Home Office Organization

Our topic at this month’s Jersey Shore Direct Sellers Networking Group was follow-up.  I LOVE my follow-up system but none of it works if my office is a hot mess!  About once a month, I need to take time to completely organize my office AGAIN!

Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into your home office and be able to find exactly what you need, right away? Imagine the time I would save (and you).  One less “project” so you could spend time with your family, friends and actually working in your business, and not on it.

With a little time and the right organizing tools, you can make it happen!  You can transform your home office from a HOT MESS to an efficient, well-functioning space which will help you to achieve your biggest business goals.  Redoing your entire office can be a HUGE undertaking, so unless you have a full weekend to devote to it, why not focus on one area at a time.

Pick one thing which needs attention.  Let’s think about what would work for your follow-up system.  Do you have a filing cabinet?  Or do you just use the drawers of your desk? Or do you just shuffle piles of papers on your desk?

Clear out and organize your papers

A great first step is to clear out all the papers in your office, whether they’re stacked on your desk or spilling from your filing cabinet. Take this chance to scrub the cleared-off areas, too, so you’ll have a perfectly clean space to work with.

Then use the rule of threes to organize to sort your stacks: one pile to toss or shred, one to file and one that needs action.  When I am working I use the principal of never touching a paper more than once!  Yes, it can be done.

A couple of Fold N’ Files in a color which complements your home décor work well to store the important documents you need to keep accessible.  I have several of them.  I love the fact they fit in my zip top organizing tote so when I need to travel, I can take files with me without having to pull them out.

Use creative storage solutions to better utilize space.  Often, a home office is part of a shared space, which means getting creative with your storage.

Portable storage like the new-for-spring Your Way Display Bin not only gives you a handy place to store loose odds and ends like staplers, calculators and pens, but it also lets you combine (and carry) multiple solutions to best fit your needs: Think Double Duty Caddies for paperwork, Mini Storage Bins for crafts or a Mini Catch-All Bin for gift-wrapping supplies. The result? A clean, uncluttered home office with more desk space where you need it.

Incorporate a larger tote or storage container to help you stay organized

Since it’s inevitable that certain items will make it into your office that don’t belong there, keep a portable tote or storage container under your desk to toss them into. A Catch-All Bin, Your Way Rectangle or Your Way Rectangle Basket all work well for catching your miscellaneous bits and pieces. Don’t forget to color-coordinate for added appeal!

Once a day or once a week, take the container with you through the house to return your stray items to where they belong.

An organized home office doesn’t have to be just a dream. Once you’ve transformed your space, share your pictures with us! We love seeing newly organized spaces which make great use of our fun and functional Thirty-One Gifts products. Additional tips can be found on Thirty One’s blog

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Do You Have an Elephant in the Room?

Hello, world.  Have you ever had the feeling something was following you?  You knoooow something’s there but you were just too afraid to look.  So you ignore it, hoping it would eventually go away… but it doesn’t.  Suddenly, “something” grabs you at your feet!  You jump back in shock, only to slam right into it.  So then, you do what most people would do… RUN!  Or you attempt to run, when only after a few steps, you slip on to the floor, and fall directly into the “thing”.  Finally, you make it to the door.  By now, you’re thinking you at least owe it to yourself to see what it was; this persistent, consuming “thing” determined to drag you down.  So you slooowly turn around… and stare it head on.  Did someone break in?.. Is it an animal?… a ghost or a MONSTER?!  When all of a sudden you realize… it’s just those overstuffed binders on the floor you’ve been “meaning” to organize, the books and customer invoices stacked on the desk, and the world of products from your inventory toppling over the shelves.  Yep, the so-called “Thing” pursuing you is called Clutter… and the truly scary conclusion is, it ain’t goin’ anywhere until you make it.

I saw this in a blog post some time ago and I giggle every time I read it.  As a home-based business owner, the “Thing” called clutter is a common issue.  Being a home-based business owner for many years, I have had the elephant in the room.  Yes, I do help others get organized but not always the best at taking my own advice!

Do we invite clutter in?  Nope!  Do we like to deal with it? Nope!  It just sort of happens.

I was always one for piles – organized piles.  Then when I started working from home full time, I found it wasn’t so easy to get organized.  I struggled with systems. We know we should take time to get organized, but the truth is we either (1) don’t know where to start, (2) adopt the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality (try to work with it as it is), or (3) RUN from it (avoid it all together).

No matter what, clutter has to eventually be cleared up or it will only get worse and you will be buried under a mass of paper being totally unproductive.  It’s not going anywhere and the biggest hit where it REALLY hurts is…..yep, your profits.  It is so much easier when you tackle it right away because it is easier, less overwhelming and can be a stress-free process.  Otherwise, you not only work harder, you start the day off cranky and frustrated because, “seriously, I can’t find the file!” or you have orders for a product you didn’t realize was out of stock… ouch$$$!  Need more motivation?

The major benefits of putting in the time and effort to get any home-based business space in order:

  1. It promotes efficiency… you can locate your items much quicker because you know exactly where everything is when you need it, which saves you time.  Once organized, it may take a moment to think about where you put it but once you keep putting something back in the same place, it will become a habit!
  2. It increases productivity… an organized workspace helps you accomplish more throughout your workday.  When a system of order is in place, you are more driven and focused on the success of your business; NOT on the added stress of a cluttered space.
  3. It saves you profits… Organization = Great inventory management!  You avoid product loss due to expiration, misplacement, or damage.
  4. It creates an atmosphere which leads to business success!.. when you’ve create an environment which stimulates our brain, you think and feel better which translates into your work.  The passion for your business is reignited!  It also inspires you to want to become organized in other areas of your life.  Imagine that!!!

Helping people get organized is part of the butterfly effect of my vision – to bring a smile to the face of those who are struggling.  When people think of someone struggling, they think of major things like chronic illness, the loss of someone, addiction, etc.  BUT the struggle could be the desire to grow your business.  I’m in the business of helping people.

I LOVE working with home based business owners. Let me help you transform spaces which are a “hot mess” to what seems like a completely different room.   Every time you enter your office space, you’ll instantly become charged about your business day.   I can share with you how I got organized and STAY organized (90% of the time).  But it is your BUSINESS (or your home)!  We need to make it work for YOU.

I want you to feel excited and inspired every day when you enter your work space.  It shouldn’t bring feelings of stress or a “business-as-usual” mentality.  As a home-based business owner, you have the power to change your work environment into something to fuel your success.   It starts by getting organized – office supplies, product inventory, packaging/shipping supplies, photo/video equipment… EVERYTHING needed to run our businesses from home, in a neat and orderly system which fits your unique, individual needs…wheeew!  As a home-based business owner, you can create a positive, inspiring environment to keep you pumped about fulfilling your goals – no matter how big or small the space may be.

It’s time to address the elephant in the room!  Face it head on and be determined to overcome the problem which isn’t going anywhere

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

15 Minute Organizing Projects

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WOOHOO!  Who is ready for the weekend?  I will be showing off my Angel collection this weekend at a local event so I am excited…..

I love to help people get organized – sort of the practice what I say, not what I do sometimes.  🙂  Most think organizing takes a long time and who has time for it, right?  The truth is you can tackle some things in under 15 minutes.  I know, crazy, right?
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These tips are courtesy of I heart Planners:

#1 – Reorganize your junk drawer. 

We all have them even if we don’t admit to them.  I have two drawers in my kitchen which are far from organized.  I usually clean them out about once a month and before I know it, they are a total disaster again! One drawer is where hubby tosses things he wants to hold on to – just in case.  The other is full of kitchen gadgets.  There are some gadgets I use all of the time, then there are some which are only used once in a while.  Why do they always ALL end up in the same drawer?

I try to determine about how often I use each item. Is it a daily item – then it stays in the drawer.  Not used very often, items are moved to the drawers in the pantry.  Close but not cluttering up the drawer.

It was super depressing because it’s a drawer we use all the time, and I see the mess regularly. I finally get fed up,and it takes less than 15 minutes! So, why didn’t I do it sooner? 12705602_992666660772486_8016996825946757881_n

If you have enough counter space (we don’t), Thirty One’s Your Way bin is a great way to put all of those cooking gadgets within easy reach AND keep the drawer clutter free.

#2 Tidy up your desk area.

I don’t know about you but I have a hard time concentrating when my desk is a mess.  Having a neat and tidy desk inspires and motivates me to work.12742511_992115254160960_3785553282245567485_n

The Double Duty Caddy from Thirty One can sit on your desk OR you can tuck it away on a shelf until you need it with everything close by.  The side pockets are great for small items.

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The fold and file is great to keep files organized, Keep it in your desk then pull it out when you need to do some work.  

My computer screen is one of my messiest spots in my office. When I see a graphic I like, I save it to my desktop screen until I want to use it.  Yes, it can get to be a HOT MESS.  Did you know you can organize your computer desktop screen in just a few minutes?  Check out this article to learn how.

#3 – Organize your email inbox.

Are you one of those who has 100’s of emails in your inbox OR do you focus on cleaning it out every day?  I know deleting emails we don’t want to read once we check the subject is easy.  My goal every day is to clear my email inbox so I have less than 10 emails waiting for a response or need action. It isn’t always easy.  The truth is, it doesn’t take long to set up gmail filters to keep your email inbox organized. Here is a great article on how to get your email inbox to zero.

#4 – Pick 5 items to donate or throw away.

This does not require a major project.  We all have things we come across we don’t anymore. Things you “meant to donate”.  Why wait, pick up those 5 things (more or less is good too) and put them in a bag or box.  Then – this is the important step – put it in your car right away.  Don’t leave the box sitting by the door or tucked in a closet.  If it is in your car, you will remember to drop it off the next time you are running errands.

What are some of your best tips for getting organized in 15 minutes or less?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

A Mobile Office Season

11008083_673500656110773_713630169_nWhat do you think of when we talk about “mobile offices”? Social media, cell phones and email? Or are you a paper person?  Is your truck full of catalogs, order forms, samples and anything else you might need if a customer should approach you?   Maybe you just carry a large purse so you have stuff at your finger tips?  I am guilty of this one!  I figure it saves a trip to the car and the possibility of missing an opportunity.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, you want to be ready, right?  Ready to capture a new customer or hostess or maybe even a new team member.

An article on Direct Sales Education Foundation shared some tips on how to be mobile friendly in a cost effective way. Most of us in direct sales have been bombarded with this kind of training while some of us are a little slower to catch on (count me in this group).

For those who are old school, we have a mobile office in our car.  Always ready to share the gift of Thirty One.  I use Thirty One’s Zip Top Organizing Tote with a Fold n File.  It is perfect especially for those who carry samples.  A perfect solution with 7 outside pockets for carrying all those extras. Thirty One doesn’t have samples but mine is also filled with some of our smaller most requested products.

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The Fold n File fits right inside the tote and is great for hanging files. You never want to be unprepared, right?  This is also a great set-up for teachers, social workers or anyone whose business is on the go.

Maggie from BeautiControl is a great testimony to how her mobile office saved her. She arrived at a party only to realize she forgot ALL of her paperwork.  How could she do a home spa without catalogs, orders forms, etc? Too far from home to go back or to have anyone bring them to her, she remembered she had a complete mobile office in her trunk.  What a great feeling to get a text saying I “saved” her party (and her life).

What if you don’t need a mobile office.? How about: diaper bag, overnight bag, gym bag, quick trip to the grocery store, travel bag, car organizer, snack bag, dvd holder…..what would YOU use this bag for?

Maybe you are looking for something more compact?  Something you could drop in another tote or maybe hang on the back of the seat when you are out and about? Our Hanging Traveler’s Case is a great alternative.cce676c0841cf9b4271db690b0ad3a94

Another option is our Your Way Cube with a lid  Rethink your mobile office. This smart solution features structured sides, handles and an embroidery option for labeling.  It’s also a great way to conquer the clutter in the pantry, closet, kids’ rooms – and more.

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Be sure to gather information from people you talk to.  The purpose of gathering information is with the intent of connecting with them SOON. When you meet someone and give them YOUR company information, get their name and their email address.  Most people will share their email.  Then be sure to FOLLOW-UP.  The fortune is in the follow-up, right?

Don’t be caught out and about without YOUR tools to conduct business this holiday season (or anytime of the year)!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How to Organize Your House

Thank you  for today’s organization tips..

Believe it or not, organizing your home isn’t rocket science. The basics of learning how to organizeyour space are actually pretty simple; the difficult parts are taking the first step and staying committed.

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Living Room

  • Form and Function Storage Options – Solutions like storage ottomans and coffee tables with hidden storage are ideal for the living room.
  • Everything Has a Home – One of the key principles of organization is “everything has its place” and that’s never more true than in the living room–the one room that is the public face of your home.
  • Have a Catchall Option – When company arrives unexpectedly it is handy to have a basket or a trunk that can be used for temporary storage of games, books, and more.

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Kitchen

  • Banish Junk Drawers – One of the most important ways to organize your kitchen is to banish the junk drawer.
  • Label – Labeling everything from food storage jars to shelves is ideal in the kitchen. There’s little doubt about where things go when there is a label.
  • Must Haves Only – Pare down those kitchen multitaskers and only keep what you truly need to get dinner on the table.
  • Create Stations – From a coffee and tea station to a food prep station setting your kitchen up smartly is key.

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Bedrooms

  • Under the Bed Storage – Don’t forget about adding drawers, boxes or bins under the bed for added organization spaces.
  • Organize Your Closet – While it may seem like a herculean task, make sure to tackle your closet. Make the room that when you add a new item, you need to get rid of one in its place.
  • Jewelry and Accessory Storage Solutions – Spend time organizing your jewelry and other accessories to they are easier to find.

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Entryway

  • Shoe Storage is a Must – Some kind of shoe storage is a necessity to keep your entryway from being cluttered–and so you can find your other shoe.
  • Pare Down the Coat Closet – Get rid of those old coats that don’t fit anymore and donate them to charity.
  • Add Lockers, Cubbies to Avoid the “Drop Zone” – To keep the entrance to your home clutter-free, add cubbies, lockers, a coat rack, hook rail or some other solution for the coats and bags that always accumulate there.

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Home Office

  • Control Wires – Add wire storage to keep help your office feel neater.
  • Schedule Filing Time – If your desk is always at risk of triggering a paper avalanche, schedule filing time every week to keep on top of things.
  • Keep Your Workstation Clear – Store aware unnecessary office accessories
  • Cut Down on Paper – One way to cut down on paper records is with recordkeeping apps like Shoeboxed and Evernote.

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Bathroom

  • Essentials Only – If you are wondering how to organize in the bathroom one way is to rid the bathroom of everything but only the essentials.
  • Add Back of Door Storage – Adding hanging rods or some other hanging storage is a trick to add more storage space to the bathroom.
  • Vertical Storage – Make the most of the bathroom space by adding vertical organizational space with shelves or a countertop vertical storage unit.

What is YOUR best tip for keeping your home organized?  Share it with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

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