Simple Ways to Organize & Refresh Your Home Office

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If you are running a home-based business, you must have a clean and organized home office right at your own home. However, after some time, that home office could look and feel more like a storage room. The result: dread having to go in there and chances are, you will fall behind in your work. You might be forced to work at the kitchen or at other places in your house.

Here are several organization and cleaning tips that could help you properly organize your own home office so that it could always be functional and presentable no matter what.

First, declutter!

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This is probably my favorite task to complete! A cluttered office is not an organized office! You have to categorize each item in the home office and decide which things should stay and which should go. Perform a basic decluttering activity. It would be advisable if you would classify items into things that you would:

  • Keep
  • Trash
  • Donate
  • Hold (pending decision – don’t mull over it too long!)

The last (pending decision) could be given a six-month shelf life. After that, you must already be decided what to do with the item. If you are not able to do so, you could put it into your trash or donate items. Items that are not useful anymore should be categorized as trash and should immediately go to the trash can.

Keep things that are obviously and logically useful and important. Donate or recycle for other purposes things that could still have other uses other than its former function in the home office. Keep in mind that the idea is to organize your office space.

Refresh Your Space

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After clearing out your office, take a look around, paying particular attention to corners, baseboards and vents. These areas tend to accumulate a lot of dirt, dust, cobwebs, etc. And these are also areas that tend to go unnoticed.

Before getting your space organized it is a great idea to clean the space starting from the top down. Call me funny; but, i’ve never been able to work in a space that was dirty, no matter how organized it may have been. Think of the satisfaction you’ll have working in a space that is not only organized; but, it is also clean. This will make it easier to maintain and in the long run that’s what you want!

It would be ideal if you would decide to paint or repaint the room. I prefer bright and stimulating paint colors like blues or yellows so you could re-energize your newly organized room. Experts assert that a room designated as a home office could be more useful and cheerful if it would be painted or re-painted with attractive colors.

Now, we set up and get organized!

Turn to the desk

It is the area you would be using most time of the day. It’s the epicenter of your work and demands a high level of organization. An ā€˜Lā€™ shaped one is most advisable. Put your computer, fax machine, phone, and printer in one wing. Assign the other wing for spreading out on. If you are right handed, put the phone on your left side so that you could talk and at the same time take down notes with your right hand (do the opposite if you are left-handed).

It would also be advisable if you would prefer to invest in all-in-one equipment, which combines phone, fax, printer, and scanner in one device for space efficiency.

Chances are you had a lot of old papers that you had to sort through before tossing or shredding. Make sure that your desk is equipped with a system that allows you to organize your papers efficiently. Depending on how you wish to set up your work space, there are many different avenues that you can pursue. I prefer the most frugal route; so, more often than not I will get pens, clips, etc from the Dollar Tree. But, for the stuff that I normally can’t find there, I usually turn to an online outlet like Amazon. Simply put, the variety is amazing and

Nothing Personal

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Take out all personal things from the home office. Such items could only be a cause of distraction and could practically and visually clutter up the home office space. Have a box where you could put in all your magazines and print outs. If you think all your magazines and periodicals are just piling up and you do not get to read them all, get rid of those and cancel your subscriptions.

These organization tips would surely make your home office better. Do you have any office organization tips that you would like to share? Feel free to drop me a note in the comments section below!

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Emergency Cleaning Plan For the Busy Home

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My Ultimate Cleaning Plan For Those”Oh crap, I am the busiest woman in the world and the guests are coming for dinner tonight!” Moments

There are moments when I get lazy and a cleaning plan is furthest from my vocabulary.

  • with raising a four year old
  • staying on top of my family’s meds and appointments
  • caring for our geriatric dog (she swears she’s still a puppy!)
  • working at the family restaurant
  • preparing for all of the events (family and social)
  • school work!

The home still needs to be maintained, at least to where it does not look as though I have completely lost my mind. I needed a cleaning plan for those “oh crap” moments.

I thought I could consolidate all of my cleaning and organizing tasks into two, maybe three days.  Pre-hubby and pre-pumpkin (Cecilia) I was able to do that.  I could come home after working 8-9 hours and do two hours worth of cleaning – the energy was there and more so was the time.  Looking back, though I realize that I had no life and I could work miracles!

It took me a while to accept the change in routine because for over thirty years I was responsible only to myself and my dog.

But, as time went on I realized that I needed to have some sort of cleaning plan in place – a (gasp!) plan! “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”

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Ah yes, the dreaded plans and schedules – I was not always so clean and organized. Only during my active duty stint and it was usually when an inspection was looming was I ever truly clean, neat and organized.

Historically speaking I was terrible at keeping any type of schedule, much less a cleaning schedule.  But, in 2009 I had to learn fast when I accepted a housekeeping job at the Hilton in my hometown (what can I say, dry job market).  I was on a very strict cleaning schedule while working there and I learned some cleaning tips from one of the best hotel supervisors I have ever laid eyes on (thanks Ms. Mary!).

I figure if I can strip down an entire guest room – sheets, towels, shower curtain, deep clean a bathroom, clean out a mini fridge, dust, polish vacuum, etc in 30 minutes (multiply this by approx. 10 rooms a day) I can take 30 minutes to pick up around my house:

Bathroom

Believe it or not I start with the bathroom, especially if there was a lot of traffic in and out lately.  This is the area where I let the chemicals do 90% of the work for me – I douse the sink and toilet with my heavy duty bathroom cleaner. Then I’ll spray down the countertop with a not so heavy bathroom cleaner (keeps from ruining the surface) and then while the cleaners are working I will move on to the next room. (2 minutes)

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Living room

This is our daughter’s play land and also the family movie gathering place – probably where a good cleaning plan is needed most.  I start by clearing all surfaces (table tops, mantle, side tables) and spraying them with a light mist of furniture polish – we have a lot of hardwood furniture. While the furniture is “marinating” in Liquid Gold, I place any remaining toys into their cubbies – I also keep a small garbage bag with me for the occasional stray lollipop or two and anything else I may find.  From there I go back and wipe down the furniture and it looks and smells great when I’m done! (12 minutes)

Kitchen

I’m not gonna lie, I do cheat a little here.  If the sink has dishes I will not hesitate to place them in the dishwasher – by the way, i’m praying that they were rinsed!  Anyway, as the hot water is running I am placing the dishes in the dishwasher, being careful to not overlap them as, of course, this can cause HUGE disappointment later.  I’ll also place a power boost packet in there as well for any hard stuff. I’ll get my hubby to empty that later šŸ™‚

I spray down the countertops, let the cleaner work for a few minutes while I sweep the floor.  A good chunk of my cleaning plan depends on letting the chemicals do the heavy lifting for me šŸ™‚ Once I’m done sweeping the floor. I wipe down the countertops. By the way when sweeping anything that I find gets swept onto the carpet because I have to vacuum anyway. Then empty the trash and recycling. (5 minutes)

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Dining room

I treat this room like I did the living room. I spray the table, buffet, other surfaces with a light mist of furniture polish (I’ve received complaints that I use too much of this stuff so I’m weaning myself down, LOL). From here I will vacuum the floor and then I will go back and wipe down the furniture.  (5 minutes)

Back to the bathroom. By the time I’m done with everything else the cleaner that I sprayed in the bathroom should be finished working for me.  I wipe down the countertops, wipe out the sink basin and tub first. The tub tends to be fairly easy to wash, as my husband is pretty good about spraying the shower when he’s done.  All that’s left is the toilet.  I learned this while working at the hotel – I wipe down the seat portion first, the tank second and then everything else.  The base tends to be the dirtiest (visually speaking that is). (5 minutes)

Holy cow, I have one (1) minute to spare – I’m keeping that minute šŸ™‚

For me there are a few key takeaways here:

  • Most people understand that your house will not be perfect, especially if they know your life and what you’re up against.
  • I’m not looking for it to be perfect, just presentable. We have a four year old and a somewhat geriatric dog (she’s in denial, though) that has the occasional accident. Having a cleaning plan helps a lot and keeps me somewhat sane.
  • It helps to have the family involved – it’s the simple things that make the difference.  I instituted a rule for whoever used the shower last they need to spray it with the shower cleaner. Our four year old is learning to pick up after herself. This actually helps me out a lot!
  • It pays to pay particular attention to the tasks. See if there are any possible shortcuts that can be taken. Our kitchen has linoleum flooring that leads into a carpeted living room and dining room. Whatever I find while sweeping (unless it’s big) gets swept onto the carpet.  If my Shark can handle it, it’s going to handle it. Besides, I think our daughter took the dust pan out back somewhere, it’s been MIA for about three months.
  • I failed to mention that I was listening to music the entire time.  I never did like when  a room is really quiet.  Quiet rooms do not motivate me at all – but bossa nova does!  Whatever your favorite tunes are, listen to them while you’re working – it actually makes cleaning more enjoyable.
  • The time just flies by and it makes the larger tasks much easier.
  • Please note – the bedroom is not included in this listing simply because I am concentrating on the common areas (places that will be seen) of our home šŸ™‚

I hope this cleaning plan helps!  If you’re good with multitasking then this will be a cakewalk for you.  If you have any questions, comments or if you want to share ideas, please do so below.  Have a blessed day!

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