In many cases, a home office is not only used for work related tasks but also for managing the household and for personal tasks or activities. This is the case for my client who is a neonatal intensive care nurse and lives out of state. She has a large space that can easily accommodate the professional tasks that need to be done and support her various creative pursuits. As she was wasting lots of time looking for items, home office organizing systems were needed for managing both the paperwork and art supplies. Her objective was to be able to quickly access these items and then return them to their home when no longer needed. Four virtual organizing sessions were scheduled with this NYC professional office organizer over the course of a month.
Before: As this was a large project, my client didn’t know where to start as her files, desk and supplies all needed to be re-organized. There were a lot of files to sort through in the two file cabinets plus there were boxes of old files in her garage. Time was also needed to declutter and organize her desktop and the shelves above the desk which were filled with books and baskets. The same type of supplies, like calligraphy pens, were stored in various containers in different locations so it was difficult to locate a specific one quickly. In addition, managing the art supply inventory was difficult as there wasn’t a process for collecting supplies once a project was done. As the vertical file on her desk hadn’t been set up to serve a specific purpose, random folders had collected in the slots. Nursing textbooks, reference books, leisure-reading and art books were all mixed together on the shelves.
After: We started this home office organizing project by focusing on getting the paperwork organized. Our first task was to set retention guidelines concerning what to keep. This resulted in a bag of documents to be shredded and greatly reduced the amount of statements to be kept in hard copy. Space was designated in the cabinet near her home office for household, work and personal files while the archived tax returns and other similar documents were stored in garage cabinet.
My client’s goal was to have a clear desktop. With that in mind, we systematically sorted the items on the desk and shelves above it. Like items were stored together. We set up project trays for temporarily storing all the necessary materials related to an art project. Once the project was completed, the supplies would then be returned to the supply storage area. The vertical file near her primary workspace was organized so only frequently needed reference materials and the urgent task and medical folders remained. Lastly, the books were organized by category and the most frequently used ones were placed right above the computer.
Testimonial: “My workspace and art room has been a scene of chaos and a source of frustration to me for so long. I felt paralyzed and unable to make any decisions. Stephanie helped me move forward with logical, practical ideas, suggestions, and methods to maximize my space. Having specific homework after each session kept me focused on the exact tasks to be done between our sessions to maintain a logical paper flow, my filing system, and storage of my supplies. Stephanie listened to me and could see what I wanted. It has now been a joy for me to sit comfortably at my clear desk and open workspace, with supplies, gathered from where they now live. I am more relaxed, free of surrounding chaos, able to work on my art/work projects that bring me real joy! Thank you, Stephanie, I am very grateful and ‘Life is Good!’”
Working virtually to tackle re-organizing your home office is another option for getting the job done. Reach out to your NYC Professional Office Organizer today to discuss your home office organizing challenges and for tips to get started.