Being organized is critical to running a successful home-based business. Even if you are reading this article over the mounds of paper on your desk, it is not too late to get organized. Just follow these nine easy steps.
1. Move toward a paperless office. Pushing some paper is a necessary evil in any business, but the less paper you generate, the less there will be to manage. Before hitting the print button, decide if this is something that you absolutely need to have in print. If you can read the document online, you can save paper by skipping this process entirely.
2. Invest in filing cabinets. And use them. Filing cabinets won’t help you organize your paperwork if you don’t use them. File your paperwork promptly and accurately.
3. Schedule clean-up time. Set aside a few minutes at the end of each day to clean up your work area. Having a clean, well-organized workplace makes it easier to come to work in the morning, and can boost your productivity.
4. Use your wastebasket. Do not be afraid to throw things away. If necessary, keep electronic copies of records you think you might need. Many of us keep things because we might need them some day, but you need a clean, organized work area today. Throw away what you don’t need.
5. Develop a system. Organizing takes effort. Develop a system for your paperwork and files so you can store and retrieve your information quickly and easily.
6. Devote a day each month to completely cleaning your office. In addition to your daily clean-ups, take at least one day per month to purge your office of unnecessary documents, misplaced files, and clutter.
7. Purchase additional shelving and other storage units as needed. Shelving units are a handy way to maximize your space and get organized. If you stock inventory in your home office, shelving and storage units can free up lots of space.
8. Organize your backed-up data. You know you’re supposed to back up your files, but backing up won’t do much good if you can’t find the disk that contains your critical data. Place your valuable backup disks in an organizer. Not only will it make your data easy to find, but it will also save precious real estate in your home office.
9. Don’t get complacent. It takes a lot of effort to get organized, and it takes effort to stay organized. Once you have invested time and effort into taming your home office, stick to your goals no matter how busy you get.