Whether you have an entire room to yourself or just a nook in the corner, your home office should be considered a respected workspace and treated as such.
It can be easy to let the fringe of the outside world creep into your office, such as kids’ toys or unrelated mail. But if the home office is your retreat to get your creative and productive juices flowing, your workspace needs to be a clean environment, free of excess clutter and open to the possibility of success.
Here are four suggestions for keeping your home office organized and separate from the rest of the house.
- Have an efficient filing system that separates your business records from your personal ones. Create a filing system that is easy to use and accessible to you. It should be detailed enough that you separate your personal matters from your business files. Go through that stack of papers on your desk and throw away anything irrelevant. File the rest right away while you are still in cleaning mode. Always have a supply of folders and labels on hand so you won’t have an excuse for putting off filing that needs done.
- Eliminate clutter. Clutter is your enemy in a home office. Anything that is not immediately useful to your everyday work should be removed. Look into vertical storage space for your desk unit, and use the highest shelving for the items you use the least. Visualize the area de-cluttered, and work toward that goal.
- Eat lunch somewhere else. As much as you like being at home (you work there, after all), getting away from the atmosphere will stimulate your senses and refresh your brain. Go outside for a short walk or just a cup of coffee in the sunshine. The light will invigorate you, and you will feel ready to work again.
- Keep it up! Devote five minutes at the end of each day to cleaning up your workspace. Whether that means sifting through papers that have built up or just putting away the supplies that have crept up out of their drawers, it will pay off when you have a clean and serene area to start your next day. Especially important: remove any objects unrelated to your work that may have crept into your space. This keeps the balance between work and home and helps you remain professional, even while in your own home.