When you work at home, you can easily get caught up in the home versus work struggle.
One of the keys to a successful home business is separating it from your home life.
For some it’s easier – they may have an extra space, like a basement room, extra bedroom or somewhere they can call “the office” and close it off to their home life.
Others don’t have this luxury and may work on the family computer in the middle of the kitchen. Or there’s a desk, but it’s shared with bills, school forms and other things that play a part in the home.
You’ve got to make the best of the space you do have, and though keeping your personal life out of your work space may sound easier said than done, once you clear it, your work productivity will increase.
5 Keys to a Clutter-Free Home Office
• Get rid of stuff! – If you look around your office space, do you see material you could throw away? Old correspondence, closed out invoices you probably have digital records of, lists and post it notes, brochures, old pencils and pens … Take a trash bag and purge. If you don’t need it, get rid of it. If you still want it, but it doesn’t belong in your office, find a new home for it. The less cluttered your space is, the less cluttered your mind is.
• Organize – Now that you’ve thrown away the trash, organize what you’re keeping. Whether you use something like a Safco Steel Desk Tray Sorter you can find at Walmart or your grandfather’s antique desk caddy, organization is key. Stacks on the desk don’t really qualify, so find some containers to, well contain, the stacks and piles.
• Separate home and work – Maybe this is the spot you pay bills or fill out your kid’s forms. Maybe your kids even work here, too, sometimes. Make sure everything stays separate. Whether it’s through drawer space, separate file holders, or even color-coded boxes and files, keep work separate.
• Clear your electronic space, too – Yes, your literal desktop can be cluttered, but so can your virtual one. Clear that space, too. Delete the stuff you no longer need, file the stuff you do. Weed through your inbox and stay on top of it. Organize these files into work and home, too.
• Maintain – Each day, either before your kids get home or you sign off from work, take a few minutes to organize. Answer any lingering emails, check off your to do list, take your coffee mug to the kitchen. Make this a habit and over time, the organization you’ve created will be habit, too.
It is a luxury to work at home.
You get to work in your space without the commute and drama of an office.
The more organized and professional you can keep it, the more productive you’ll see yourself becoming and before long, clutter-free will be second nature to you.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: Heather Legg is an independent writer who works from home. She focuses on social media, small business and keeping a clutter-free life and mind.