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Your home office is essentially where the business of the family is conducted. It’s where the bills are paid, the calendar lives, the mail comes through. The home office can be as mobile as your favorite spot on the sofa, the counter in the kitchen, the desk in the corner of the room, or even a room you actually call the office. No matter how minimal or how big your office space is, it’s important that it works effectively for your family.
One of the biggest culprits in home office clutter, is paper. Not just any paper, it’s the mail that comes into the house. Or if you have children, their school work and other important papers. The second you touch it, deal with it right then and there before you lay it down anywhere. Get out the junk mail, pull out the actual real mail and sort it.
- Coupons– I like to keep mine in the family car and not the house. Or better yet, see if you can find an electronic version to save on your phone.
- Bills– Many companies offer an electronic version to receive your bills as opposed to receiving them in the mail. If you pay your bills online anyway, when you receive the paper bill, pull out all the junk (ex. the inserts and window envelope) and recycle it.
** IDEA- The window envelopes you don’t use are great for holding your coupons on the grocery on the inside, and your grocery list written down on the outside of the envelope.
- School papers-If you have children, school papers can be overwhelming. As soon as the kids come home pull out any permission slips that need to be signed and do it right then and there. Mark them on your calendar so you don’t forget. Artwork and graded papers, keep your favorites and get rid of the rest. (When they’re not looking of course.) 😉 You can read about how I handle my girls paperwork at the end of the year here.
- Other Important Paperwork– Tax documents, insurance documents, or anything that would be difficult to replace if they’re lost or destroyed, keep them in a fire safe in a separate location.
I have a drop file system that I use to hold all the paperwork for the family and have used this system for about 6 years now. It’s simple and easy to maintain. Below is a basket similar to the one I use and the folders I’m still using.
Office spaces can be a reference library of sorts for helpful books and magazines, but only keep the things that are truly helpful and a few for decor. If you have books that you want to dispose of, check with local schools, libraries, daycares for children’s books, etc. I love all things supplies. pens, paper, sticky notes… they are my jam. But too much of even that sort of thing can be, well, too much. Remember, you’re not trying to recreate an office supply store in your home office, so keep the extras to a minimum. Identity theft is as popular as ever and it’s important to safeguard your information and for this, I recommend having a shredder. My girls LOVE shredding so don’t be afraid to get them involved.
The fun part comes when it’s time to put everything back together. Don’t overlook vertical spaces and consider hanging systems if you don’t have drawer storage.
Bottom line, any space where you spend any amount of time should be a space that you look forward to working in, and it should be functional enough to meet the needs of your family.
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