Who doesn’t love the idea of working from home? It’s appealing to the majority of us. One thing that happens quickly is that your home business office can be unorganized fairly quickly.
Here are some great tips and ideas for how to organize your home business so you stay on top of things. Plus, once your office is organized you will find that you become more productive.
Organize Your Finances
1. Register for a Budgeting Webinar
Learning how to manage your money is a life-long process and it’s important for both your personal and business affairs. But that doesn’t mean you have to figure it out alone. Attend online classes or webinars so you can make educated financial decisions.
2. Include a Birthday Category in Your Budget
It’s easy to overlook expenses like birthday gifts, cake, decorations, and parties. But these expenses can really eat into your budget if you don’t plan for them. If you create a birthday category now, you’ll be able to enjoy giving gifts all year round.
3. Keep Track of Your Important Receipts
Some items that you purchase for your business might be tax deductible like a new computer, phone, home printer and office supplies. Plus you may be able to deduct expenses for things such as on-going education classes, or membership fees to professional organizations.
4. Trim Your Budget
Take a look at your current subscriptions and then cut unnecessary expenses like the magazine subscription you never read or the grocery store membership you haven’t use. Keeping these expenses is like throwing money into your trashcan.
5. Put the Expenses to Better Use
As you find savings, don’t let your budget absorb them. Be intentional with your money! An extra $20 a month toward your child’s college fund may not seem like much now but it will add up by the time they’re grown. Or put money aside for a new car or that dream vacation!
6. Use a Retirement Calculator
A retirement calculator can help you take a hard look at your money and to see if you’re truly prepared. You don’t want to have to skimp and not live the life you have worked for during your golden years. So click the free retirement calculator here and start crunching the numbers.
7. Update Your Life Insurance
It’s important that you keep your information updated. In the unfortunate event something happens to you, you’ll want to know that your loved ones will be taken care of.
8. Consolidate Your Important Paperwork
Put all your important paperwork in one place. Many people have important papers like their house deed or car loan scattered throughout the house. Organize it all in one binder and it’ll be easier to find what you need. If something does happen to you or you become ill, your family or business partner will know where to find the paperwork.
9. Set Up Auto-Pay
Auto-pay saves you money because you’ll no longer have to pay late fees for the utilities or the water bill. You’ll also have one less task to complete each month. You may prefer to pay auto pay for those bills that do not vary month to month. For other bills with variable amounts add alerts to your calendar before they become due so you don’t miss payment dates.
10. Keep a List of Monthly Bills
Not every bill can be set up automatically. Create a list of the remaining ones and make sure a loved one knows where it is. They can keep the bills paid if there’s an emergency. Calendar or phone alerts are perfect for this!
11. Have a Weekly Coupon Meeting with Your Family
Clip coupons and use the time to catch up with each other. You can clip them from newspaper. Just let others know you’ll be doing this and ask them to save the newspaper for you. Or you can go online and print out coupons. Make it a family challenge to see who can find the best coupons each week or month.
12. Consider Buying Used Items
Ask yourself what you wouldn’t mind getting second-hand. For example, you may decide to buy a dining room set that’s been gently used and put the savings toward another goal, like going on vacation. Out door furniture is another area where you may not mind having used items.
13. Consolidate Your Credit Cards
When you have multiple credit cards, you must keep up with many different balances, fees, and interest rates. Simplify your life by combining balances until you only have 1-2 credit cards.
14. Track Your Login Information
In case you need someone else to pay your bills, make sure you have the login information written down and easily accessible. You can have a notebook at home with your login information and you may want to have another copy on your phone, be sure to keep your phone locked so if you lose your phone your passwords are still secure.
15. Break Down Annual Costs
Paying $600 per year in property taxes feels like a huge chunk of cash, especially if yours are due in January, just after the holidays. But when you divide the expense by twelve, you only need to set aside an extra $50 in your budget each month.
Organize Your Office
16. Create an Emergency Kit for Travelling
You’ll want to include things like a spare pair of glasses or contacts, painkillers, a lint roller, deodorant, travel toothbrush, mints, and hand sanitizer. These items can come in handy during the times that you need to be away from your home office.
17. Clean Your Desk
If you have a lot of paperwork, file it away. If it’s no longer needed, toss it out. Then wipe down your desk with sanitizing spray to kill germs. Go to your local dollar store and pick up some storage boxes for those items you like to keep on your desk.
18. Make an Inbox
Now that your desk is clean, set up an inbox for all the loose papers and notes you may need later. Every Friday afternoon, review your inbox and make it neat again. Then you can start back on Monday feeling organized and in control. You could do this daily if you find you have a lot of paperwork to deal with each day.
19. Backup Your Data
If you work on a laptop or computer, make sure you have a backup system in place. You don’t want to lose all your projects in the event of a major disaster or computer virus. Two good options include Carbonite and BackBlaze.
20. Put a Trashcan Next to Your Desk
When you leave your workspace to throw something away, you’re breaking your flow of concentration and focus. Even worse, you risk getting distracted by a family member or something around the house that you forgot to do earlier.
21. Organize Your Digital Desktop
Clutter isn’t just physical. It can also affect your digital workspace, too. Try to clean off your startup screen and keep only essential icons on your desktop. Do the same for your phone and/or laptop.
22. Create an Archive
When it comes to digital files you no longer need, create an archives folder. Once a project is finished, move it into your archives. This lets you search for it later but keeps it out of sight so you aren’t distracted.
23. Clean Out Your Desk Drawers
Drawers can quickly become a jumbled mess that makes it difficult to find what you need. Simplify yours by using a drawer organizer. If your drawers are deep, use small decorative baskets to keep them neat. Another great item to purchase at the dollar store.
24. Take Everything off Your Desk
If you’re having trouble organizing your workspace, remove everything from it but the essentials like your laptop or fan. Put these non-essentials in storage bins beside you. At the end of the day, look at the items that are back on your desk. These are usually the ones that are truly important. The other ones can be stored or moved elsewhere.
25. Use a Monitor Stand
If you’re having difficulty keeping your desk neat, you can add some extra space by purchasing a monitor stand. Look for one that comes with little drawers for storing pens, scissors, and other office supplies.
26. Try a Wall File Holder
If you don’t have a lot of space in your office, you can use a wall file holder. This is a simple way to create an inbox that won’t take over your desk.
27. Simplify Your Bulletin Board
Bulletin boards can be a handy way to store reminders, important policies, and other information you may need in the future. But bulletin boards can easily become cluttered if you don’t remove outdated materials. Make it a weekly habit to declutter your board before you wrap up business for the weekend.
28. Let Go of Knick-Knacks
It’s natural to want to personalize your space. So, you add a picture of your kids, a mug your significant other bought you, or a collection of cute, stuffed animals. But adding too many personal effects can make your desk look cluttered. What if you displayed just one or two meaningful items instead? Or swap out items once a month? This way you have something new to look at each month.
29. Scan Your Records
Depending on your business, you may be able to go paperless. You can do this by scanning documents and storing them on your computer or in the cloud.
30. Sort All Those Cords
Once you remove unnecessary items from your life, you will feel more relaxed and stress free. You will find that you get more accomplished in less time and be happier too!