Keep Your Home Office Simple

The following post is from Lisa of Working Naked:

source: Sean MacEntee

During each of my seminars, I usually ask the audience what their biggest reason is for holding on to things they probably don’t need. Most of the time they say, “I may need it someday.”

The problem with holding onto things you may use one day is that your home office can turn into a space overflowing with stacks of paper, magazines and extra furniture. Does that sound familiar?

Take a close look at your home office and think about how many things you’re keeping just in case you may need them one day.

Then consider these four ways to lighten your home office load.

Less is more.

The fewer items you have in your home office, the easier it is to focus.

I remember my kids used to repeat the old firefighter saying: stop, drop and roll. Borrowing from the firefighter motto, before you bring one more thing into your home office, stop, look and rethink. Without realizing it, the physical clutter in your home office could be keeping you from being productive.

Stop making excuses.

Some people justify their messy office by saying that they’re worried about stifling their creativity. They think that an organized office, with everything in its place, will make it impossible to work. That doesn’t have to be true.

By changing only a few things in your home office, you’ll save time looking for what you need, and you’ll have a space that works for you.

Don’t go overboard.

When you finally take the time to declutter your home office, try to avoid over-organizing the space. It’s tempting to stock up on the coolest-looking organizing gadgets that you’re convinced will help you get organized. In reality, too many products in your home office can keep you from being organized.

Your office should have all of the electronic equipment you need to keep it running smoothly, but don’t get carried away with oversized desktop organizers, storage containers and desk accessories.

Don’t strive for perfection.

Some people don’t realize that organization and perfection aren’t the same thing. Being organized means that you’re able to find what you need when you need it. Being perfect means that you focus more on appearance and less on function. Rather than focus on a perfectly set up home office, make your office fit your work style.

Before you bring one more thing into your home office, or struggle with decluttering your workspace, decide whether or not the item will either help you get organized or get in the way of having a productive, streamlined space.

What organizing challenges do you face in your home office? What strategies have you used in your home office to organize your space?

Home office expert Lisa Kanarek is the founder of and the author of five books about working from home including her soon-to-be- published book, Organize Your Home Office For Success. Lisa works with entrepreneurs and home-based employees through seminars and individual consultations, to create functional home offices that meet each individual’s working style.