Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1 January Featured Space: Home Office - General Tips & Tricks

As I had mentioned in my 2010 Resolution Post, I will be featuring one homestead room each month, and to begin the year off right, I am starting with the home office!  The home office really contains so many items that pertain to living an organized life, and many resolute to get organized with their office spaces and personal budgets for the new year.  Which is why I think it's a great space to kick off with!!

Here are some easy tips to getting/keeping a home office organized, and easy to maintain for the whole year!

1.  Act!  That's right, act out the things that you do on a frequent basis when it comes to using your space.  Go through the daily motions of sorting your mail, paying bills, filing your paperwork, writing out a card, etc... think about what works and what doesn't.  What makes any of those tasks difficult or an annoyance?

2.  Dream!  This is the fun part!  Search for some inspiration!!  This can be found anywhere, such as a TV show (think HGTV), a catalog for your favorite retailer, Home & Garden magazines and of course, never underestimate the power of the internet.  A simple Google search for "Organized Office Spaces" should do the trick.  I also like to visit sites that are dependable pro's in organizing, for inspiration, such as: MarthaStewart.com, RealSimple.com and TheContainerStore.com.

Here are some of the spaces that I found by just doing some browsing.  Don't they just melt your heart or make you feel that excited giddy feeling, like the night before Christmas?!

Image courtesy of TheContainerStore.com

Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Image courtesy of RealSimple.com

Image courtesy of RealSimple.com

Image courtesy of CrateandBarrel.com

Image courtesy of PotteryBarn.com 

Image courtesy of WestElm.com 

3.  List!  Other than having to use the pace to send away your hard earned pennies to bill companies, make a list of the things that are bothersome about your time in your workspace, or that you think about the things that would make the space more pleasant.  Look at the inspiration that you pulled, what are the common themes that draw you to the spaces?  Jot down all your thoughts and ideas.

4.  De-clutter!  This is a cumbersome process, however, it's time to go through all those stacks of papers and magazines.  It is recommended to keep all tax documents for at least 3-5 years.  Other than that, it's all personal how much needs to be kept.  I also recommend hanging on to medical/dental statements, loan and bank information, auto maintenance documents, birth/death certificates, etc...
  • To save on paper and pile-up, switch to paperless statements from your bank, utility and credit card companies.  Current statements and papers can be stored in quick access filing systems, and archived tax information can be stored in paper storage boxes for retrieving at a later date if necessary.
  • Magazines should be recycled.  If there are articles or recipes that you can't bare to part with, cut out the article and place it into a plastic sleeve within a 3 ring binder.  Use different binders for different categories, for example, I have a binder in which I save all my favorite recipes, and I also have a binder which I save all my favorite inspiration photos from my Home and Decorating magazines.  Current magazines (or those specialty ones that you paid big bucks for), can be stored/displayed around the house, either on a coffee table, in a magazine rack or in a milk crate!
  • Toss out old office supplies that no longer efficiently work their magic, such as dried up pens, dull scissors, crumbled erasers, stretched out rubberbands and dried up correction fluid.
  • Look through books and donate ones that haven't been touched since high school.  Really, are you ever going to use that Algebra text book?
5.  Shop 'til you Drop!  Ok, now that you have everything cleaned out and sorted, it's time to get it all put back together.  Look at what you have, and what you need (from your list and inspirations).  Scour the internet for cheapo DIY ideas, and if you have a little bit of a crafty bone in you, hit up local consignment stores for goods that can be easily transformed into treasures.  You can also shop around your own home and use items you already have, in a new way (yes, that lonely singled mug can be transformed to an adorable pencil cup!)  My personal favorite shops for office supplies and storage include Target, Ikea and The Container Store.  I can find almost anything I need from any of those stores, and for a reasonable price... and no, they are not paying me to boast about them, although, that would be nice!  (I will pass along some additional resource links and my list of Office Essentials in an upcoming post)

6.  Organize!  Now that you have everything you need, the fun begins by putting your room back together!  Again, thinking of your day, routine and process for using the space, place items where they make sense, and will be easy to maintain.  Keep office supplies neatly on the desk in arms reach, place files in a tote or accordion file at the desk,  and use a bulletin board for reminders and notes that are easily seen.

7.  Re-Evaluate!  Once complete, try it out for awhile and revisit your list.  How did it go?  Do you still heart or new space and get all excited when a bill arrives in the mail, just so you can sit in your beautiful space to write out a check?  Is your office looking as pretty as it did the day it was completed?  If not, why?   Most changes most likely weren't permanent, so keep switching things around until you find what works best for you!

Oh, but that's not all my lovely readers!  This month is going to be JAM packed with a LOT more inspiration and ideas!  I will post info about specific office item's IHeart, the progress I am making on my own Office Switcharoo (or not currently making - yikes!), some handy DIY ideas, and as mentioned, some lists of office essentials and resources!

1 comment:

  1. I love your ideas and you can see and feel the warmth and home feeling, everything is perfect and kid/family friendly. Love it.great job!! You have motivated me to start one room at a time.


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