I just finished working with Susan (name changed to protect her identity), who left her job as a lawyer at a large firm to start her own home-based practice in Connecticut. Her project was to convert a guest bedroom into her home office. Our goals were to tackle the arrangement of the furniture, to set up her files (both computer and paper), and to create systems so that she was able to work efficiently in her home.
Working together virtually, we were able to successfully visualize what the room would look like without the bed in it. Her first task was getting rid of all the excess furniture that would not be appropriate for a home office. She hired a few college students to move the furniture around within her house. She had a lovely antique table brought up to her new office space and had a closet company custom build her bookshelves.
Susan has ADHD and does not like to have anything put in drawers or out of sight, fearing she will forget things. Together we worked on creating a file system that she housed in her bookshelves. In that the home office was not only to be used for her business, but she also needed it set up for her personal files. We very clearly separated the two file systems so that it was easy for her to grab what she needed and more importantly, put it all away when she was done.
Equally crucial to her success, we needed to look at her computer and reorganize her files for business and personal. All her files were loose on her desktop, and we needed to create a better naming convention and a file folder system so that Susan knew exactly where to find what she was looking for. By eliminating all the loose files on the desktop, she instantly felt more relaxed by not having all that visual clutter every time she turned on her computer.
Once the overall structure of her office was established, a file index was generated, so it was easy for her to retrieve and file both her business and personal papers without forgetting where they were or what the file name was. A billing system was also set up, and she then hired a paralegal to help her in her practice.