Tips to keep your home office in order

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 September, 2010, 12:00am

Advice from anti-clutter professional Peter Walsh:

Keep all horizontal surfaces clear. Ensure that any desk surface, counter-top or table is kept clear of paperwork and clutter. Flat surfaces attract piles of paper - keep everything in its place.

Invest in a good filing system. Up to 80 per cent of what goes into a filing system never sees the light of day. Establish an efficient system that will allow you quickly and easily to access important information. Cull your files once a year to remove outdated and unwanted paperwork.

Label, label, label. Chances are that within a day of sealing an item into a container for storage or a file for filing you've forgotten exactly what you stored or filed. Clearly label any container or file so items can be found quickly and easily.

Use a stepped desktop file if you're determined to keep some papers close at hand. But don't just stuff the file sections with loose sheets. Put them in labelled folders first, then in the stepped file.

Place pictures and other personal memorabilia on a shelf or hang them on the wall. Reserve the prime area of your desktop for critical items.