How to Organize Your Personal Papers and Home Office

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A home office serves multiple purposes, from providing a place to keep personal papers organized to a quiet space where you can work from home on professional projects. However, a home office can also get out of control quickly, going from a neat and orderly space to piles upon piles of papers and office supplies. A few simple ways of organizing your personal papers -- and your home office in general -- help ensure maximum effectiveness of such a space in your home.

Purchase a filing cabinet in which to store papers. Developing a personal filing system for the papers littering your office will come much easier with a place in which to keep such items. A small filing cabinet that fits under your office desk saves on space, while a taller version accommodates numerous files for different types of paperwork.

Place papers into color-coded folders. Each color should have a specific designation, such as red folders for household bills and blue folders for insurance information. Color-coding ensures that you can easily reach for certain papers, as you need them. The next time you are looking for insurance papers, you will know just where to look.

Separate folders into active and past files. Perhaps the top portion of your filing cabinet can be for active files, while using the bottom drawer or two for files that require later archiving and moving into an attic or another storage space.

Limit what you have in this room. Don't put anything in the space not related to paperwork, your computer or information brought home from work. In other words, storing a treadmill and workout gear in this space will only clutter it more. Keep the area to a desk, chair, computer, a filing cabinet or two and any other small electronics you have in the space, like a printer or fax machine.

Focus on storage elements that double as furniture. For example, an easy chair in which to sit while on long conference calls with an ottoman that has a removable top doubles as a place to store office supplies. A wicker basket adds a design element to the room and holds some of those extra magazines.


About the Author

Lynda Moultry Belcher is a writer, editor and public relations professional. She worked for a daily newspaper for 10 years and has been a freelance writer for more than 15 years. She has contributed to Divorce360 and Revolution Health Group, among other publications. She is also the author of "101 Plus-Size Women's Clothing Tips" and writes "Style At Any Size," a bi-weekly newspaper column.

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