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    Reimagine Your Office

    styleI recently moved my home office to a new off-site location. Up until this point, I had thought of myself as being an “organized” person—papers filed and supplies neatly tucked away. However, space is a luxury in the new abode, so what was once my design respite now serves dual duty as my dining area. Today’s “home office” is a misnomer, as it really has become the central hub for many family’s lives. From schoolwork to taxes, the home office is often serving multiple duties, so it’s time to treat it like the multifunctional space it has become. Here are some quick tips to get yourself organized and ready during Spring!

    Purge It

    styleNothing is more satisfying to the soul like a good ol’ purging. Map out 1 hour over the course of a week to tackle a specific portion of your office. Set a timer and get down to work. When the timer goes off, stop. I have used this technique successfully with clients. It allows the process of de-cluttering to feel less overwhelming and more manageable.style2

    Scan It

    Invest in a good multipurpose scanner/printer/copier. They are worth their weight in gold! As soon as paperwork comes in, it is scanned into electronic PDFs for easy filing and storage. No more searching through piles to find that missing receipt. If you can go one step further, remember to ask to receive your bank statements and other bills electronically. An added bonus is that some companies, like student loans, will give you small rebates for going paperless!

    styleStash It

    Whenever possible, remove extraneous clutter from your work surface. Use a tray to gather all of your office essentials. Corral writing utensils and other office supplies into containers for easy storage. Remember that storage containers can be anything you want, as long as they do the job. I love using Dollar Store glass vases to house markers and colored pencils. I search the sale rack at big box stores for fun containers to store everything from paper clips to rubber bands.

    style3Bind It

    Sometimes you need to break out an oldie but goodie! Clipboards are a great way to combat piles and keep paperwork organized. Give each family member their own clipboard to track bills, homework and other important documents. At the end of the week, gather the boards up and file as needed.

    Courtney Lake is the interior designer and lifestyle expert behind Monogram Décor (www.monogramdecor.com) and its celebrated blog, “Courtney Out Loud.” His work and writings have appeared on television and in writing including “The Wall Street Journal,” “The Nate Berkus Show,” the “San Francisco Chronicle,” “Life & Style Magazine,” “RUE Magazine,” “Real Simple,” “This Old House” and “7×7 Magazine.”