By Meighan Meeker
Do important bills and mail get lost? Are you overwhelmed by activities to keep track of as well as the amount of clutter on your countertops? Learn how to keep projects from spilling into other parts of your home, freeing up the dining table, kitchen and living room for their original purpose with the following helpful tips to organize your home office:
Choose the right desk:
A desk with adequate drawer space, hanging files and a hutch will provide storage for each important area essential to your existence such as bills, outgoing mail, items requiring a response, receipts, your checkbook and more. Place mail, bills and other items in their designated spot as soon as you walk in the door. Toss junk mail and non-confidential papers into the recycling bin. Keep your shredder nearby for any papers that contain personal information, such as credit-card accounts or Social Security. Use one drawer to file frequently referred-to papers, such as bills, insurance policies, house information, activities, and important contact information. If your drawer space is limited, consider a separate filing cabinet.
Utilize wall space:
If you need more space than your desk provides, take advantage of the walls nearby. Mounted single shelves can hold books and supplies and are great for displaying photos and awards. A large hanging calendar will centralize the family’s activities and help prevent scheduling conflicts.
Create a filing system:
Gather invitations, appointment reminders and other papers into file folders labeled for each household member; colored folders are easiest to identify. Sort the files in any order that works well for you, for example, alphabetically or by topic. Some visually oriented people like to file by color – green for money-related items, blue for the kids, and so on. As a visual reminder to check folders frequently, store them in a staggered desktop sorter or in a wall-mounted basket. Review contents on a weekly basis to keep the system working efficiently and to prevent clutter. In and out baskets help keep mail current and prevent bills from getting lost.
Maintain your system:
Now that your files are organized, try to keep them that way. Address incoming paperwork before it piles up to prevent time-consuming sorting later. File important documents (billing statements, insurance policies, receipts, warranties, etc.) as soon as you receive them. Avoid shuffling papers from one pile to another by putting them where they need to go the first time you touch them. At the end of each day or week, date deductible receipts and circle the dollar amounts, then file them in your tax folder. Purge files at a minimum at the end of the year and toss anything you no longer need.
Meighan Meeker is a Stapleton resident and owner of Simply Put Organizational Solutions for the Home, LLC. For more information: email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call, 303-321-2692.