How to Stay Organized While Running a Business From Home
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Since the pandemic, a lot of us have made the transition to working from home rather than going into the office. (Even Rach was shooting from her own kitchen in upstate NY!) And even with many people returning to their offices, others are continuing to work from home.
It's important to make sure that your workspace at home is just as functional and organized as it would be in an office. Our viewer Katy Bell Hamnes needs some help in that department, she says. Katy Bell runs an interior design business out of her home and her workspace has gotten a little disorderly, especially when it comes to paperwork.
So, one of our favorite organization pro Peter Walsh is here to help with virtual assistance to make her workspace as orderly as possible.
First, establish a routine.
"You need to start instituting what I call the “10-minute a day” rule. So, every night before you go to bed you need to start by looking at your desktop and your calendar for 10 minutes. Look at your desk and what you need to do to set up for tomorrow. The 10 minutes in the day before will help you get set up for tomorrow," Peter explains.
Make some of your paperwork virtual.
Instead of piling up papers with decor inspiration and samples, make it virtual. "Take photos and begin to build either a Pinterest page or build photo files of bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms. And just show your clients those photos instead of having all the pieces of paper," says Peter.
Use big plastic bins for returns.
"Put one big plastic bin in the trunk of your car. If you have local vendors that you return things to most often, as soon as you have things that go to those local vendors, put them straight in the trunk of your car in the bin. That should be the new routine. When you go out, go straight to the local vendor and return them," he says. It's as easy as that.
Then, for shipping returns, put another bin inside. "Put another plastic bin in the corner of your office and once a week or once every two weeks, go to that bin, box up the items, and ship them back to that vendor. That's your new shipping routine," Peter says.
Use old-school spikes to manage receipts.
"These are worth $1.50—get one of them for each client. When you get a receipt, simply put the receipt on to the spike. The great thing about the spikes is when you go to enter the receipts, when you take them off and turn them upside-down, they're in date order," he says. Talk about an easy swap out that will save you tons of time.
For invoices, invest in an accordion file.
Speaking of saving time, organizing your invoices with in an accordion file will do the same. "They cost $3 at a local office supply store—one tab for each client. Simply throw the invoices in these and at the end of the month when you invoice a client. Instead of going through a cluttered drawer, pull this out and, go through these, and invoice your client that way," Peter explains.
And The Container Store is helping to set Katy Bell Hamnes up with a $500 gift card, so she can set herself up with all these organization tools that Peter mentioned!