Working at home means that your private life and all of your business activities literally collide in one room, making custom closets and designated space a must. When storage becomes unorganized, work becomes more "looking and digging" than actually completing what needs to be done that day. Everything needs to have its own area, workspace, and storage. Smart organization in your home office will cut down on wasted time, make projects go faster, and reduce stress, leading to a successful and profitable venture.
Map Out The Room
To start organizing your home office, you first need to know what kind of space you have to work with. Measure out the size of the room, storage space, and the size of the furniture. Then, make a list of what kinds of activities happen in the space. This might include an area to create your products or sort orders, a computer area to keep track of all your orders and financial information, and maybe even a space for kids to play. Sort all of the items into their areas and move out any activities that don't need to be in the space or items you don't need in the space. Then, take an inventory of what you have and decide how to set the layout of the work area and storage areas so you can design adequate custom closets and work systems.
Set Up The Office
This part of the organizational process greatly determines how well work will move in the space and how much your home office will hold comfortably. Determine which areas work together. For instance, if the assembly of your products requires your computer, put these two areas next to each other without combining the two areas. Since both areas will require you to have access to items in storage, make sure they each have their own storage or are close to custom closets with designated areas for each. Young children pose another organizational challenge. Rather than making them travel through your work area to get in and out of the room, try to put them close to the door so they disturb you as little as possible.
Put The Plan Into Action
As you put everything together, start with the main area of the room first. Set up the furniture and then move on to the storage space needed for that function. This might mean putting everything into a small system of its own or designating portions of the custom closets. Office supplies need an area separate from your product materials, for instance. Give the kids their own storage area to keep their toys and supplies. Your home office will be easier to keep neat and use if everything is sorted properly to begin with.
Small collections of items such as writing utensils, ink, and computer software can get out of control. Keep them in baskets to make them easier to store. Reference materials, larger items, and supplies can be stored efficiently by lining them up on shelves that match their size. Keep items divided and make sure they fit their designated space so you can maximize your space and keep things separated. Segments and storage solutions with unnecessary height and width tie up space that could serve to hold additional items. Also, don't store items you use consistently behind or directly underneath of other items. This makes them more inconvenient to get to and increases the chance of not returning them back to their home.
Whether a large office in a Minneapolis home or a small apartment in Chicago, custom closets and workspaces need to be organized and laid out properly to meet your needs adequately. Individual jobs will go faster and your entire day will work out to be more effective. When your home office does its share of the work, you will find the stress will dissipate and your business will benefit significantly.
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