5 Ways to Make Your Office Work For You & Not Against You | NJ Entrepreneur
We’ve all been there—you’ve got a blog post to write, an estimate to get out, a customer to call. It’s time to be professional—but if your work space doubles as the clutter zone for you and your family, it’s hard to take yourself professionally and even harder to project that image to your customer. It’s time to set up your office space, no matter how big or small, to support your business and not slow you down!
Presenting the SANE method from my friend and office organizer, Evelyn Cucchiara of The Toy Tamer. She transformed a room in my home to my creative workspace. I now have a place of my own that keeps me feeling inspired, productive and professional.
Introducing the SANE Method
1. Sort - get rid of anything that doesn’t belong in the space, anything that will distract you and get in your way. Recipes, (unless you write about food!), kids toys, dry cleaning, general household clutter. You need to regard your work space as sacred ground, not a dumping spot for homeless items.
2. Arrange - you need storage units, baskets and bins that not only make you smile, but that support what you need. Wicker baskets look cute, but they either hold too much or too little, never the right amount. Fabric liners make you feel girly, but they simply fall down into the bin and give you the extra job of constantly straightening them. Plastic bins are usually the best choice, but never have them be the full size of the shelf. It’s impossible to put anything away then because you’ve just given yourself a 3 step process - pull bin out, put item in, push bin back. Instead you want to be able to toss things in easily. The golden rule of organizing is that it has to be easier to put something away than it is to take out. You’re motivated when you want something, but not motivated at all when putting it away, so make it super easy.
3. Name - this means labels. And not cute chalkboard labels—get yourself a label maker. It will it help you find your files, office supplies and business cards easily. More importantly, it will make sure your favorite scissors won’t end up in your kid's craft area because instead you will have labeled them as "Mom’s scissors" clearly on the blade. Labels aren’t just to make you feel super organized, they’re to make sure your supplies don’t walk off with family members. Labels also make it super easy to return items when done.
4. Easy - make it easy! Put like with like. For example, put all your pop-up booth supplies together in an easy to grab bag/box, put all your trunk show supplies—right down to the clipboard you need to take orders—in an easy-to-grab tote bag hanging on the wall. When I go to see a customer’s playroom or office for the first time, I grab my customer visit bag knowing that my tape measure, clip board, sample label and paperwork for the customer are all in there and ready to go. Saves time and mental energy! Not to mention my sanity!
5. ! - This means to add in the special things that make you smile, that inspire you, that motivate you to keep moving forward! Music to relax by, inspiration boards, hanging clipboards to keep customers straight, whatever makes you, you! Include branding items plus any accessories you need for your brand photography shots. Surrounding yourself with items that support the image of who you are or who you want to be is exactly what should be in your space.
That’s it! Once you have these 5 areas tamed, you’re ready to confidently and smoothly grow your business into anything you dream it can become!
While Evelyn’s main passion is organizing playrooms, the way that she taps into the science of behavior modification to teach kids how to clean up after themselves also works with solo entrepreneurs' offices. She sees a lot of messy, non-supportive offices while organizing playrooms! If you’d like more info about taming either your playroom or your office with Evelyn's guidance, visit her website here. Since her transformations take just one day, and one flat fee, your playroom or office mess can be a distant memory in just a few weeks. Let her know that I sent you :) Believe me, you will be thrilled to have an organized, inspiring space to call your own. Plus, it makes a beautiful backdrop for PHOTOS!
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