We have all heard of wacky ‘holidays’ such as If Pets had Thumbs Day, which was March 3rd by the way. I am not making this up. But recently I found one that truly made sense to me. It was on a website sponsored by the Hallmark Channel. It’s Organize Your Home Office Day and while I doubt that there is a card for it, it really got me to thinking.
More and more people are working at home these days and family lives are increasingly complex with soccer games, committee work and bill paying. A well designed home office makes all of these tasks more pleasant and efficient. Here are a couple of home offices, each with some great ideas.
Consider a standard kitchen cutlery divider to organize your home office supplies. They fit nicely into a 24″ deep desk cabinet and prevent your desk drawer from turning into another junk drawer.
And when it comes to organizing all those papers, most of us fall into two categories: we either pile or file documents that come our way. Personally, I am a pile-er so recently I bought a three tiered in-box stack. When I go through my mail, (after recycling all the unnecessary paper) I put bills and anything that needs immediate attention in the top basket. Things that are two weeks or more out go in the middle basket and things that are in a holding pattern in the bottom basket. I go through the top basket every few days, the middle basket once a week and the bottom basket as I have time. As bills are paid they go in a file as do other things such as receipts for significant purchases etc. Frankly this system works pretty well for me and so I thought I would pass it along. Now the real question is what to do with all that paper work.
Document Retention Tips
While various sources differ slightly, here is a guideline on how long documents should be kept. At the risk of increasing clutter, when in doubt, keep it.
- Tax returns
- House purchase or sale records
- Annual investment statements
Keep for Seven Years
- Credit card and bank statements
- Pay check stubs
- Quarterly investment records
- Auto Records
- Paid bills
- Insurance policies
Home offices are central to an organized life and yet it sometimes feels overwhelming to keep the space organized. I hope you enjoyed these tips to make Organize Your Home Office Day more fun!