Tips for Organizing Your Home Office and Desk

home office organization

One of the most important rooms in the house is the home office. It is the nerve center of the home, where you have your computer, store important documents, pay bills and even work from home, if you have a home business. It is a room that gets full of clutter from unused desk accessories and office equipment, paperwork, catalogs and magazines. Having a clutter free and organized office is essential to keeping a family’s routine running smoothly. As with any reorganization project, it is critical to create a plan to reorganizing your office and even your desk. Once you have your plan and goals for the room in place, then you can start your reorganizing project.

1.  The first stop of the project should be to clear out the room and the desk. If doing both at the same time is too daunting, then start with the desk first and then work through the rest of the room. As with any reorganization project, you need to go through the items in the room and separate them into piles or boxes of: keep, store, donate, sell, or throw away. Don’t be afraid to throw away things that you haven’t used in a while. It is okay to throw out old office equipment, such as scanners, fax machines or printers that no longer work. Throw out any old pens, paper clips and dried out markers or highlighters. Once you have gone through the sorting process, split the items that you want to keep into the following categories: desk supplies, work specific projects or bills and important documents. Shred old paperwork such as tax documents that are over 7 years old or credit and bank statements over 1 year old. Self storage units are a great solution for storing excess office equipment that you can’t part with. If you work out of your home, a self storage unit is a good place to store samples, inventory and paperwork in order to keep you home office clutter free.  Stop N Stor has locations in Hinesville, Port Wentworth and Savannah to help with all of your storage needs from self storage units to moving and packing supplies to help you in your reorganization projects.

2.  Once you are ready to put the items back into the space, utilize different organizational tools to keep the room clutter free. Office equipment that you should have in the room include: a filing cabinet, trash bin, shredder and recycling center. Add a desk organizer in your desk drawer for pens, paper or binder clips and other items that you would need most often. Set-up a personal filing system for your family documents and make sure to file the paperwork on a weekly basis. Keep the items that you use the most within easy reach of your desk. Productivity increases when you don’t have to search through stacks of files and paperwork to look for 1 lost document.

3.  To keep your desk clutter free after your reorganization project, keep the surface of your desk clean. Only have the items on the desk that you use on a daily basis. Put away everything else in their proper place. Start going paper free by scanning documents onto your computer and then back-up your computer files on an external hard drive or via an online back-up service.

Organizing your desk and office can be an easy weekend project. The hardest part will be the sorting process at the beginning of the process and then keeping it clean after the project! If you feel that the paper and office equipment are starting to “take over” again, then go through the reorganization process again.

Garage Cleaning Tips

Organized GarageThe garage is usually one of the last places that get attention during spring and fall cleaning projects.  Actually, it usually is the place that becomes the “catch-all” for items from toys to tool to holiday decorations. There are some garages that end up being so packed with boxes and other items a car cannot fit! The ultimate goal of cleaning out your garage is to use your garage to park your car to protect it from the elements instead of leaving it outside.  A garage reorganization project can take as little or as much time as you would like. You can involve other family members to make the project get completed quicker.

Below are some tips to creating a clutter free and organized garage:

1. Cleaning and organizing the garage might seem like a daunting task, but if you follow certain steps (and have lots of helpers), then the project can go by quickly. As in any project around the home, it is important to have a plan for organizing the garage. As you are creating a plan, decide what the purpose of your garage will be after it is cleaned. Do you want to park your car in the garage for the winter? Is the garage just going to be used for additional storage? Will it be used as a craft room or even a man cave?

2. Once you have decided on the purpose, then you can create a diagram of zones for your garage where you will want to store certain items or to be used for different purposes.  If you store food items or have a freezer in the garage, then these need to be closer to the door for the home. Children’s toys should be closer to the garage door, so they have easier access.  Everything that you need to store in a garage should have a specific home.  Group the like items together such as all gardening tools are in one spot, winter boots are all stored together and all tools are together in one workshop area.

3. To start off your project, remove everything from the garage. Just as you would for organizing a room inside your home, you will need to sort through your items. Create piles or boxes for items to keep, store, donate, or throw away. If you have borrowed your neighbor’s gardening tools months ago, now it is time to return its proper home.  If you do not have room to keep seasonal items either inside your home or garage, then think about renting a self storage unit. Utilizing a self storage unit will help you free up the space in your garage for items that you will use every day. Stop N Stor has storage 5×5 to 10×30 storage unit sizes to meet any storage need.

4. After you have removed the items from the garage, make sure that you thoroughly sweep and clean the garage floors. Remove the oil stains from your car. This site  gives some great suggestions on how to use kitty litter, dishwashing detergent or baking soda to remove the stains. If you have the time and the budget, paint the walls of the garage to freshen it up. Also, this would be the time to install peg boards on the wall and storage units along the wall.

5. When you are putting your items into their specific zones in the garage, try to use as much vertical space as possible. Use peg boards to hang tools in a workshop area. Hang ladders and bicycles from the walls or ceilings. You can also install storage above your car parking area! Utilize all available storage areas by putting up shelving units. Clearly label any boxes that you are using for storage with their contents. This is an especially good idea for a workshop with many smaller screws, nuts and bolts.  Keeping things organized will help you be able to find items in your garage when you will need them.

2014 Savannah Irish Festival

Savannah Irish Festival

Irish Dancers. Photo courtesy of savannahnow.com

Savannah is the home to one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the United States. Nearly a million people come to downtown Savannah to participate in the parade or be a spectator along its route. St. Patrick’s Day events get started a month earlier in Savannah with the 21st Annual Savannah Irish Festival February 14th to 16th at the Savannah Civic Center. The festival celebrates Irish culture, food, music, dance and arts. The festival starts on Friday, February 14th with the traditional Ceili (or party) at the Knights of Columbus Hall. This year, you can learn traditional Irish folk dancing at the Ceili!

The Savannah Irish Festival goes into full swing on Saturday and Sunday. There will be fun and entertainment for the entire family. The festival has four stages for live entertainment, demonstrations, dance recitals and seminars. There is a children’s area with a bounce-house, free arts and crafts, face painting and live entertainment on the Children’s Stage. The Festival Cultural Stage has discussion on Irish history, literature and culture as well as traditional Irish musicians.

There are two stages specifically for dance and musical acts: The Festival Main Stage and Festival Pub Stage are hosts to top Irish traditional acts, Irish dance troops and Celtic Rock band, Seven Nations, who will be headlining the main stage on Saturday night. Other performers include Ennis, The Pure Deep, Seamus Kennedy and the Savannah Ceili Band. Local Irish dance organizations, Irish Dancers of Savannah and Glor Na Daire will also be performing throughout the weekend. See the festival website for updated performance times and information.

Savannah’s Irish Festival, which is the largest Irish Festival in the South, is a great way to celebrate Irish culture and prepare for the St. Patrick’s Day parade in March.

February is a Busy Month of Events in Savannah

February is a busy month of festivals in Georgia and especially the Savannah area. Nationwide, Black History Month is celebrated and there are many events in Savannah throughout the month. The first two weeks of February also celebrates the founding of Georgia in 1733 with the Georgia History Festival sponsored by the Georgia History Society.

Georgia History Festival

Georgia History Festival Parade

Celebrate Georgia’s History. Photo courtesy of southernmamas.com.

The first two weeks of February celebrates the founding of Georgia (and Savannah) on February 12, 1733, with the Georgia History Festival. There are many events in the festival that brings history to life for the entire family through a variety of programs including school events, craft workshops, living history activities at the Colonial Faire and Muster and a Georgia History Festival Parade.  Lectures and seminars at different sites are also available during the festival.

February 8th and 9th is the Colonial Faire and Muster at Wormsloe Historic Site. Step back to colonial times through living history re-enactments, cannon firings, crafts, music, dance and storytelling. The event is free to the public.

Sunday, February 9th is Super Museum Sunday from noon to 4pm at over 40 attractions in the Coastal Georgia area. The admission to the participating house museums, art museums, cultural institutions and historic sites is free for the day. You can see the list of the museums here.

The Georgia History Festival cumulates with the parade in Savannah on February 12th. Thousands of costumed local elementary school children march in celebration of the founding of Georgia. The parade ends at City Hall with a short event. The parade is based on the weather for the day. If is raining, the parade is canceled and not rescheduled.

Black History Month Events in Savannah

Savannah Black Heritage Festival 2014

February is also Black History Month. This celebration was created in 1926 by Historian Dr. Carter G. Woodsen. He named it “Negro History Week”. Over time, the name was changed to Black History Month and the celebration expanded to a month in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. The month of activities showcases the culture, history, heritage and achievements of African Americans. The City of Savannah sponsors the Savannah Black Heritage Festival  with events running through February 23rd. All of the events, from lectures to concerts are free, open to the public and family friendly.

There are also many other Black History Month events in the Savannah area.  The events include a movie series, performances by the Savannah State University choir, lectures, art exhibits, a fashion fair and plays. The Grand Black Heritage Festival day is February 12th at the Savannah Civic Center. The day features family oriented events such as magic shows, storytelling, music and dance, an African American living and learning village and a parade.