How to Set Up a Tidy Home Office for Success

By Mandy L. Manley, Professional Organizer and Owner of Skeleton Key Organizing

One of the best things about being an entrepreneur is that you have ultimate control over your workspace. Where and how you choose to work are up to you to decide. Want to spend some time making calls while you walk your dog? No problem! Need a change of scenery? Head to a library or park to help you focus. However, there are fewer spaces that are better set up for ultimate productivity than a tidy home office.

By following these simple steps, your home office can become a powerhouse hub for your business and the place where you do your best work.

Choose a Space
When picking the best location, follow the advice to “know thyself.” Some people work best with soft music playing, and others need silence to get things done. Be aware of what steals your focus and what brings you the best energy. Pick a spot in your home that is free of distractions, and has ample natural lighting. If you plan to do most of your work from home, let your family know that you’re “on the clock” when you’re in your office (but schedule family time as well).

Add Supplies Based on Tasks
Think about the tasks you will be accomplishing in your office. What supplies will you need? If you’ll be making phone calls, consider adding a phone stand and wireless earbuds so you can move around freely or type while on a call. Will you use a digital or analog calendar? How will you organize your files? Make sure you add a basic set of office supplies, including your business cards (pack an extra set into your daily carry bag so you have them handy wherever you go), pens and pencils, letter opener, stapler and sticky notes (which you’ll need in step four).

Aim for Efficiency
To make your workspace a truly efficient place, place the items you use most often within arm’s reach. Keep the things you use only occasionally further away. By reducing the number of items close to where you sit, your desktop will be easier to keep tidy and uncluttered.

Post Your Goals
Now it’s time for those sticky notes from step two! As you set goals for your year, quarter, month and week, write each one down on a sticky note. You might write the whole goal or just a word or phrase that reminds you of what you’re trying to achieve. Place these notes in a visible spot so you see them each day. Change them up or move them around at the start of each month so you don’t stop noticing them. For example, I like to keep the word “SHARE” on my desk to remind me to talk to new people every chance I get.

Tidy Up Each Day
Take five minutes at the end of each day to tidy up your desk and workspace. Put away any items that you used, and return them to their proper zone (from step three). It won’t take long to get your office tidy, and you’ll feel better tomorrow when you start the day with an orderly workspace. You can even schedule a time for a more thorough cleaning each week or month; just add them as a reminder to your calendar. Remember: it’s easier to maintain order than to create it from scratch!

By taking the time to think through the setup of your home office, you can create a space that fosters productivity and success.

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