April 23, 2013

3 Essential Home Office Activity Centers

Thinking about leaving the corporate grind to work for youself from home?  Do you still work for someone else, but telecommute full-time?

Setting up a home office is more than finding an available surface and a chair.  It’s about being your own office manager.

Here are three key activity centers to keep your home office operating efficiently.

1) The Mail Room

  • Process the mail daily and always keep a wastebasket and shredder nearby
  • Use USPS online. It is easy to set up an account.  You can buy stamps, print postage, ship packages from home and arrange for your regular mail carrier to pick up.
  • If you need to go to a FedEx, UPS or USPS location, schedule it with other errands.
  • Keep all your mail supplies together in your office – envelopes, labels, mailers
  • Designate an outbox to keep everything that is leaving your office in one place, easy to grab on the way out the door

2) The Supply Room

  • Buy only what you use – sounds simple, but don’t be tempted to buy five 3-ring binders just because they are on sale.
  • Take small items out of their original packaging and store in clearly marked containers.  Packaging is usually cheap and falls apart, or is an irreularly shaped plastic clamshell.
  • Store supplies like with like, near where they will be used.
  • Have a place in a closet or another room to store items purchased in bulk. Only bring into your work area what you will use now.

3) The Copy Room

  • How much do you need to copy and how often?  Most home printers can handle making multiple copies of a document from your computer. If you print mostly black and white, buy a laser printer.  They are faster and more efficient for B/W than inkjet.
  • If you are copying something infrequently, an all-in-one printer with a flatbed scanner will work fine.
  • If you have a large copying job, drop it off at a copy center like Kinko’s and pick it up later.  Don’t waste your valuable time standing in front of a copy machine.
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