If your home office needs some help, now is the time to take action! Tax time is just around the corner and you don't want to get caught scrambling.
Remember, if it's a big fat mess, it didn't get this way in one day and it's not going to clear up in one day. Just take it step by step, okay? Don't be hard on yourself. Love yourself enough to clean up that office so you have a space you enjoy being in!
Step One: Clear the floor (you're going to need it). Get everything out of that space that does not pertain to your home office so you have some place to work. I share my home office with music instruments and toys. So, all the baby dolls and doll supplies are on the rolling cart. All the instruments are in their cases and placed against the wall. And the legos are put away in their drawer organizer. There's nothing wrong with sharing a room, but you need to separate the spaces. What I mean by this, is that everything pertaining to your home office needs to be in your home office "space." No toys, no dishes and forks, no nothin" except the stuff that pertains to your home office.
Step Two: Before you start decluttering your desk, grab a bag to throw stuff away. In a typical decluttering task, you usually have three bags--give away, put away, and throw away. But this isn't your typical task because you should have already removed anything from your home office that does not pertain to its function. If not, you may want to go ahead and do the three-bag method.
Step Three: Get your timer (a mama's best friend) and use it to give yourself five-minute increments to put away stuff on your desk where it belongs. Personally, I don't use a timer. I play one of my stations on Pandora (www.pandora.com) and time myself by songs. I clean up during an entire song, and then take the next couple songs off to do some writing or another task at my computer.
Step Four: If you don't have a spot for something, put it in a "homeless stack." This means that when the song (or the five minutes) finishes, you are going to IMMEDIATELY make a spot for the first item. This could mean to create a file, clear a spot, or whatever, but give every item a HOME! Make a rule for yourself that you cannot go on to the next five minute increment of decluttering until you make a home for something, okay? Hey, we're mamas...we make the rules and we live by them, too!
Step Five: Reward yourself! One of my favorite ways to reward myself after I've cleaned up my home office is to get something pretty and functional for that space. Last time I did a big overhaul, I got a big corkboard to put some of my favorite quotes and pictures. Whatever it is, make it worth the effort!