Back in 2011, I wrote about my home office set up. It wasn’t much, just a table in the corner of our tiny living room.
If you are a WAHM like me, having a home office is almost as important as having clients.
Maybe I’m exaggerating there, but that’s how I felt when I was starting. Even when I only had a computer table in the first three years, I made sure that “that” table was treated like a real office.
No talking to Mommy when she’s in the office.
Stay really quiet when Mommy has her headphone on.
Yeah, took me three years to save up for a custom-made desk. Remember, we were paying off huge hospital debt when I braved it out to become a WAHM. And the desk doesn’t look much, really. But what makes it special is that I have all the drawers I need for all my office stuff.
This WAHMing thing? It’s a lifestyle. Bed to office in under a minute. No need to spend on wardrobe and your hours are up to you. But a critical part of making it work is discipline. You need to keep a schedule. You can’t afford to feel lazy. And having a well-organized home office will certainly put you in the mood to work. Having that sense of being in a real office space makes work more enjoyable and more efficient.
Here are some tips to get you started.
Organizing Your Desktop or Laptop
Back up all your files frequently and store important items on a cloud-based service. I personally use an external drive which I sync with my desktop computer at least once a month. Saved me a lot of heartache in the past years, most recent was only last December when my 7-year desktop conked out on me. Only had a half day of downtime, which we used to shop for a new desktop and install applications and security.
Create folders and subfolders for your files. I partitioned my PC in a way that all program files are in C, and data files are in D. The data files have three main folders: Home Office, Homeschool, and Personal. Inside each main folder are subfolders, like inside Homeschool, there are two subfolders, Bea and Jude. And more subfolders for subjects, teacher guides, curriculum, projects, etc.
If you are like me, who works on a laptop away from home, you would want to have your oft-accessed files in a cloud. You can use either Google Drive or Dropbox.
Organize Your Desk
Though some folks can organize their desktop according to their own system, others wouldn’t know what to do without their desktop organizer. Some are a simple arrangement of slots made of wire mesh, while others are elaborate. They have room for pens, pencils, staplers, scissors, sticky notes, push pins, stationery, Scotch tape, etc.
Yet, even a desktop organizer needs to be organized. Make sure the papers in the slots are neat, pencils have been sharpened, pens are capped and no stray rubber bands overhang the rubber band container.
For my slightly OC self, I had a desk custom-built back in 2010. I wanted to have drawers that will have all my home office and homeschool supplies in one place. The only organizer on top of my desk now is a tub of pens. All the rest are in my drawers. Although I wish I have one of these desk organizers.
This one, particularly. 🙂
Just because drawers are closed most of the time doesn’t mean they don’t need to be organized. Opening a drawer and seeing a jumble of stuff when you’re looking for something is as dispiriting as a chaotic desktop.
The drawer is where you keep stuff that doesn’t go into the organizer just yet. To avoid a mess, keep everything in its own little box or container. Little metal spice containers are perfect for things like push pins, tacks, erasers, and paper clips because they have glass tops.
My top most drawer holds more pens, craft scissors, craft punches, glue gun, glue sticks, washi tapes, highlighters, staple wires, fasteners, colorful clips and my external drives.
Other drawers hold stationery, notebooks, my official receipts, craft papers, index cards, folders, Manila paper and board papers.
I remember one time when our eldest was in high school and her group met at our house to make their project, one of her classmates commented, “We’re like at National Bookstore!”
Invest in magazine holders for your magazines. Place photos in albums and other important items in boxes. None of these storage items need to be drab. You can now buy them in different colors that match the overall color scheme of your room.
Though boxes can be different colors, it’s best if they’re the same size so they can stack on your shelves. Label containers using a label maker. Or washi tapes. 🙂
Speaking of label makers, they are one of many items that should fit in your office desk drawer. And yes, I do have one. National Bookstore, remember? 🙂
Organizing your home office is not difficult and can be fun. You might even want to get the whole family involved. It will definitely be a pleasure to see a clean and tidy workspace waiting for you at the beginning of your workday.
Disclaimer: My home office, specifically my desk, may not stay as organized as I presented in this post, but I’m still proud to say that there is always one day in a month that IT IS this organized, and then it goes downhill from there until it’s time to clean up, and the cycle continues. One thing is constant though. I LOVE my home office!
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