The holidays typically mean that your home will be a gathering place for family and friends. When you have a home office, it can easily become the place to store items that you want to remove from your main living space. Plus the incoming deluge of holiday cards and receipts added to your regular paperwork and client files all taking up space in your office, it’s easy to be less productive. This Professional Organizer in NYC is here to help! Check out my tips for keeping your home office organized during the holidays.
Set expectations. First, be kind to yourself. Recognize that you don’t need things to be perfect! It’s okay to put off filing today so that you can enjoy a warm meal with your loved ones. Which brings me to my next point – set expectations for everyone in your home. Let them know that the organizing rules still apply, and it’s even more important during a busy time to stay organized. If you put off that filing today, make sure you get to it tomorrow before those papers become a cluttered pile on your desk.
Take time to clear the clutter. You are definitely busier this time of year, so maybe now is not the right time to do a complete home office overhaul. However, clearing out the clutter and having a clear, defined space for every item is important all year long. Take some time to work through the Combat Zones in your office – those high-touch places that tend to attract the most clutter. Your desk, a table, bookshelves, whatever it is, focus on those areas first. Take 10 minutes to clear your desk, throw out anything you don’t need, recycle what you can, and make sure that every piece of paper is filed and every office supply is stored in its assigned space. Then take 10 minutes in another area of your home office. Use these small bits of time to make progress on your space.
Don’t let your home office become a landing space. You have people coming over in 30 minutes and you don’t know what to do with the piles of magazines covering the table coffee table in your living room. What do you do? Dump it in your home office and close the door, right? WRONG! This habit is the reason that clutter exists. Instead of storing items that don’t belong in your home office, create a home for them or get rid of them altogether. If you don’t want people to see that pile of magazines, it might be time to put them in the recycle bin!
Have a system for incoming paperwork. This is so important at the end of the year! Designate a place to collect or display incoming holiday cards. Label a small box and use it to collect all receipts. You never know when you might need to return or exchange an item you purchase this season! Continue with your normal incoming paperwork system, making sure that you give yourself time to process paperwork so that you aren’t missing an important bill or invitation. Also, make sure that you are keeping your client and business files organized. You don’t want to miss any important deadlines because you accidently put a client note in your pile of receipts.
Stock up on supplies. You may need extra supplies this time of year. Items like envelopes, paper, pens, and stamps, plus any items you may need to use if you are telecommuting to work over the holiday season. Get out and stock up now! The last thing you want to do is make a trip to the office supply store on Christmas Eve because you need scotch tape.
Remember, as we get closer to the holidays, to be kind to yourself. Having systems in place will help things go smoothly and prevent any unwanted clutter piles. As you prepare your home office for the holiday season, reach out to our Professional Organizer in NYC to help you create systems that will prevent clutter all year long.