Is your home office, spilling all over your kitchen table? Do you eat dinner with your family and look at them over a huge pile of paper?
It can happen easily, and before you know it. You may have started out somewhat organized, but somewhere along the line, your kitchen table became your boardroom table, and a great place to pile paper!
With spring arriving, it is time to get organized and get yourself a place in your home that you can call your home office.
The problem is, many home business owners now have "laptops". Nothing wrong with laptops, but they are moveable and portable. They can go where ever you go, and the problem with that is, so does all your accessories that go with it! Reports, piles of paper, pens, paperclips. Pretty hard to tell the kids off for the mess, when the coffee table is full of your stuff.
At least when you were using the home computer, it was attached to the wall, and your papers and files, tended to stay with it, or at least piled in the area and in one room.
But with portable phones, cell phones, and laptops, our home office can go anywhere from the laundry room to the outside patio!
How many times have you spent walking around talking on the phone, and put down your pen or your files, and then spend a half a day, trying to round everything up for that meeting with a client? Or better yet, your car. Quite often if you can't find it in the house, it has probably migrated to your car.
A home business can be hard to organize, when you run your day this way. But if you get into a habit of dropping paper and files in one area of your house, and make it a easy drop, such as a large IN basket etc.. then you are likely to be able to find it again.
One way I found that works, is a brief case. One that will hold your laptop and your files. So, that if you want to work on the patio because it is a gorgeous day, then just grab your brief case.
If you have tried to keep a home office and it is not working, then you may just have to have a portable office instead.
You have to look at the type of business you are running, and just how important it is that you are portable. If you don't have to be portable, then find a corner of the kitchen or living room, or a spare room if you can, and actually set up a desk, computer, and baskets for work in progress. This way it stays out of everyone's way, and you can shut the door on it at the end of the day, and stay off the kitchen table.
But if you need to be portable, then you need to invest in a good brief case. One that will hold files as well as your laptop and notes and pens and everything else. This way, you can just throw it all in there when you are done.
So, as long as you don't lose your brief case somewhere in the house, then you will be set. My hubby's business is portable, and he has a brief case, that is more rectangle and actually has a frame in it for hanging file folders. It goes from the car to the shop and back again. Everything he needs is always in there, and if he has to work on any paperwork either at home or the shop, it always goes back in there. He keeps his calculator and pens as well as invoice books in there. Totally portable office. Almost looks like an office in a box, with a handle. It used to be all over the dining room table, and he would just grab the files he thought he would need for day, but this system works better.
It might be worthwhile shopping for containers such as brief cases and file cases and see which one might work best for your home office. Then you need to get into the habit of keeping everything together in this case. Brief cases used to be used for transporting work back and forth, but with everything on computer, you could probably fit your entire organization in a brief case!
Where as my home business, requires a desk, and home based computer. I set it up to be pleasant, and organized in such a way, that I do not take any papers out of the room. I can shut the door on my home office at the end of the day.
So, figure out your home business, is it portable? or is it permanent? Once you have that figured, then you can come up with a system to keep things organized and save time searching.