Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Organizing Your Small Business Home Office

More and more people are operating businesses from home, or keep an office at home. One of the most commonly overlooked tasks is keeping the home office organized.

For those of us who spend many hours deep within the confines of our home office, the surrounding environment all too often takes on the look of a natural disaster. Why not take a few minutes and put some order in your home office? After all, there is nothing worse than talking to an important client on the phone, reaching for the client's file, and coming up with a stack of takeout food menus.

Start throwing things away! Be brutal with your castoffs. Do you really need a collection of telephone directories for the last several years? Chances are slim that there is a growing demand for chewed pencil stubs. Contrary to popular folklore, empty chewing gum boxes prefer not to live on desktops. Choose a few items to throw away each day. You'll feel good about it!

Let's admit it. Almost every bulletin board contains layers of long forgotten items. Try digging down several layers and leave only the current important items. You may even free up space for new memos and current pictures.

How about the junk drawer? That's the drawer with the broken tape dispensers, dried-up pens, broken scissors, etc. It never fails that the special marker that you need is buried under mounds of old junk (and a semi open jar of glue). Take some time to organize that drawer so that you can find what you need, when you need it.

It is not true that every document ever read must stay in the filing cabinet. Old ones can be shredded. Others can be stored in cardboard cartons and put away in a storage area.

Finally, take a good look at your desktop. Take pity on your current work material and allow it to sit in a clean, orderly environment. It will respond in kind by being readily available and easily located when you need it.

Business is all about organization. This should extend to your personal work environment as well.
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