For many people, myself included, often there just isn’t enough space to have a room dedicated as a home office. But what do we do if we don’t have one? How do we file all of our paperwork and set up a system that lends itself to being conducive to studying, doing personal administration or working from home?
I write and complete paperwork from my bedroom, a room which I have created as my very own little oasis. Here are some top tips and tricks for streamlining your filing systems and finding space for that all important paperwork, whilst creating a space that will serve you well when working at home.
- Only keep one year’s paperwork for bank statements, bills and tax post – archive the rest and keep them in the loft, garage, basement or in a suitcase on top of your wardrobe. Ensure you use dividers in your files to organise your paperwork by category (for example, bank, credit card, tax details, pay slips, phone bills, etc.).
- Dedicate one of your drawers in your chest of drawers for files and paperwork, if you don’t have a drawer but do have a bookshelf, use one shelf instead.
- Dedicate a small drawer to incoming post, to be sorted and filed monthly, so that post clutter has a place out of sight.
- Buy a nice looking laptop case and put your laptop away out of sight whenever it is not in use.
- Decide upon an area of your home that is free from distractions and has a calm atmosphere to do your work from now on. The more you work in this space the more you will associate it with being productive and getting on with business.
- Create rituals to increase how pleasant it is to work from home, like making a nice cup of coffee and having a biscuit or two once you settle down to work.
If you are lucky enough to have a home office here are my tips and tricks for making the space work for you.
- Declutter and archive your files as mentioned above and organise with labelled dividers.
- Invest in a printer for your computer and shredder
- Store all electrical items in a box such as a camera or video camera.
- Ensure you have good shelving.
- Dedicate a shelf to files and stationery supplies.
- Try to have a desk with drawers so you can have one dedicated to new post, one dedicated to small stationery items and one dedicated to fancy stationery like writing materials.
- Place all of your books on the remaining shelves – dedicate each shelf to a genre of books, for example I have a psychology section, a writing book section, a fiction section and a Christian section but for you it may be a study section or a biography section.
Do you have a home office? How do you organise your paperwork? What has worked for you and do you have any tips and tricks to creating a home office you love? As always, I’d love to hear from you so please share your thoughts in the comments below.