Today's Tip: Declutter the Home Office in Less Than One Hour

Today's post is from Lisa Hendey of Productivity at Home

One day last summer, I caught myself in Barnes and Noble with a book
in my hand about de-cluttering. I was making my way to the checkout
line to purchase it when the irony of the situation struck me. In my
case, much of the clutter in my life is owing to the fact that I review
books for my sites and have them coming out my ears. Adding another
book to the mix was not the answer...

But today, has a great post
about home organizing books. I plan to put these on my wish list at the
library and try to glean whatever pearls of wisdom they hold. I listen
regularly to Peter Walsh's show on XM radio, so that one is at the top
of my list and of course David Allen's "Getting Things Done" is already
one of my favorites. Also, many of the precepts in these books can be
found on the web. The trick is starting small and implementing steps
every day to better organize our homes.

This week, I undertook a
major reorganization of my office. It was precipitated by the fact that
a TV crew was coming to film in my home office. I didn't want my
"stacks" memorialized on film, so I got to work. In the process, I did
some major decluttering. While I'm not completely finished with this
project, my work environment feels much more productive and it inspires
me to take on some other projects around my home.

A few tips for taking on this type of home organization project:

  1. Set
    aside time
    - Take on a home organization project when your schedule
    will permit you several hours of uninterrupted time. Nothing is worse
    than getting started and then never finishing - you end up with a worse
    situation than when you started.

  2. Choose one area of your home
    to start
    - Mine was my home office, for obvious reasons. Choose a
    small, manageable space. Complete your work in that area before moving
    on to the next.

  3. Take photos - I wish I had taken "before"
    photos, but my "after documentation of what my office CAN look like
    will serve as motivation next time it gets totally out of control.

  4. Think
    things through before you get started
    - One area of my office that was
    particularly driving me crazy was my Podcasting "studio". Wires
    everywhere and no apparent organization made me crazy every week when I
    sat down to record. That area is now very well laid out, but it
    required some pre-planning to lay out all of the cords, phone lines and
    equipment in a small, compact space.

  5. Celebrate your success -
    My husband and I have a tradition that involves giving one another
    feedback when a home project is tackled. He came into my office after
    the re-org and raved about how great things looked. I do the same for
    him when he fixes a broken sprinkler or tackles something equally as
    tedious. It's good to have someone appreciate that hard work that goes
    into making a home run well.