So, yesterday was Organize Your Home Office Day. I’m guessing that no one is going to be distraught that I didn’t bring it to your attention sooner.
Seriously, though, having an orderly home office can save you time and anxiety, especially when you’re preparing your income taxes or looking for information that you need immediately.
Your home office might not be an office at all, but a corner of a room or a kitchen counter, instead. Wherever you choose to keep your household paperwork is your office; creating a system for storing and retrieving documents will make your life easier.
You don’t need to buy expensive file cabinets or use bulky containers that take up lots of room. A household or family organizer will serve as your command center and will start you off on gathering necessary paperwork so you can find documents quickly. You can buy pre-made organizers or you can create one with a three-ring binder, page protectors and dividers.
The sections you create will depend on your household’s needs. For example, you might have a section for School (lunch menu, class roster, school calendar), Activities (sports, scouting, or gym calendars), Food (takeout menus, monthly menu planner, simple recipes), Contacts (neighbors, relatives, service providers), Maintenance (appliance manuals, breaker locations).
I suggest having a cover page with your name, address and phone number, in case a babysitter or houseguest needs to refer to it. If you have kids, create a page for babysitters with their names, bedtimes, food preferences, etc. Don’t try to cram your entire life into one 3” binder, though. If you need to, you can create several binders for different purposes.
Keep your binder(s) in your home office or in a more accessible spot, like the kitchen or family room and make sure that everyone knows where it is. Remember to replace items when you get updated information.
You can find lots of free, printable forms on Organized Home’s Web site. Pinterest has lots of free printables, as well. Don’t get caught up in making a fancy binder; the reason you’re putting together an organizer is to make your easier, not more stressful.