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The Paper Tiger Blog contains great ideas on better ways to stay organized, clear your desk, reduce stress and spend less time managing information.

Organizing Your Home Office

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 was National Organize Your Home Office Day, but here at Paper Tiger we like to designate the whole month of March for organizing your home office (besides, who do you know that can organize an entire office in one day?)  With people working from home and diving into self-employment, home offices are quite common. It has been said that at least one in four households have a home office. With clutter on the kitchen counter, dining room table and other areas of the house, this day in particular is designated to getting the office organized.

We know this isn’t a task that can be tackled in one day, but with Paper Tiger Filing System Software for Document Management, we have a few tips that can help you make huge strides.

Organizing Your Home Office

  1. Gather your Tools: Before you actually try to start organizing your home office, make sure you have plenty of trash bags, boxes, sticky notes and markers to label your piles. You may also want to have a vacuum cleaner or broom around, as things might get messy. Cleaning supplies and a shredder, if necessary, are also some tools you can have nearby.
  2. Sort Items: You can’t start to organize until you know what you have. Do you even know what is in that stack of papers on the corner of your desk? Have you opened that third drawer lately? Go through everything and decide what you need to keep and what needs to be trashed. The documents and things you decide to keep need to be sorted into piles and labeled so that you know what they are later. You might even think about your stacks such as: Action (things you need to take action on), Reference (things that you need to keep but needs to be filed). This will be a great start in how to separate your stacks. And don’t forget a trash stack….
  3. Trash Items: If you don’t need it trash it as you go! The more useless things you hold on to, the more clutter you will have. You have trash bags and the shredder nearby so you can get rid of unwanted things. If you think you can’t bear the thought of parting with your things that you could retrieve again by a simple search on the Internet, think about it again. What is your goal? Are you trying to get rid of some old clutter? If so, toss as much as you can!
  4. Use Paper Tiger: Here is where Paper Tiger fits in the equation. Once you have sorted everything, you are ready to file your documents. Simply itemize each file subject in your Paper Tiger database and drop these files into the corresponding hanging file folder number that matches the Item number in Paper Tiger. You can name them as you choose and add keywords to help you or someone else find the file easily. You can store the physical documents in the garage, or in your desk drawers, or any other place that is convenient for you.

Optional: Since you are cleaning out your office, you might as well make sure that you are not storing documents that you no longer need or use. Your organizing system needs to be organized as well. (Surely you remember how you can’t be clean on the outside unless you’re clean on the inside). You can print the Paper Tiger File Clean-Out Guide to help you clean out papers from existing files. Also use the Transfer Report to help you physically move documents from one location to another so that your physical hanging file folders matches what you have in Paper Tiger.

These are just steps to help you get started. Of course, it would be quite difficult to clean out an entire home office in one day. Completing one of these steps a day (in order of course) can ensure a clean and tidy office in a week. Remember to relax and take your time when cleaning your office. Don’t get overwhelmed in organizing your home office. You’ll be so proud, you will want to go from room to room. Happy Organizing!


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