by Catherine L. Tully & Joe Wallace
Having a writing business usually means that you operate out of your
home. This makes managing your space is a priority item. Here are some
creative organizational techniques that can help you win the war on
clutter and stay organized…
1. The All-In-One Machine.
Utilizing space wisely in your office area is extremely important
since there usually isn’t a whole lot of room. Julie Hood, founder of
www.finallyorganized.com recommends buying an all-in-one printer, fax
and copy machine. Eliminating the needless clutter from having three
separate machines can go a long way in giving you more useable office
2. The Office Alternative.
If you are totally pressed for room, don’t despair. Hood has another
suggestion for those who need an office, but can’t dedicate a whole
room to their business. She says, “If you are completely short
on space, an office armoire gives you a way to add an office but then
close up the business at night.” You can post bulletin boards on the
inside of the doors to increase your working space without adding
clutter to the room. Take care to measure any items
(computers/phones/fax machines, etc.) before you buy them to be sure
they will fit.
3 The Bulletin Board.
Simply put, this item will make it less likely that you will lose
things. Phone numbers, business cards and notes written on scraps of
paper can be tacked up immediately so they don’t get misplaced or
moved. Set aside a little time each week to attend to clearing the
board, and you will be able to keep up easily.
You can also post a list of frequently called numbers so that you
don’t waste time looking them up. Hang a shopping list and add any
office items to it as you run out. If you are looking for an
economical way to go, Ms. Hood suggests using cork as an inexpensive
choice for your board. She also mentions that you can, “cover the cork
with fabric to match the decor of your room.” After all, organized
doesn’t have to mean boring!
4. The Receipt Box.
This box can be anything you like, from a fancy wooden box to a simple
plastic container. Place the box by whatever door you usually come
in–which will also save you more precious office space. Develop a
routine where you drop any work-related receipts straight into the box
when you get home. Keep the box small and once a week, bring it with
you into the office. Empty, file and repeat. This helps to keep all of
those receipts from floating around, getting lost, which ultimately
costs you money at tax time.
5. The Planner.
Try to keep every appointment, expense and hour worked logged in one
place. Some people like to use a large desk calendar. This is fine if
you work primarily in your office, just take care to keep it
clutter-free. Whatever you decide on, just make sure that you have
everything on or in it. Having multiple calendars or planners can be
confusing and add clutter to the office space that is unnecessary. Try
to keep it simple.
Using these strategies can help you to create a simple work area that
is customized for your home-based writing business. Taking charge of
the office and getting organized can help free up both time and space
so that you can run things more effectively. That way you will have
more time–and room to write.
This article was authored by J. Wallace & Catherine L. Tully, originally appearing on Write From Home.