Disclosure: This post is brought to you by our sponsor Boise Paper. I was provided with compensation in exchange for sharing my own thoughts. Photos shared within the post are my own.
One of my biggest struggles ever since I started working from home is office organization. I’m not going to lie. This is an area I have struggled with for a long time. It’s not because I don’t like order. I do. It’s just that with my hectic life, it’s easy for my office to become a catchall for everything. The piles of paper that started out small quickly grow and can become overwhelming in no time at all. Many times I have found myself faced with a daunting pile of papers to sort through, which is no fun.
Over the years, though, I have found some things that work for me that help keep my office organized, which allows me to work more efficiently.
Here are some things that have worked for me, and I hope help you hone your office organization skills, as well.
Have your own space – This is probably the most important piece of advice I have. Sharing an office with kids does not work in my experience. They leave their stuff lying all over the place with no care of how much extra work it creates for you.
Plus, you want to create an environment around you that is conducive to high levels of productivity. It has taken me quite some time to create an office space that works for me and my personality. Some people want a very minimalist feel with nothing on the walls and on desk tops to avoid distraction from the task at hand.
Others, like myself, want things around them that inspire them and make them feel at home, like books. If there are things in your life that make your feel cluttered and weight down, get rid of it.
I have personally arranged/organized my space so it makes sense to me. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s definitely getting there.
Keep a planner handy – Keep your planners at hand on your desk so you can easily refer to them when needed. Seriously, mine are like Bibles to me. They keep me sane. And organized mentally. (Organization isn’t just a physical thing, in my opinion.)
I actually have three planners plus a wall calendar that I use. I have one for bills, one for appointments and one for work. It sounds excessive but it helps me keep everything organized, which is crucial for me because I have to have a solid plan for everything I’m doing or I end up stressed out and overwhelmed, which again affects my productivity.
Buy filing cabinets – I have three, and they are full.
Some recommend scanning documents so they take up less space, I prefer using filing cabinets. My experience with electronics, and computers in general, is they can fail you when you need them most, and the last thing I need is all of the documents I’ve saved disappearing.
If you do choose to scan documents, there are handheld document scanners you can use. I would also recommend an external hard drive in the event of a computer problem.
If you’re using a filing cabinet, or three, make sure to come up with a system to keep those drawers organized. For me personally, one cabinet is for writing and blog stuff. I have another cabinet that is for bills, owner’s manuals and tax stuff. And I have another cabinet that is home to all of the kids’ paperwork, as well as all medical paperwork for the family and our furbabies.
Recycle unwanted and unneeded paper – It’s great for the environment and you’ll feel good about yourself, too, knowing your keeping your office clean awhile making a difference in the world. Remember, though, if you’re tossing paper away that contains sensitive personal info, make sure to shred it first.
Buy a good printer – I can’t tell you how many printers I have gone through over the years. I usually wait until Black Friday rolls around and buy a printer on sale. But in my experience, they all end up not working in no time at all. Usually within a year This time, though, I invested in a Brother printer, and I couldn’t be more happy with it.
Keep plenty of printer paper on hand – One of the most frustrating things for me is running out of paper when I need it. And it has happened to me. (My kids love to steal it to doodle on.)
Because I like to support my son’s new charter school, I send in Box Tops for Education™, so Boise® Paper allows me to stock up on much-needed printer paper all while supporting my son’s school, which is great. I also love that they believe in sustaining the environment, as well as economic and social resource for future generations to come.
About Boise Paper
Boise® Paper offers a full line of products to fit all of my paper needs, including Boise X-9 Multi-Use Copy Paper and Boise POLARIS® Multipurpose paper.
Boise X-9® works in all printers and copiers so it can be used in all day-to-day uses, from meetings, to filing, memos and more. It is also offers 99.99% jam-free paper performance and always delivers high-quality results every time. It’s also certified by SFI (Sustainable Forest Iniative).
If you’re looking for paper that has a high-quality look and feel for client presentations and cover letters Boise POLARIS® Multipurpose Paper because it offers bright white paper that makes bright colors stand out, black ink appear bolder. Those same inks dry quicker due to ColorLok Technology. (It also offers the same 99% jam-free performance as Boise X-9® and is certified by FSC (Forest Stewardship Council.)
I personally use Boise X-9® more because I work from home and don’t have the need for a higher quality paper.
Boise Paper’s good deeds:
As I mentioned above, Boise Paper is partnered with Box Tops for Education™ and has raised over $5 million for schools through the nation. Each clipped Box Top from Boise POLARIS® packaging, can earn $.10 for your child’s school.
In addition, Boise Paper also works with the American Red Cross to help spread awareness on disaster preparedness. They print tips on select Boise products that aim to help their customers during times of emergency, like during fires or floods.
In addition to the financial support, Boise Paper employees also volunteer their time in their local communities.
And last, but certainly not least, Boise Paper is part of the Project UP™ program. They’re partnered up with the Alliance for Community Trees which aims to turns urban areas that are abandoned into parks and green spaces for all to enjoy. They work from Indianapolis to Baltimore, helping to being life back into city areas. This year they are helping in Chicago and Los Angeles.
For more info on Boise Paper, please visit BoisePaper.com for more info.
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