After celebrating a joyous holiday season with family and friends, nothing feels better than looking to the new year and thinking about fresh starts and new opportunities. If your home office doesn't reflect the passion you have for your business, then it's time to start organizing. We often feel overwhelmed by the task of organizing our work space, but the time you invest creating a manageable and organized office will pay dividends down the road. You can use these steps for something small like a junk drawer to something large like your filing system. The most important step is to get started!
1. Sort to Start
Create simple ways for dividing your paper and clutter. This step is about using a broad brush approach, so try categories like: Now, Later, Never; Keep, File, Toss; Yes, No, Maybe. Find categories that speak to you and your business and start sorting.
2. Purge Away
The purge step is both straightforward and challenging. We often get caught up in moments of “but I might need this someday.” Be ruthless and always remember how quickly business is changing and how accessible information and ideas can be. If you need more help deciding what stays and goes, then use this rule: Surround yourself with those things that are beautiful or useful. In fact, I would say that if something doesn't inspire you or increase your business success then feel free to let it go.
3. Find a Home
The only way to have an organized home office is to give everything a home. Group similar things together and prioritize what needs to be easily accessible. For example, files and information that you use regularly should be a quick reach from your work space and last year's tax returns can be stored away from sight.
4. Contain It!
Finding the right containers, bins or boxes is the fun part of organizing. Now that you have done the work and know what you want to keep and where you want to keep it, you can shop your favorite stores or look around your home to find containers that meet your needs. Magazine files, clear file boxes and baskets are all great organizing tools, but don't forget to (literally) think outside of the box. Kitchen and bath storage bins and hanging clips and boards can be creative solutions for your space, too.
5. Maintain for Success
When we have that rush of energy in the new year to get organized, we often forget this important step. The true purpose of getting organized is so that you can STAY organized. So, somewhere in your calendar or to do list in the next couple of weeks, put a note to revisit the first four steps. Step away from your inbox and in a few short minutes, sort, purge, put things back in their “home” and make sure you have the right containers for your space. Breaking down any organizing task into simple steps helps you say goodbye to feeling overwhelmed and hello to a successful new year for your business. If you are looking for more great ideas to start your new year or don't want to embark on the organizing journey alone, contact me today.