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Create a Portable Home Office

The following is a guest post from MS Simplicity:

I work from home. No surprises there. However, I do not have a home office. Crazy I know but I know many of you are faced with the same options that I have. I have a four bedroom house with three children. Everyone has their own room and because of this my office was lost to the privilege of all of my boys having their own space. My oldest is leaving for college in the fall and needless to say I am a little giddy about reclaiming a space of my own. If you were to walk into my house right now you would see me typing away at my island with an extra large monitor and my laptop. Next to me you would find my husband with his large (note, his is not extra large) monitor and his laptop. Next to him you would find my oldest son with his laptop. I sit in a chair that is not comfortable. I look at dishes in the sink and think I should probably get up and wash them. Truth be told…I probably wont.

So in the meantime I muddle my way through and have had to become super organized in what I keep near me when I work. I thought there has got to be other people out there like me who need help with their portable home office organizing so I will share some of the things that I have found to be most useful.

 

  • Clipboards: Each clipboard holds a project that I am working on where I need to physically track things on paper. Each project has their own clipboard. When I want to work on that project, I simply grab the clipboard and I can go anywhere in my home or car to work on it.
  • Metal file basket: This is the home to all of my clipboards. They are neat and organized here and I can easily see where each clipboard is at. The basket is small enough that I can grab it with one hand and move it around or put it away at night. Along with my clipboards I keep a three ring binder, envelopes and stationary for my business in the basket.
  • Sophisticated File Tote: Disclaimer, I sell these. But even if I didn’t I would tell you how great they are. It has a built in hanging file folder system and I have all of my business papers and supporting fliers and documents right in there. If I am going to meet someone for coffee about my business, my tote goes with me. It is cute and makes me feel all girly in the land of teenage boys and testosterone.
  • Timer: Clipped to the Sophisticated File Tote is a timer. This is what I use when I don’t want to work on something but I know it has to get done. I set the timer for 5 or 10 minutes and work on it non-stop until the timer goes off. It is a great way to trick my brain into getting things done on my to do list.

 

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.mssimplicity.com/
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Hi there! I am Jennifer Ford Berry or some people like to call me "Life's Organization Expert". I am super passionate about helping people get organized and stay that way! I have written a series of books called Organize Now! I contribute my organizing tips to National magazines, radio and TV shows. I am here to help you realize that your life is not about stuff...it is about living! YOU can live an organized, healthy and exciting life one baby step at a time. Let me show you how!

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4 replies
  1. JenniferFordBerry
    JenniferFordBerry says:

    So glad to hear about your progress Janine! I am glad the posts and ideas are helpful…so great to get feedback. I have also seen people turn a trunk into a disguisable work space. You can put files, supplies etc inside and work on top of it! Keep up the great organizing!

  2. Janine
    Janine says:

    I am really excited about the portable tote – I DO have an office but am constantly taking work home, or running to an off-site meeting, or travelling across the country to meet with someone within our business and it seems my love of paper-in-hand ends up getting quite burdensome and hard to keep track of.

    Additionally, the home we are buying has a wee little office at the front of the house, which we will also be using as a last-minute guest room if family comes from out east or up north to visit. We end up acting as a place to crash for our family coming to the city often, so it would be nice not to have to rely on the office if I don’t have to.

    This is definitely a helpful article… And I will definitely be buying a new tote. I already used the timer … not just for office work, but for housework as well. I set it for 15min and I don’t touch my phone, my computer or anything that was not within the scope of that 15min chore until the timer goes off. It is utterly remarkable what can be accomplished in 15min that I otherwise would have dragged out for hours or days or procrastinated on indefinitely.

  3. Kimberly Turner
    Kimberly Turner says:

    I love the idea of the timer to help you focus on a project! Those totes are way cute, too, by the way! I can totally relate to your situation. I do have a small office set up in a spare bedroom, but with my little ones home with me, I don’t always have the luxury of hiding away in there to work. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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