If you created a home office, you probably thought that once you purged all the unnecessary stuff and set up your space with all that nice new furniture, you could sit back and relax because you completed your organizing project. However, maintaining your space is the third and final part of the organizing process. It’s perhaps the most important part! And to maintain your space, you need to schedule time for home office maintenance.
Nearly every client I work with has trouble getting and staying organized. It’s because they don’t allow time for regular daily upkeep. We all need to plan for home office maintenance. If you are struggling, make an appointment with yourself at the end of every workday to tidy up and prepare for the next day.
Remember that new information will arrive every single day. Email messages will flood your inbox, and mail and package deliveries will appear on your doorstep. Additionally, your children come home with homework, school notices, and maybe even a precious piece of artwork. Text messages chime on your phone, and your to-do list grows and grows. It is a lot of work to keep up with!
Tips to Maintain Your Home Office
To manage all the information, paperwork, and tasks, set aside time for daily organizing at the end of every workday. (I recommend 15-30 minutes.) Firstly, return your tools and equipment to their designated storage area. Resist the urge to leave it all out even if you think you will use it again the next day. I assure you this will only lead to further chaos because your schedule may change at the last minute – especially if you have young children.
Designate a location for the paperwork the children bring home from school. Ideally, give each child their own basket. Then, take a few minutes to review the information and note anything that you need to act on. Review your to-do list and email inbox and prioritize the next day’s tasks. Create a shorter list of those items in your trusty notebook or on an electronic list in your calendar.
If you find your motivation waning, reinforce your new organizing efforts by repeating a positive statement to yourself, such as “An organized office is a happy and productive office” or “I enjoy putting away paper and keeping my office organized.” Your thoughts will affect your actions, making you more likely to succeed in the long term.