A well set-up home office enhances productivity and reduces stress with less mess. Consider your priorities when setting up your home office. If your workspace isn't well organized, you won’t be able to have the full benefits of working from home, will you? Ask yourself these questions to see how well organized you are.

• What is your main objective for setting up your workspace?
• Is it to improve after hours’ productivity in your job?
• Is it to run your own business?
• Do you want to spend more time with your kids?
• Or do you simply want to run your home more efficiently?

Let’s begin to see how you can set yourself up for success. Remember, a well set-up home office, whether it’s in a separate corner of a room or a room of its own, can improve productivity, reduce stress, save money, and add more personal time everyday. Here are 9 tips to help organize your home office:

1. DEFINE YOUR HOME OFFICE SPACE. Create a “command central” in one part of your home whether it be the kitchen or family room, keeping all office-related items in one place to create an efficient "command central," thereby preventing wasted time trekking all over the house for things you need. Designate a separate “office supply” and storage area, so family members won't "borrow" your office supplies. Make sure the family has an area of their own.

2. DESK FOR SUCCESS. Buy a desk with ample writing space (even with a computer/printer), and make sure you have drawers on at least one side of your seating area. Having a hutch (vertical storage area) on top of your desk maximizes space and increases efficiency for reaching items you use the most. Make sure you have plenty of light to reduce fatigue. An adjustable chair that swivels with arms will give you maximum comfort. Having a filing cabinet within arm’s reach helps you maintain an easy way of filing your papers as soon as you are done with them. A bookcase is handy to keep your manuals, books, binders, and a place for a “launch pad” (a specific area designated to put items that you will be taking out of your office).

3. KEEP ESSENTIALS WITHIN ARM'S REACH. Keep items you use the most--stamps, envelopes, stationery, file folders, stapler, note pads, pencils and pens. Create an "In" box for mail and "To File" box (a minimum of twice a week to file papers). If space allows, use the vertical “Hot Files” that go on the wall to keep the desk surface available for working on current projects. Post a running supply list to refer to when replenishing your stock tapped inside on the supply cabinet door.

4. PLAN 10 MINUTES IN THE MORNING AND AFTERNOON. Write and prioritize your "To Do" list everyday keeping your list in your notebook or planner, and as you add “to-do's” throughout the day, continually re-evaluate your priorities--especially if your time is working around your family's schedule.

5. FOLLOW THIS RULE: "Do it, delete it, or delegate." Before you automatically transfer a task from one daily list to another, you may find that task isn’t important after all. Determine why you haven't started it or if it even needs to be done.

6. AT YOUR FINGERTIPS. To make in-the-car time productive, use a portable organizer with a monthly/weekly calendar, “to-do” pages, notepad, phone directory, and receipt storage. Transfer relevant items to the family bulletin board or appropriate file in your permanent file cabinet as soon as you arrive home, creating new files if necessary.

7. BALANCE FAMILY AND WORK. Use a business approach in managing your family while maximizing quality time and reducing stress. Go through all the upcoming events and the items needed to prepare for them, and write them in your planner and on your family calendar.

8. POST YOUR SCHEDULE. Post a monthly calendar in a central location like on the refrigerator or by the main telephone in the house. Schedule business and family commitments using different colored pens. Family members can refer to this when determining if you are available or not. Then transfer the information onto a large wipe-off board in the kitchen each week (designate the left side of the board with enough room in between each day of the week to fill in the information and times—Sunday through Saturday). Items can then be added each day when last minute activities come up.

9. PLAN ON HAVING FUN. The benefit of working at home is to have more personal time. Create a file drawer for decorations, travel, game ideas, fun things, etc. You’ll have the information at your fingertips when the time comes to plan an event.

Remember, "If you can't find it in 30 seconds, it's in the wrong place."

Author's Bio: 

Evelyn Gray is CPO-CD® (Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization), a Productivity Expert, Certified Action Coach & Seminar Leader, consultant, trainer, speaker, and author. She uses these powerful set of skills to improve your focus, clarity and productivity level. Learn how to set goals and priorities so you can stay focused on the right things. Her expertise is in working with professionals who have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and individuals who have been disorganized most of their life. She trains and educates people, teaching them easy and simple strategies of not only getting organized but “staying organized.”

Evelyn’s simple “Stop, Drop & Roll” method teaches you how to have a “neat mess” so you can find your paperwork in 30 seconds or less. She “turns your piles into files,” so the only thing you have to lose is your clutter. Evelyn works with the person you already are, so you won't end up with a system you can't keep up with where everything is stored and retrieved at your fingertips.

Evelyn has a 26-page eBook on “How to Stop the Junk Mail,” and another eBook called Let’s Get Organized! Easy, Simple Strategies for Getting (and Staying) Organized for ADD, ADHD, and the Chronically Disorganized.” She’s currently working on another eBook called “The Ultimate Time Management Guide.”

We "turn your piles into files," so the only thing you have to lose is your clutter.