Do you have a process you follow that keeps your home office organized? Do you document your expenses monthly or throw your receipts into a shoebox? When tax time comes, will your records be in order? Do you manage your emails daily or is your inbox out of control? It is much easier to maintain your office and manage your records ongoing. It will be difficult to maintain the quality of your work if you have to dedicate a huge chunk of time to finding an important document amongst piles of paper or organizing one years' worth of business records in one sitting.

Here are the top three problem home office scenarios with solutions that I've either discovered myself or borrowed from others. Let's keep it simple!

Problem: Did you pick the bright, airy room with a view to set up your home office only to find that the view is now obstructed by stacks of papers?
Solution: Literature Organizers are great for those who like to pile papers. With 8, 12 or more sorting compartments you can label each section to identify the contents. It keeps papers tidy, organized and easy to access. Prices range from $20 for the cardboard model which are fairly sturdy up to over $100 for larger units or those made of plastic, wood or wire mesh. My cardboard model has lasted me over 3 years!

Problem: The cozy little nook in the basement with the gas fireplace would be a great place to work. Your own space away from the distractions of working from home. But, out of sight, out of mind. Your desk has become a catch-all for receipts, pens, papers you name it and now you avoid the space.
Solution: There are a lot of things we have on hand that can work just as well as costly office supplies to keep your work space orderly;
-reuse bill payment envelopes. Collect 12, one for each month to compile and keep track of your monthly receipts for income tax purposes.
-use a mail sorter to contain smaller paper items like notepads, loose notepaper and envelopes
-a couple of mugs will keep your writing utensils close at hand and organized. Use 1 for pens and pencils and the other for highlighters, scissors and glue sticks.

Problem: Your inbox shows no signs of slowing down. Each time you sign on there are even more messages and you can't imagine how you'll ever deal with all this mail.
Solution: Schedule 30 minutes at the start of each day to manage emails. Some suggest you don't even look at email first thing as you will get sidetracked. However, knowing I have 30 minutes allows me to skim through, delete any junk and address anything urgent. Then I can read thru 1 or 2 newsletters I subscribe to and keep the inbox numbers down. Knowing I have limited time prevents me from giving too much attention to the non-essential emails. It's also important to have only a couple of key mentors you follow and unsubscribe from the rest. There is only so much information you can absorb and when overwhelmed you'll retain even less. Follow only one or two people/gurus/mentors who know what they are doing and are where you want to be.

Home office tasks are ongoing so it is important to set aside time each day to manage this area of your business. A little time spent every day will save a wealth of time and stress in the long run.

Author's Bio: 

As a Business Support Specialist to small business owners, Jennifer Hazlett provides technical and administrative assistance specializing in planning, implementing and managing various internet marketing strategies. Jennifer combines her current work experience with her extensive corporate background to create programs and services that help the small business owner get their business going, growing or back on track. Sign up at Jennifer's website, Alternate Admin for your complimentary report "101 Ways to Boost Business with a Virtual Assistant" and receive her free monthly ezine "Home Sweet Home Office" full of practical tips, tricks, tools and resources for the small business owner.