Working from home means that every part of your life will need to be more organized because the various components of your life will begin to collapse on each other if you are not organized. Still, many home-based business entrepreneurs do not spend the necessary time to organize their home offices, resulting in hours of lost time. In a world where time equals money, this loss can be significant. This organizational system will allow you to use one day to get your home office in order.
The first step is to have a filing cabinet. Although you may dread this corporate throwback, it is imperative that you have one. To start, you will need only a two-drawer filing cabinet. You should get a set of hanging folders and manila folders to use. Sit down and make a list before you begin labeling the folders. Write down the folders you need and then mark the folders based on the categories you will need.
The filing cabinet is only good if you use it, however. You also will a set of four mail trays. Use the bottom tray for pending items, such as business offers about which you need to make decisions and other issues. The next to bottom tray should be for “to do” items. Include items to file in this tray. The second tray from the top will be for incoming mail. If you receive contracts or packing slips in the mail, put them in this tray. The top tray is the place for outgoing mail. You need to put it there so that you will be able to access it quickly. You should make it a point to take care of every piece of paper in every tray at the end of each day. Do not put off decisions of any papers or they will pile up.
Now that you have a place for all of your papers, you will need to be sure that you have the right supplies. You should have a pencil cup full of pens and pencils. You also need a stapler, paper clips, a corkboard, notepads, and pushpins. If you will use it, a dry-erase board is a great option to keep up with everything you have going on. You really only these supplies to have an office that is equipped with the basics. Plan to use the corkboard and marker board to keep notes and memos for yourself.
Once you have supplied your desk, you will need some extras. You do not want to be racing against the clock to find out that you are out of staples to finish sending out information to a client. If you are in a home office, though, you may not have a large storage area available to you. In that case, you should purchase a small bin. Put extra boxes of the necessary supplies in the bin. Keep a note of when you take out a new box of paper clips and replenish the supply on your next trip to the office supply store.
With your personal space organized, you are ready to get yourself together for your clients. Take the time today to order or design your letterhead, envelopes, and business cards. If you have an eye for design, you can use a basic word processing program or a graphics program to put together a letterhead template. You may print out copies of your letterhead or keep a digital copy and type directly onto it. Ordering letterhead could be a better choice, though. You can place the orders online or go through a local printer. Either one should be able to offer you a good deal. You will need professional designs on this letterhead as well as for business cards and envelopes.
These quick tips can get you organized quickly. Take the time today to get an organizational plan into place, and you will be glad later that you did.