Organize Your Empire

Closet office examplesA few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of setting up a home office or workspace. Today, I'd like to stress the need to organize that space.

Some of you are crying, "What? That's too corporate! I want to set my right brain freeeee!" Yes, I see you there under that pile of yarn and order forms. Have you found your shipping labels yet?

The truth is, clutter can cramp your creativity. It can be difficult to find supplies and important documents in a messy office, which only leads to frustration in the end. And if you don't like your workspace, you're less likely to spend time in it to begin with!

Come up with a system

Take two minutes to analyze what you would need to get organized. Do you work with fiber? Stacking drawers will keep you from unraveling. Are you a creative coach or a musician? Filing boxes are a must. Jewelry designer or scrapbooker? Desktop mini drawer sets will change your life. You get the idea! Decide what would make your life simple and then go get some.

Track it

You need some way to keep track of your to-do lists. I suggest using the calendar software that most likely came with your computer (yeah, remember that?). A dry erase board with cork strips is ideal if you want to keep important notes right in front of you. If you prefer the traditional mode of writing things by hand, maybe you should invest in one of those giant wall calendars. (If you're like me and tend to drip tea or coffee everywhere you go, I recommend staying away from desk calendars. Really hard to see what time you're meeting your client with all those stains...)

Get decorative

Just because you're organizing doesn't mean you're limited to drab filing drawers. Raid your local office supplies store for filing boxes and mini drawer sets in different colors and patterns. Use mugs, vases, or pottery pieces to hold pencils, paintbrushes, and other supplies. Get a basket for your mail and paper products and hang it on the wall within easy reach. Don't like bright colors? That's cool, just pick an aesthetic and stick to it!

Make time

Set aside a bit of time each week to organize your work area. I'll admit, this is actually the hardest for me! Don't feel you have to go crazy, but, for example, perhaps you'll take ten minutes every Friday afternoon to file contracts and put away supplies before you galavant off into the weekend. I promise to do it if you do...


Some tools to help you along: PDF project tracker & desk notes set and a nifty two-step magnetic idea board to keep your thoughts together.

Do you eschew paper and conduct your business entirely on your computer? Check out Ixchel Lechuga's tips on organizing your desktop.

What do YOU do to stay organized?

image via Pepper Design Blog. check it out for more great organizing ideas!