Organizing Your Home and Office
The New Year is a good time to start on a clean page and usually that has to do with your personal and professional spaces. Considering January is National Organization Month, here are some tips on how I cleared up my home and office for 2009, and you could just as easily do the same!
- It would be best to adopt a room a day strategy as opposed to one whole day for your home. An apartment like mine needed four hours for one room so calculate the time for your house and you’ll see. Everything in that room is subject to scrutiny, no holds barred.
Also you can also order out some of the best tables and chairs in the market so as to give a regal look to your house so that it matches with your drawing room and bedroom and once you occupy your place, it will seem like the chair throne of a king.
- Dont do this in your head, write it down just the way I tell you. Get 4 pages of paper or stock card and write on each the following: Keep, Sell, Donate, Throw. Ultimately, all your things fall in one of these categories. Place the four pages in different areas to clearly categorise what action needs to be taken with the items you will clean out.
- Only keep what you will use. Everything else goes! The more valuable stuff can be sold. If its not worth any money to you then you need to donate it. If its not worth anything at all, the trash can is the final destination. Be very clear about this and more often than not you will find it to be the case that the donate and throw categories will be overflowing.
- Closets and chests of drawers, handy as they are for storage, usually end up storing a lot more than they were intended for. Make sure you clear out all your cupboards and put back only what you presently use or will use in the near future. That dress you wore when you were 20 and cant get into now but hope you will in 7 years, is not for you to keep anymore. Give it away to another 20 year old!
- When it comes to clothes, make sure what came in a pair stays in a pair. Any singles that need to be paired, should be. If you cant match a piece in your closet with anything else, you know the answer – out it goes! Clothes with tears are a big no-no. If you havent already had it mended then you probably never will. And you sure dont want that day to dawn on you when you forget whats torn and wear it to a conference!
- Accessories such as belts, bags, hats and jewelry should have a designated part of the closet so buckles and hooks dont get caught in your clothes. Arrange them by size, color or event but keep them in that order all the time. Again, anything faded, missing a stone, not in working condition – please throw out.
- Clear everything off your work table – all you need on it is some pen and paper, your immediate work folders and your phone. Everything else can find itself a shelf or box to go into. Keep business cards in one holder or box in alphabteical order by person or company name. File folders in the same manner in a box or holding shelf.
- All other office essentials such as staplers, cellophane tapes, huge scissors, measuring rulers and tapes, colored pens, fancy papers, calculator – these can be placed closer to your desk but in a prime spot so they dont mess up your work table but can be easily accessed should a need arise.
- Make sure your dust bin is right by your table as well as a soft board so you can get all your quick pointers and reminders up on the wall. Instead of unnecessary photo holders and frames on your table, use the wall space on the soft board to have your family photos and certificates etc.
- Bank work and any other legal documentation need a place of their own. They deserve it – its legal! Have clearly labelled folders for the most important paperwork and keep it stored in a box – these are usually papers you wont have to take out and read every single day but when you need them, you know where they are.
- Food is not part of your office space but if you need to store some quick bites, have a designated space for it. I suggest a small tray or basket in a corner where you can have food from when you want but it is not taking up space on your work desk where more important matters need to be stored.
- If you are in a line of work where you constantly receive samples or giveaways, keep a specific drawer designated for such items. Instead of allowing it to clutter your work space, look for opportunities like parties and get togethers when you can use these. Else, gift them to somebody who will make use of these products. The important point is to make sure nothing ends up being clutter in your space!