Organized and Energized! – Part 8 The Home Office

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By Dianne de Las Casas

The Home Office
In this day and age, nearly everyone has a computer at home. People bring work home and more people are working from home. The home office has become a mainstay in the Western world. In my house, we have two home offices – His and Hers!

The Desk – The desk is the most important piece of a home office. In fact, some home offices are just that – simply a desk. Choose a desk suitable for the space. The one in my husband’s office fits perfectly in the corner. It’s from IKEA. We actually found a matching book case at a different store. My husband’s desk doesn’t have drawers so we use boxes and baskets to containerize desk supplies. A three-tier file tray houses bills, mail, and follow-up items. A magnetic board allows him to hang up notices, coupons, and our daughter’s artwork. Computer software is stored in a zippered and labeled case.

Organization: Antonio’s Office 2-10-08

Desk Caddy – Organize pens, paper, scissors, etc. in a desktop caddy. I used an upright utensil organizer for mine.

Paper Storage – Find a paper organizer that can house your printer paper, manila folders, envelopes, labels, and letterhead (if you work from home). IKEA has great office organizers at a very reasonable price.

Manage Magazines – Place magazines in labeled magazine holders.

Organization: Antonio’s Magazine Holders 2-10-08

File Folders – Create file folders for everything. In our home office, we have separate folders for our car insurance, mortgage, home insurance, etc.

Organization: Home Office Files 2-10-08

Consider a wall-hung file system that can keep current and important projects in sight and at arm’s length. This one has various colors and folds up into a convenient case that can be tucked into a briefcase for an office on-the-go.

Organization: Office Wall Files 2-10-08

Books – Organize books on a bookshelf. Create a library and house the your family’s book in one room. For the M Family, I created a home office/library. Books were categorized by genre – fiction, biography, science, home repair, etc. The cool thing was that we didn’t have to spend any money to create the library (except for the paint in the room). I found five identical bookcases spread throughout the house. By unifying the family’s book collection and giving them a central location, the library now has a place of significance. Not only is there room to grow the library, but travel mementos, photos, and sentimental family collectibles can also be displayed.

Organization: M Family Library 2-10-08

Calendar – Computerize! Print out a hard copy

PDA Smart Phone – Consider getting a phone that can also manage your contacts and calendar. Go one step further and find one that also plays music and video. Streamline your life using today’s technology.

The 3 Bs – Use the 3 Bs in the office – bins, boxes, and baskets. Containerize your office supplies and computer CDs. Label all your containers.

Organization: Antonio’s Bookshelf 2-10-08

In the M Family Office/Library, I re-purposed a stereo cabinet to house office supplies. The door is glass but it looks good because like items are grouped together and I used attractive containers.

Organization: M Family Office Supplies 2-10-08

If you need to a space to pay your bills, store your books, or surf the Internet, create a home office. It can be a dedicated room or a niche in the corner of a larger room. However you decide to do it, make it yours. Splash the walls with art work that reflects your personality. And remember, to manage the paper monster, you have to constantly maintain. File as you go. Reshelve books. Clean your desk every night before you go to bed.

There is a Shaker saying that a friend of mine taught me, “If it can be put down, it can be put up.” Put up the clutter; don’t put up with the clutter! This is your year to get organized and energized. Here’s to beautiful spaces. Here’s to beautiful you!