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5 Steps To Start Organizing Your Home Office

by | Mar 11, 2008 | Decorating Inspiration, Offices, Organization

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5 Steps To Start Organizing Your Home Office

Please welcome The Inspired Room’s guest blogger here today to give us some quick tips on Home Office Organization:

WELCOME Brandie Kajino, “The Home Office Organizer”!

March 11 is “Organize Your Home Office Day”, and tax season is in full swing in America. Did you know that paper consumption has tripled since the widespread use of the computer? (I think we are a long way off from a “paperless society”!) Did you also know that 48 million Americans work from home (and those in the know expect this number to increase drastically in the next 20 years)? If you add in those who handle family business or have a creative space in our homes, there are a lot of us out there with a PC, filing cabinet and tools we use in a home office.

Would you like a home office that enables you to find what you need in five minutes or less? Is your paper driving you crazy? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, know that there is hope for you to get control of the paper flooding your home office. So, how would you go about doing that? I’ve compiled some tips and resources to get you headed in the right direction.

1. Sort the mail, everyday: Ugh, I know…. But, it might be easier than you think. By “Sort”, I mean just that. You’re just determining how long it will take you to deal with each piece of mail and what category it goes into. It should only take you a minute to do this. All you need is two baskets, file folders or large envelopes.

2. “To Do”: This category is anything that takes more than two minutes of your time. Bills, calls to be made, responses to write, etc. If you need the information to “do” something, it goes in this category.

3. “To Read”: This category is for things you need to read over, like a magazine, conference or event brochure, etc. Again, if it takes more than two minutes to read over, put it in here.

4. Recycle, reduce, reuse: Do you really need coupons for a dog wash, extra large pizza or a cheaply made necklace? Determine what your needs are, and recycle the rest. A lot of what we get in the mail is marketing materials we don’t need. Watch the paper that comes into your home, lest it congregate in corners and multiply! :)

Bonus Reuse Tip: If you have a newspaper delivered, consider using it as a weed barrier in your garden. Newspapers now use soy ink, so it won’t harm your garden. I have found 4-5 layers of newspaper work better than the expensive weed paper at the garden store!

5. Resources: This is a short list of things you might like to get started on your home office. Pick the medium that you like best.

Brain Type Quiz: Want to learn more about organizing and what will work for you? Try this fun quiz: “What’s Your Brain Type” Quiz:

Books: (You can find these on my website on the Products or Good Books pages)

“Organizing For Your Brain Type” by Lanna Nakone
“Zen To Done” by Leo Babauta
“Guide To Organizing Your Office” by Ariane Benefit
“101 Tips For Your Home Office E-Booklet” by Brandie Kajino :)

Website articles: LifeHacker as an entire section about Home Offices:

Teleclass: You can also take one of my teleclasses:

Some other articles on The Inspired Room:

Order Before Beauty

Style Tips: Quick Ideas For Refining Your Style

The Home Office Saga

Exciting Plans


This post, Steps to Start Organizing Your Home Office, was mentioned here:

THE WASHINGTON POST Blog Watch: The Inspired Room

Phew! Do you have resources you like? Please share them here! Also, if you have a question, feel free to post and I’ll keep up with the comments. I wish you all the best organizing your home office! :)

About the author
Brandie Kajino, The Home Office Organizer, is a dynamic speaker, author and professional organizer. Brandie organizes home offices for home-based professionals. Her website offers resources, articles, services and a blog to help home office professionals get organized, be more productive and simplify life. Visit her web site at

(Photo from


  1. Alison Gibbs

    Oh I so need to follow these 5 steps. Maybe when I get my new computer on Thursday I can follow these steps.
    Thank goodness you can’t see my home office now!!!

  2. Rachel Going

    Thanks for sharing those great tips. We run our businesses from a home office. The paper thing is so huge. Infact, just this morning I was feeling overwhelmed by it all. I really enjoy your blog. xoRachel

  3. mary

    The timing couldn’t have been better for this post. My office workspace is a disaster. Thanks for the inspiration. Maybe now I can find my coffee cup and the stamps I lost a month ago.

  4. Melissa

    I’m so glad Brandie is here today to motivate me to get started on organization, I really need some serious home office organization-intervention myself! Paperwork and filing is not my thing! :-)

  5. Brandie Kajino

    Thanks for having me Melissa. :)
    Paper and filing can be difficult, so just keep it simple. Don’t “overfile”, because there is an 80% chance you are never going to look at it again. ;)

  6. Vee~A Haven for Vee

    Off to read about my brain type. Maybe it’ll give me some help for dealing with the mail. I like to leave it in a basket and pretend it’s not there.

  7. Southern Heart

    Excellent information…and just as we are trying to organize things here, too!

  8. Penny

    My website business office in in my studio…currently it consists of one messy computer armoire. I am hoping this year to turn the closet in my studio into an office and move the two free standing shelfs that are filled with mosaic supplies out into the studio. I will ditch the armoire and have a built in desk, shelves and file cabinets….I will have more “office” space and have better access to my mosaic supplies. The whole thing has to start with my husband crawling under the house to move the internet access into the closet…we are waiting for a warmer day :-)

  9. Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall

    Great tips. I currently need to Re-organize my home office so I will be printing this off and making sure I am implementing them.

  10. Sweet Cottage Dreams

    My rule is this: Stay on top of the clutter and get rid of any papers that you don’t absolutely need – shred them pronto!

    I cannot focus if the area around my desk is messy, however it can sure get that way fast. Mom always told me to clean as I go, and I have always tried to be mindful of that. See, I guess parents really do know best. ha.


  11. Liberty Post Editor

    What a fantastic post! We can all use these excellent tips! Thanks!

  12. Sher's Creative Expressions

    What a great post with GREAT ideas.

    I’ve added your blog to my “favorites” at the bottom of my site. I hope this is OK with you. I find your blog. . . oh. . . so. . . inspiring. Thank you.



  13. Elzie

    Wow, my “office” could need some organization too. It seems like there are always paper “in the way”. Thanks for a very giving post!!
    Have a great day.
    Love Elzie

  14. Rachael

    Its not just my home office, its my entire house that needs organised, lucky you are here to inspire me from your Inspired Room . . . Rachael:)

  15. daisy cottage

    Hi sweet Melissa!
    Wonderful, inspiring post – for me it is my closets – they are bursting at the seams. I am going to tackle them next week. I’m still recovering the home tour! ;-)


  16. rochambeau

    Great advise by Brandie,
    Now…………….Just need to implement! Thank you for doing this for us! I love the way you are always sharing!


  17. this is glamorous

    Some really great ideas and resources–will definitely try the “To Read” folder–always seem to accumulate quite a few items that ending up laying around . . . Really do need to reorganize things for Spring.

  18. Christine

    You always have such inspiring posts..ways we can freshen things up!
    I soo love the link about the different organization types..I need that now more than ever since I might be starting a new job.
    Happy Wed!

  19. Brandie Kajino

    You all are most welcome! :) I’m happy to share, and I can’t wait to hear about YOUR home offices and how you are changing them. Feel free to email me – I love hearing success stories! (brandie AT

  20. kara

    we are getting a new computer at the store and our mission needs to be about organization—everything has a place. AND put it away not just “plopping” Darcy is the organizer, I’m the messer-upper!!!!

  21. all things bright and beautiful

    Dear Brandie and Miss Melissa – congratulations on your mention in the Washington post!!!

    Woohoo! :-)



  22. TSS

    If only everybody knew how easy to-do lists made things!

  23. meeting rooms

    “Put things away right away.” It’s not even funny how well this one works, and how easily it goes off the rails for me. Thanks for the reminder, since this one is a no-fail solution–even if you’re just trying to stay on top of the mess.



  1. In the Trenches featuring Tinafb1… « A Beautiful Abode - [...] just beautify, but deep clean and organize. (And that feeling seems to be one that’s in the design blog…

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