In the chapter, “Organize Your Home Office ”, Jennifer speaks about how she is unable to focus on her work when her office is messy. She also comments that working on one project at a time makes her more efficient. I would have to agree with her. When there are too many items on your desk, it slows down efficiency. Having to go through piles of paper to find the one you are looking for is very aggravating. I share our home office with my boyfriend, who not only works from home often, he is also taking college classes. I use our home office to blog as well as other household duties, such as pay the bills and manage our paperwork. At times, we have a lot of different projects going on, so this week’s challenge has really helped make our home office so much more efficient. I invite you to take a look at how I utilized Jennifer’s ideas in the organization of our home office. I hope that you get inspired and the ideas will help make your home more organized.
Jennifer helps by outlining the following goals:
- Have a large wastepaper basket and buy a paper shredder if you don’t already have one
- Throw out all pens, markers and highlighters that do not work and sharpen your pencils
- Gather all your small office supplies and store them in a drawer organizer
- Remove all personal items from your desk and hang them on the wall or a bulletin board
- Clear off anything else left on your desk and clean your desk
- Place your phone, printer, computer and fax machine within easy reach of your chair
- Rearrange furniture to boost efficiency
- Utilize plastic/metal trays or baskets for: Incoming Mail, Outgoing Mail, To Do, To File
- Go through your paperwork – toss what you do not need and organize the rest
- Gather all of your sticky notes and form one big To Do list
Using all of Jennifer’s tips and goals above, I was able to achieve this beautiful work space. We purchased this high gloss red desk from Ikea, called the VIKA AMON/ VIKA ADILS for only $50.00. I love it!
I am using Jennifer’s tip on keeping personal items off of the desk by hanging them on the wall and using magnetic tile boards.
Here is my attempt to “utilize plastic/metal trays or baskets for: Incoming Mail, Outgoing Mail, To Do, To File” from Jennifer’s tips. I bought these desk accessories as my local office supply store.
I bought these colorful Magnetic Metal Tile by Board Dudes from Target for $15 each.
Since the desk we bought from Ikea didn’t come with any drawers. We purchased the Helmer Six Drawer unit at Ikea for $40.00.
Here is my attempt to “gather all your small office supplies and store them in a drawer organizer” from Jennifer’s tips, which was a MUST. I bought this drawer organizer at Target.
We purchased the Kallax Shelving Unit at Ikea ($140) for our office. We like the ability to customize the use of this shelving unit/bookcase. We purchased the Kallax Insert with 2 drawers ($25) and two Knipsa Seagrass Baskets ($17 each) to help organize our belongings.
A sneak peak into the drawers of the Kallax Storage Unit from Ikea. This drawer is for our iPhone and iPod supplies and accessories.
Another sneak peak into the drawers of the Kallax Storage Unit from Ikea. My stationery drawer.
In Week 5 of the challenge, Organize your Papers/Files, Jennifer asks right away on page 42, “Could you easily locate your family’s birth certificates if you had to? Social Security cards?…” I started to think about our own document situation. I know where they are, but due to how important these types of documents are, how well are they protected? God forbid if there was a fire, but if there was smoke/fire, the water sprinklers in our condo would turn on. Even if our documents weren’t burned, they probably would be destroyed by the water. Therefore, the advice on page 43 to purchase a fireproof safety deposit box really hit home. We went out to Target and bought a Sentry Safe model: KS4100. I have put all of our important documents in the safe. I feel better knowing that they are now protected. The list of documents recommended putting in a fireproof safe are:
Marriage Certificate, Death Certificates, Birth Certificate, Household Inventory List, Adoption Papers, Valuable Contracts, Automobile Titles, Passports, Stock and Bonds Certificates, Cemetery Plot Deed, Wills and Citizenship Papers
I use “mobile” file units to contain all of my magazine articles. I love magazines. They present the newest ideas that are out there. When I go through a magazine, I instantly tear out the article of interest and I file it under one of several categories that I have listed below.
Books/Music, Fashion, Financial, Fitness, Food/Drink, Gift Ideas, Health/Beauty, Home Ideas, Inspiration, Restaurants, Tips/Ideas, Travel Ideas and X-MAS Ideas
I have two other mobile file units that I use for household and electronics items. This is my temporary solution until I get my Household Inventory File created. These files contain the receipt, manuals and paperwork that go with each item we have purchased.
In week 4 of the Organize Now! Challenge, I shared with you how I created a Launch Pad which is a “designated home for the items each family member needs for the day”. On a daily basis, I take my purse, my phone, a lunch bag, and my Resources bag which houses a current book/magazine I am reading, a journal and my iPad. If I am going to workout at the gym, I will also have my gym bag. To have all of this organized and in one place makes a lot of sense and saves me time when leaving in the morning. With Jennifer’s tip of a Launch Pad, I created my Launch pad in my office. It is a small bookshelf that fits right under my dry erase board calendar which I use to record and plan my workouts. I showed this in the Week 1 Organize Now! Challenge. There is an electrical plug right behind the little bookcase so that I can charge my iPad and phone. I am able to store anything at this Launch Pad that I may need to take with me in preparation for the day. This is where I place my Resources bag.
During this challenge, I found that you really have to figure out your habits and devise a plan that will suit your organizational needs. Then once you figure out that plan, go out and buy your organizational tools/systems. We love Ikea. Ikea is modern in their thinking about how people actually live nowadays. Their pieces are affordable and stylish. You can keep their pieces the way they come or you can really dress them up by adding your own touches. There are so many ways to use their furniture to help organize your life on a budget. Using Jennifer’s tips and ideas for this week’s challenge helped so much. It helped me to clear the decks first, then organize how we use the Home Office and plan accordingly to our needs. This has already created a more efficient workspace.
***Please also check out the amazing women who are also participating in the 12 Week Organize Now! Challenge: Jennifer @ Mother Thyme, Bonnie @ House of Grace, Pamela @ the dayton time and Michelle @ Eamich ***