I was recently contacted by a woman who lives on the West Coast and was interested in purchasing a gift certificate for her father who lives in NYC. He moved out of his business office and set up shop in a spare bedroom in his apartment 3 years ago. As what was going to be a temporary state of affairs had become a permanent situation, she wanted me to help me get better organized in his NYC home office as he was constantly looking for documents and other information that had gone missing.
While I was happy to help him with paperwork organizing, I stressed that he had to be ready to tackle this project in order for it to be successful. Before I sold her the gift certificate, I suggested she tell her father that she would like to help him jump start the process of organizing his home office and wanted to give him a gift certificate to get him started. Almost immediately upon ending our conversation, I received an e-mail advising that her father was very excited to get started. As I didn’t want his enthusiasm for this project to wane, I promptly called him and we scheduled our first meeting.
We started our meeting by discussing his plans for the space. Since he will not be moving his office out of his home, he had begun to convert the bedroom into more functional office space. The first step had already been taken when the bed was replaced with built in cabinets for storing files, office supplies and other business documents. The next step will be to replace the small, table style desk with a more substantial built in model. This will be followed with an equipment upgrade so that he has all of the computer and electronic equipment that will be needed at his fingertips.
His approach makes perfect sense…. I offered some suggestions concerning the plan to makeover the room, but paperwork organizing was our main goal, so I really needed to focus my time with him on creating places for the essential paper and reading materials, identifying how each of the cabinets, drawers would be used and sorting/filing all of the paperwork that had been collecting over the past couple of years and is now piled up on the dining room table.
Here are some of the tasks that we already addressed:
- Sorted all of the items that had started to collect on top of the new cabinets.
- Identified how each drawer and cabinet will be used.
- Created a “To Read” pile with clear instructions to discard the newspapers on a regular basis.
- Cleared all excess papers off of the desk.
- Pre-sorted the paperwork and other materials on the dining room table into categories so that each pile can be reviewed and decisions made concerning the disposition.
We made significant progress in a short period of time and my client is really motivated to gain control over his office space. He has a great attitude, is very open to my suggestions and has been a very active participant in this project. Since the gift certificate was for a limited number of hours, he promised to do his homework prior to our next meeting so that we can maximize the remaining time. We are off to a great start because my client was truly ready to start the process of getting organized.