A common problem area in this home is the home office. It is problematic because it is a hub for kept papers, it is usually behind closed doors which allows for deferred maintenance, and it often becomes a catch all for other hard-to store items (like, the fold out play houses or set of drums). One of my clients even air dries all of her laundry in this space. You get the idea, even if it isn't used as an office all the time, there is plenty of activity happening here.
So, we have pulled together some of our best tips and products to keep this multi-task area in check.
The key for a functional office space is low paper volume. You need a strategy for long-term storage of paper and for the quick and safe removal of unneeded paper. The first step is receiving and storing papers and files. We like the ScanSnap scanner, which makes beautiful, two-sided scans. The feed can handle small to medium volumes. It is great for receipts, forms and important documents.
Scan snap is also compatible with digital document software like Evernote. This allows for double duty of all your traditionally written notes and document storage. With both tools, you should be able to cut your stored paper volume by nearly half. The other paper-busting tool is a good quality shredder. We recommend investing in a good medium-level shredder that won't clog or overheat easily. Keep the shredder near your desk, (closer to you than the trash can, hint-hint). And make shredding a common ritual for paper clearing.
Sometimes, you need to see all of your tasks or family activities all in one space. We recommend a wall organizer with a renewable writing surface like this glass-faced erase board that also holds magnets (from container store):
Say goodbye to sticky notes and tablet calendars. This wall planner plays double duty.
And when it comes to a desk, don't forget the needed storage. Today's desks are very minimalist with large writing surfaces. But there is no space for basic supplies like pens and envelopes and paperclips. We recommend at least one medium drawer and one deep drawer. And for desk-top and drawer organization these simple products from Poppin are stackable and low profile to get more storage using less space.
If your desk takes up a lot of space in your home office, remember the excellent storage space that you have along your walls. Elfa makes adjustable, wall-mounted shelves that are adaptable. Many options are available for specific-use items like tape and ribbon storage, etc:
And last but not least, good multi-use containers are in order for a multi-use space. An office may have anything from batteries, extra cords, printer ink and printer paper, labels and specialty inserts, etc. We like containers that are easy to reach for and to reach into, easy to label, and easy to tell the contents on the inside such as with these multi-purpose carriers (available at the Container Store):
For enterprises large and small, your home office can run smoothly, efficiently, and smartly, by adopting a few smart tools that fit your space and your life style. Get your work space won and tame your paper place! For more tips throughout the home, visit www.getorganizedcolumbus.com.