With email, Internet research and electronic banking, the home office is an essential. And with school work, bills and important papers, the accumulation of paperwork and office supplies adds up. Full-time office or shared by the whole family, an organized space is an absolute must. A clear desk, files put away and everything in its place ensures productivity. Working in a user-friendly and pleasant room is motivating. Bookcases, cabinets, shelves, and filing cabinets all play a role in organizing your work space to suit your needs.
There are two general rules for working efficiently:
If all members of the family use the computer for recreation, schoolwork and occasional work, a computer desk is suitable. Choose a model with a sliding keyboard tray, space for the monitor, mouse, printer and hard drive. For laptop use, a simple work table is perfectly adequate. Certain pieces of equipment take up space, such as a scanner and fax machine, so make sure you have enough desk space to accommodate them.
Essentials: a pencil holder and small containers for paperclips, thumbtacks, bulldog clips, rulers and other desktop accessories. They are available in all sizes, shapes and in all types of material.
A desk with drawers to one side or under the work surface can be useful for storing surplus office items such as a punch, stapler and rulers. Compartmentalize the insides of drawers to organize small items.
Filing cabinets are indispensable organizers; store files not used on a regular basis, bills and papers that must be kept. One filing cabinet with two drawers should be sufficient. If you work from home, files can mount up, and you may need to buy a larger, lateral two, three or four-drawer filing cabinet. Ideally, you should separate your professional files from your personal files, using two filing cabinets.
Install a suspension system for hanging folders to make handling your files much easier. Writing the file subject on each tab label is the key to an efficient system and will make it easier for you to maintain your organization. The time devoted to making labels or writing by hand is time in the bank when you go to look for specific information. Do not stuff your filing cabinet; opt instead for a second filing cabinet or for a cabinet with more drawers.
Space permitting; install the filing cabinet close to your work station to cut down on time taken moving between the two. Use the filing cabinet surface for your printer, a rack for files or filing trays.
To hold reference materials used periodically, books and certain papers, bookcases are versatile and provide ample surface space. To maximise their potential:
Closed cabinets and modular furniture with drawers that may be fitted with a filing system and compartments for discs fulfill many requirements and represent a good investment. Ideal for boxes of paper, various-sized envelopes, boxes of new and unused files, computer supplies etc. Furthermore, you can make use of the surface area for file trays, your printer or fax machine.
Walls provide choice space to further your storage capabilities. Attached to the wall, these storage solutions make it possible to free up both your work space and the floor.
Above the work space, install:
Elsewhere in the room, increase the number of:
If the space you have to work with is limited, or if your home office is located in a room devoted to another activity, make sure you are able to “close off” the office area or create some sort of separation. Concealing the office space behind a curtain or mobile partition is an effective method. Filing cabinets on wheels may be an option to explore, to keep urgent files handy but with a flexible location. They are often equipped with a system of hanging folders that are easy to use. Though some appear utilitarian and others can easily be integrated into your decor, they are uniformly handy and versatile.
Office storage solutions are many and varied. Assess your needs, respect the environment, and you will create for yourself a clear, well-organized work area that promotes concentration. Storage can even add personalized character to the office. Equipment chosen with care, colourful and stylish items, a little creativity and you’re ready to open a file on a whole new home office experience!
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