from the same address that you never open. Mark these as junk and have them sent directly to your junk folder if you can’t unsubscribe so you aren’t wasting time deleting them each time they arrive.

Assign time for electronic leisure activities

With most newspapers, books and magazines now available in electronic formats a lot of us are reading on our computers, pads and other hand held devices. Video games have become extremely addictive with their life like graphics and have become as large an industry as the movies.

Unless we assign a time to spend on our devices it is easy to get caught up in a game or article and before long you’re behind in other things. Assign a time for your electronic leisure time and stick to it. Get your exercise, do your chores or spend time with family. Organize your time for the important things in life.

Back to basics with planners

Like you, I have a phone that does it all. It holds my music, takes pictures, connects me to the Internet and yes, it even receives and makes phone calls.

It also has a planner but I prefer a manual planner that I can write in for several reasons. I have yet to see a decent electronic planner that shows me the whole week with any great detail. I also like to write in detailed notes in my planner and check items off once they are completed giving me a sense of accomplishment.

Day planner

I can have my to do list, my items to follow up, my urgent items and my goals all in one place. And more importantly my manual planner will never run out of power so it is always accessible. Electronic planners are good but the old fashioned manual ones keep me better organized for the week.

So you think you can multitask

Even before technology became what it is, our brain was not able to fully focus on two things at the same time. A lot of people believe they can now do just that with today’s technology but not so.

Technology has changed, our brain has not. We can get more than one thing done at a time quantity wise, but it is proven that quality suffers. When working on a project, organize your time to focus on one task and give it your all for a better result.

Technology has helped you in so many ways but it can also eat a lot of your time and distract you from what needs to be done. Organize your time so you control the technology, not the other way around. Let me know how you make out.

These Dollar Store Items Will Help You Get Organized

I have purchased a lot of organizing products over the years and the dollar stores are one of the best places to buy organizing supplies. You would be surprised at what you can find in these stores at very affordable prices. You can find items to help you organize your kitchen, your bathroom, your closets, your garage – even your vehicle can be organized with supplies available at most dollar stores.

Many of the organizing products found in dollar stores are actually of decent quality, which makes these stores the first place you should check when you want to get organized. Not all organizing supplies are created equal, though.

Here are 9 of the best organizing products available at dollar stores:

Baskets & bins

Baskets & bins are some of the best organizing tools that you can use to get organized, and dollar stores sell them for a few dollars or less.

They are available in a wide variety of sizes, colors and designs, so you are sure to find some that fit your style. Besides the plastic bins, some dollar stores also carry fabric baskets, wicker bins and metal shelves.

Drawer organizers

When you open your drawer are you able to easily find the spatula, pen, food item or other item that you need? If not, your local dollar store carries drawer organizers that will help you get all kinds of drawers organized. Organize your cutlery, your small kitchen tools, clothing, toiletries, office items and more!

Desk supplies

You can find a lot of office organizing supplies at dollar stores that you will help you to organize all of your office supplies. Look for pen and pencil holders, in trays, file folders and much more at great prices.

Bathroom Supplies

Keep your bathroom organized with a few simple items from the dollar store. They carry toothbrush holders as well as small plastic containers that can be used to hold your make up in a drawer instead of all over the counter.

Jars

Jars are a fantastic organizing tool, and dollar stores have many of them.

Image result for organizing jars

Use them to organize spices, food, craft & scrap-booking supplies, ribbon, small items (nails, screws), markers or crayons. The possibilities are endless!

Hooks

When it comes to getting organized, hooks are inexpensive and easy to mount almost anywhere. Use them for scarves, jewelry, mugs and almost any other item you want up and out of the way. Dollar stores have a wide variety of them available. 3 hooks placed strategically can even be used to hold your pot lids on the inside of a cupboard door!

Shoe Organizers

Shoe organizers can be used for so much more than just organizing shoes! I have clients that use these to keep small packets of food inside their pantry. Others use them to sort and store kids gloves, socks and a lot more. You can also use them to organize cords, toiletries and craft supplies. The list is endless.

Hangers

Not many people give a lot of thought to hangers and use pretty much any kind they come across from the store or the dry cleaner. Freshen up your closet with new identical hangers and you will be surprised at how organized your closet can look.

Use a hanger that is appropriate for your clothes and toss those wire hangers into the recycle bin. Most dollar stores have a great selection.

Organize Kids School Supplies

Many of you went to dollar stores prior to the start of the school year for binders, pencil cases and other items that kids need to stay organized during the school year. You can even use a lot of these items in the house. I use a binder in the kitchen to hold recipes with dividers for main dishes, appetizers, etc. I also use a binder for instruction manuals – easy to find and retrieve.

Stores dedicated to organizing supplies do carry a wide range of items but sometimes they can be pricey. It really all depends on your budget. For the simple budget conscious jobs a dollar store will do just fine to find some inexpensive items to help you get organized.

Let us know what your favorite organizing item is from a dollar store. If you need help with any of your organizing projects contact us here for a no cost chat.

Essential Tools And Tips To Organize Your Home Office

Running your home-based business is a tough job and staying organized as an entrepreneur can be even harder. Having the right tools and supplies will make your day more productive and organized which in turn makes your business more profitable.

Here are a few suggestions to get your office organized and on track.

Repurpose

Organizing a work station is always a priority. However starting out in your own business can cost a few bucks. Before heading out to your office supply store take a look around the house and see what can be re-used.

A card table you have sitting down in your basement can be re-used as a desk for the time being. An old dining room chair can be used for seating until you feel ready to invest in a new chair. There is probably an extra lamp around the house that can be re-purposed as well.

Remember that coffee mug the kids gave you for Father or Mother’s day? Voila! You now have a pen and pencil holder to organize your writing instruments. The lid of a file folder box can serve quite well as an “In” box to keep you incoming documents and mail organized and contained.

In the desk vs. on the desk

Which items do you keep in the drawer and which do you keep on the desk? Keep in mind that clear horizontal services are best for better productivity. Keep as much as possible out of sight unless you use the item on a daily basis. Having a clear, organized space for working will eliminate distractions and make you more productive.clean-desk

If you are a visual person, those projects and files that are currently active (meaning that you are actively working on them daily) can be organized in a desk top file folder organizer so you can easily see them and they also act as a visual reminder of work to be accomplished.

If you don’t have the desk space for this, invest in a hanging wall file folder organizer which works just as well and helps to keep your desk clear and organized.

The essential shredder

Unless you want your personal information scattered around the neighborhood invest in a good quality shredder or hire the services of a mobile shredding company. It is just as important to guard the privacy of your business as it is to guard your personal information.
Keep a bin handy and label it “shredding” so you have a container to hold your documents while you accumulate papers that you can let go.

The supply closet

Pens and paper are always used and always available but what about the seldom-used items? There is never a good time to run out of supplies especially when you need that item to complete an important project.

Invest in a good desk top labeller and label each shelf or container with the office supplies that belong there. Once the last one is used get your order in to your supplier so you will not be caught without. If your supply space is limited try keeping your supplies organized in clear plastic containers that can be stacked and ensure you label them too.

A daily “bible”

To be organized you need to invest in a good daily planner and write down everything you need to do, follow up on or everyone you need to meet with or call.

Closeup image of notepad with pen.

Review this every day first thing in the morning so you know what needs to be done during the day and cross off each task as you go. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and allows you to see how productive you are throughout the day.

Running your own home based business and office is challenging. Follow these tips to stay on course and organized.

Contact us to learn more about how we can assist you.

Conquer Your Paper Piles with These 6 Critical Questions and Stay Organized

Like you, I thought computers were supposed to reduce the amount of paper that we produce, keep and file. Not so! I think we produce more paper today than we ever have. When I work with clients to organize their home office paper is the number one issue.

Let’s review the paper that is produced in the average office and find out what you should be asking yourself about it.

Do I need to print it?

A very obvious question but a lot of people print everything!Too much to print Some people just have to have a paper copy of everything and some would rather read from paper than a computer screen. Ask yourself this question every time you go to print something and save time as well as paper.

Do I need to keep it?

I mean do you really need to keep it? If you have a copy on your computer and you are backed up to an external drive or the cloud you don’t really need to keep a document unless it is for expense, legal or government requirements.

However, here are seven key additional questions to ask yourself when you are deciding to keep or toss paper:

• Do I want to keep this and why?
• Do I need to keep this and why?
• Under what circumstances would I want this?
• Is this current enough to be useful?
• Would it be difficult to obtain again?
• Does it exist in another place or format?
• If I wanted to find this information what word would enter my mind?

Don’t forget to ensure your electronic folders and sub folders are in shape so you can access the document or print it later if required.

How long do I need to keep it?

Unless it is needed for legal reasons or for government requirements you should toss paper if you have not looked at it in over one year. Check your own requirements with your lawyer, accountant or tax agency and any paper that is required to be saved should be done so and archived with a date for disposition.

Where do I file it?

Let’s face it, filing is a pretty mundane (but needed) chore. There are many different ways of filing that can make this chore go a little easier. cartoon-man-stuffing-filing-cabinetRather than a straight A to Z filing system try breaking it down to category titles like “contracts”, “utilities”, “customers” and the like. Now set up a sub file within each for the pertinent customer name or contract number, etc. This will allow you to zero in to a smaller area faster rather than an entire drawer.

 

Is it confidential?

In today’s world of fraud everyone should have a shredder available or have a locked box where sensitive documents get placed. You can have a shredding company come in periodically to shred your documents on the premises or many office supply stores will now shred documents for you for a small fee.

File, Act or Toss (FAT)?

Lastly, keep this acronym in mind. When you touch a piece of paper you should either file it, act on it or toss it. If you follow this your paper mountain will always be manageable.

3D, answer, ask, background, business, businessman, cartoon, character, communication, competition, concept, confusion, design, doubt, face, figure, find, graphic, hand, help, human, humorous, icon, idea, illustration, information, illustration, information, isolated, male, man, mark, mind, people, pose, problem, quest, question, red, search, sign, silhouette, solution, strategy, symbol, think, white, why, worry.

Did you know that the average person spends 19 days a year looking for things and many of those are on paper like warranties, reports or articles?

 

Get that time back and stay ahead of the paper mountain. At ClutterBGone we have helped a lot of small businesses get organized. Contact us here to learn more about how we can assist you.

 

 

Take Control of Time At Your Office And Stay Organized With These 5 Tips

With the return of kids back to school it also means that a lot of the work force will be returning to work after having taken time off for vacations with the family. Summer can be a slow time for a lot of offices but now that summer is over it is back to it in high gear. Here are some tips to help you stay organized and save time right out of the gate.

You can’t always be available

We all like to always be available and have an “open door” policy but face it – interruptions take away from your train of thought and can be frustrating when trying to concentrate.do not disturb

It’s OK to close the door when working on something to let others know you can’t be interrupted. Better yet, if you can schedule an hour or so each day or a time each week where you cannot be disturbed others will soon get used to that timeframe and leave you alone. You will get more accomplished and be more productive.

Junk the junk mail

Email has been the greatest thing since the proverbial sliced bread but also can be the bane of our existence. We get hundreds of emails each day and it is easy to trash the junk mail but what about the emails where you are copied and no response is required by you? Some people like to send emails to as many people as they can think of to cover there you know what. Others you receive because you were in the meeting or run the department. Unless there is an urgent requirement for you to keep the email, junk it or if you feel the need to keep these emails then move it to a designated file rather than clogging up your in box. Keep your in box clean so you don’t feel overwhelmed when you open your mail.

Plan the week ahead

Whether you keep an electronic calendar or a manual one, schedule your week in advance.

planner I would suggest that you do this on Sunday evenings or at the latest, first thing Monday morning. What’s that old saying? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Those that do not plan out their week are found to be unorganized and always in a state of chaos.

Know your time limits

There is not normally a “volunteer of the year” award at work. Limit your attendance to meaningless meetings. It is great to be involved in company events but volunteering to be in more than one or two committees is time consuming both on your professional and your personal life. Know when to say no and give yourself permission to do so.

Take time to clean and purge

Just like taking time to yourself to get work done it is equally important to take the time each week to clean and organize your work space. A lot of mail and memos can be accumulated during the week making your desk look like a giant recycle bin. Take 10 minutes each day before you leave to tidy things up. I like to do so every day so when I come back to the office I am looking at a neat work space that doesn’t stress me out right from the beginning of the day.

Now that you are back into work mode we are sure these suggestions will help you stay organized and minimize stress at your office. If you need assistance in getting your office or work space organized for better productivity contact us at ClutterBGone.

5 Things You Do That Prevent You From Getting Organized

At ClutterBGone we help you become organized and take advantage and maximize the space you have. During our initial on site consultation we get excited because we see a number of ways that you could easily become more organized without investing more time or money.

This normally involves a bit of discipline but if you can commit to the procedures and the basic principles of organization, you will see immediate results.

Here are 5 things we see you do in your home or office that actually stops you from getting and staying organized. See if you can spot yourself in any of these examples.

1) Keeping Junk Mail
Whether you still have door to door mail delivery or need to travel to the “super” boxes to get your mail, you have probably noticed that most mail delivered these days is of the “junk” variety.

Junk mailWith many of us now receiving and paying our bills on line what’s left to actually be delivered is usually flyers announcing a new home for sale or special offers for the product of the day. So many of our clients keep this “junk” type mail in a pile somewhere to be looked at later. Why? Are you really going to go through that stuff or do you end up keeping it piled somewhere, afraid to through it out “just in case”?

Do this instead: Once picked up, ensure that anything you are truly not interested in is deposited immediately into the recycle bin. In fact, I have seen where some super boxes have a recycle bin attached to them so this type of mail doesn’t even make it to your house. Why don’t you be the one to start this in your neighbourhood!

2) Not asking for help
So many people feel that if you ask for help you show weakness. When this happens you delay and proscrastinate until you get so overwhelmed that you finally do realize assistance is required. It is not a weakness to ask for help. It takes a strong person to realize that their own space is out of control.

In my view asking for help is a sign of strength in knowing your limitations. Often a fresh set of eyes can see things differently and help you pare down, sell, donate and get organized a lot faster than you could by yourself.

3) Saving items for emotional reasons

Let me share something with you. Both my husband and I were saving items from our deceased parents for sentimental reasons. In the end we realized that these items did not represent our parents. Our memories and experiences with them do. I had several hand embroidered pillow cases from my mother hiding away in my closet from years and years ago. I knew they would never be used.

I did not need to keep them all to remember her or her creativity. So I kept just one and created a treasure box of memento’s from both of my parents that I now proudly display on a wall in our home rather than having boxes of items stored away that I will never look at. This is a much better way to honour my parents’ memories.

4) You don’t think you have enough space
Everybody is downsizing these days and you find space is at a premium. So why are you taking up your valuable space with items that may not be all that important to you? Stuff you don’t actually use on a regular basis?

Maybe it’s time to consider paring down a little more and surrounding yourself with possessions you love. Less is more these days. You can also think more vertically to find more space in your home.

Basic closets come with one closet rod. It is really easy, and economical, to add another closet rod to double your space. No room to store your winter duvet? How about a storage box under the bed or those suction bags that compress larger items?

5) You’re not keeping it simple
Sometimes in efforts to get organized you find yourself creating more work and a complicated system that cannot be maintained.

Chalk drawing - KISS, keep it simple, stupid

Use the KISS approach. Keep it simple. You could spend days thinking of how to organize or down size but really there are many great systems and ideas out there that require minimal time and dollars.

Stop for a moment and take a real hard look at what you are trying to accomplish. It does not have to be that difficult. If you need outside help and want to learn more about how we can keep it simple, contact us here.

5 Space Saving Tips For A Home Office

Home Office deskIs your home office located in a room that is primarily used for something else? With the price and size of houses these days a lot of people are having to situate their home office in the dining room, a corner of the bedroom or just about any other space they can carve out.

Many people need an office for a business, whether part time or full time, and simply cannot afford to give up the space for a traditional office. If this describes you then consider these organizing and space saving tips to separate your business life from your family life.

Determine space requirements

First of all determine the space that is really required for your home office. Do you need a large desk or can a small table do the trick? Is a large chair really necessary or can you use one of your dining room or kitchen chairs or re-purchase an armless chair that will tuck away when not in use? Would you love a fireplace in your office?

Which room in the house is best for your office area? A small corner of the kitchen or dining room or does your master bedroom have enough space? In what proximity to the kids, if any,  are you required to be during the day?

Furniture

Next is the furniture and the smaller the better when you need to share a space. Select a desk that is small and streamlined but still suits your needs. Choose something with a drawer that will store your pens and other supplies as well as something with closed doors versus open shelves to keep the room looking neater.

Shared workspace in small areaConsider a drop down table affixed to the wall so when not in use you can simply fold it down so it doesn’ t take up any additional space.  Your chair can be multi functional. If your office is in the dining area you can use one of your dining chairs. If it is located in the bedroom perhaps a chair that matches your décor will suffice.

Accessories

Accessories should be selected that match your other items in the room so they do not stand out and disrupt the flow of the room. Mason jars and the like fit well into a home office near the kitchen. Do you have extra wallpaper or paint that was used in the room? Use it to decorate some jars or tins to keep the décor of the room intact.

Privacy screens

If you are fortunate enough to have a larger room consider a privacy screen to separate you from the rest of the room. It will give you a greater sense of privacy and with a little creativity, can also serve double duty as a memo board.

Corral cables

Clips for CablesLastly, don’t forget to tuck away all of those wires and cables to keep your office area looking neat, organized and de-cluttered.  There are many products on the market that can contain your cables in a neat and organized fashion for little cost.  It makes cleaning under your desk much easier as well!

Just because space is at a premium doesn’t mean it needs to be disorganized. With these organizing tips for your home office you can carve out that much needed space with very little effort and cost.

If you need help setting up a home office or organizing a current one, simply contact me here and we can chat about your specific needs.

I Felt Cheated Until I Lived With a Professional Organizer

It’s not very ofter that I have guest blogger on my site, but my husband insisted that he write a post about living with an organizer.  So, below you have it.  A husband’s point of view.

I have always thought I was a fairly neat and tidy person. Although I will admit that I am not the most organized person in the world, I didn’t really think I was disorganized. Let me tell you that living in the Toronto area and being the husband of a Professional Organizer will let you find out just how organized or disorganized you really are!

In the beginning you may be a tad annoyed with the way things seem to be organized and the need to keep it up, but eventually you become appreciative of those things that may have bothered you in the past. Let me give you a couple of examples:

Clothing organized

For a guy, how easy is it to maintain your wardrobe? You buy something new, pick up dry cleaning or put away your laundry by hanging it up or putting it in the drawers, right?

organized man clothes

Not so. I have learned that it helps if you hang your clothes according to colour and have all your shirts hanging the same way. Not only does this give you a neat appearance but it makes selecting your clothes a whole lot easier.

In and out

One in, one out rule for clothes – Originally this rule just seemed just plain silly to me. Why would you want to get rid of something just because something new came in? Well, it turns out this may just be the best advice an organizer can give you. Rather than having closets that are crammed to the point where nothing else will fit, or piled in a dresser drawer that is overflowing, I have learned that if you follow this simple rule you will always have a neat and organized clothing space with easy to find whatever you need.

Organized Kitchen

Just last week I put a frying pan away in the “wrong spot” and was “politely” reminded of where it lives. I use this as an example of why every thing needs a home. I can’t tell you the time I have wasted in the past looking for things that were in the wrong place.

organized cubby kitchen

A lot less time spent looking for things and a lot less frustration is the result of putting things back where they belong. Lesson learned.

Giving to the community

Giving back.  This is by far the most important lesson learned from living with a professional organizer. Rather than tossing out things that I no longer require I take the time to look at it and decide if it is in good enough shape to donate. There are so many organizations that can use and even depend on donations to help the less fortunate. Everything from clothing to toys to small appliances and even items of value that can be sold at charity stores or auctions can be used to help someone else.

So, yes, being married to a professional organizer can have its challenges, but it really does make life more calm, less stressful and more giving. I highly recommend it and I’m not just saying that because my wife is standing over my shoulder. Really.

Doug Ward, happy husband of a professional organizer.

Organizing Your Home Based Business

Congratulations! You have taken the plunge! You have left the security of an established job and have branched out on your own to open your own business, become an entrepreneur and conquer the world. Good for you!

I know you have done your research on launching a business and have talked to all the professionals that you need to and you have all the experience to make this new adventure a success. Let me give you a couple of tips that will save you some time and keep you organized because we all know that time is a seriously precious commodity in any small business.

organized-office-desk-toronto-400x266

The basics

First, get the right basics. A comfortable, ergonomic chair and a desk as well as a printer, recycle basket, waste basket and filing cabinet are a must and your desk must stay free of all clutter.

A cluttered desk is owned by someone with a cluttered mind.  Keep in mind the precious time that you may be wasting by repeatedly looking for the same item or file. Time truly is money when you are an entrepreneur.You need to have efficient organization in your home office such that you can put your finger on any one item at any time no matter what.

Will you be having clients in to your home office? If so, you will impress them with a neat, organized and welcoming work space.

Cabinet is critical

Your filing cabinet is a great and necessary assistant but it can also be something you yell at – a lot.

Especially if you do not take the time to set it up in a functional manner for the way you operate your business. Your initial set up should include hanging file folders, files and labels and have a system ready when you do start filing for easy access and filing back in the cabinet. You need to have lots of room in your cabinet so that files move freely and easily within. This also makes filing documents a breeze.

If your home business involves retaining sensitive material you will need to consider a locked cabinet and perhaps even purchasing a fire proof cabinet.

Desk top desires

organized-office-toronto

On my desk I have my computer, a printer, lamp, electric pencil sharpener, telephone, external hard drive for my computer backups and cell phone charger. All of these require an electrical cord and unless these were not all neatly tied together I would constantly be getting my feet tangled in them.

Take the time to organize your wires and cables underneath your desk and save some frustration down the road.  If you can, work with wireless devices to reduce the cable clutter.

Action Files

Paper clutter is definitely the main source of frustration in most offices we are called to work in. Paper should never be lying loose on your desk unless it involves the task you are directly working on at that moment in time. And never should you have piles of paper on the floor in your office or otherwise!

A vertical file folder holder is a desk accessory that can be a life saver. I call this my “Action Centre” that contains my action folders that I use on a regular basis. I am a visual person and require my action items in sight on my desk rather than inside my desk.

In my Action Centre I have a file folder for each of the following…..1. QuickBooks entries 2. Client Intake Forms 3. Business Practices to Update and 4. Marketing Ideas. My vertical holder also has space for current client files that I will be working on that day. Once completed, those particular  files go back in the filing cabinet.

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When it comes to paper you need to reduce the FAT.  If you need FILE it, take ACTION on it or shred or TOSS it into the recycle bin. You will be surprised at just how quickly paper can strangle you and your new business if you do not have a system in place to effectively manage it.

By getting and staying organized you will have more time, less stress and more success. Good luck in your new venture!  If you need assistance in organizing your home office contact us here for your free telephone intake and we can answer any questions you may have.