Before I was married, I had a meticulously organized office that mirrored my office at the accounting firm where I worked. I kept every receipt and tracked every penny spent. If something broke, I could find the receipt to make a return within minutes. Everything was contained in or around my desk area.
But then there were two of us, and I’m not sure what was more upsetting, his pile of unpaired Army socks in a rainbow of different shades of green or his mountain of unfiled papers. I kind of just gave up. Too many years later, I’m looking to pull together a system that’s functional and visually pleasing. Here’s my process:
This checklist just scratches the surface, particularly for managing paper. Just Organize Your Stuff has many more ideas if you’re having trouble getting started.
If you have a dedicated room for your office, A Bowl Full of Lemons has a beautiful setup and lots of photos to inspire you.
Need help organizing your email? This article tells you how to get your Gmail inbox to zero in a short amount of time and set up multiple inboxes.
And finally, our article on how to create a healthy work environment can help you build your workspace.
Original version published in 2014.
Kimberly Bacso exchanged an office with a view for a life of adventure when she became a military spouse in 2001 and a mom in 2004. She is the content director of InDependent, a non-profit on a mission to make wellness accessible to all military spouses. She’s the managing editor of Legacy Magazine, a print publication celebrating military families and the communities that support them. She’s an experienced registered yoga teacher and lifelong vegetarian who can often be found traveling off the beaten path with her husband, daughter, and miniature poodle.