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Organize. . .Don't Agonize

Tips for taking control of your office

March 23rd is National Organize Your Home Office Day. Here are five ways to help you get organized:

1. Take a good, long look at your office arrangement. If you're constantly leaving your desk to retrieve supplies or information, move things around to make your office more functional.

2. Survey everything on your desk and leave only those items you use on a daily or weekly basis. Anything else should be stored on a secondary work surface, a nearby bookcase or shelves; filed; tossed; or donated.

3. Create additional storage space. Add a bookcase, build shelves within a closet or clear out a drawer in your file cabinet. Use your new space to store items that were formerly stuffed in a box, stacked on a chair or piled on the floor.

4. Review your planning system. Whether you're using a paper-based planner, electronic organizer or computerized system, make sure the system still meets your needs.

5. Take control of stacks of magazines, newspapers and newsletters. If your magazines or newsletters are more than six months old, either file them in magazine holders or within your office closet (keep only one year at a time), recycle them or donate them. Newspapers more than two days old are no longer "new." Recycle those, too.

For more organizing tips, you can visit the author's Web site at www.everythingsorganized.com

Lisa Kanarek (www.everythingsorganized.com) is a home office organizing expert and author of several books, including Organizing Your Home Office For Success (Blakely Press) and 101 Home Office Success Secrets (Career Press).

Brother home office expert Lisa Kanarek advises corporations and individuals on all aspects of working from home and writes the blog Working Naked. She is the author of several books, including Working Naked: A guide to the bare essentials of home office life.

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