My office has been working hard lately, as my husband works from home once a week and I have been increasingly working on my own business development. We have made some great changes to get things more orderly and rearranged the furniture to help the room function better for our needs. One of the changes I implemented was to consolidate my books onto one of the existing shelves, and to use the other as a "command center". This idea could easily be applied to your own home office, or to a bookcase at some central location in your home.
Let's dissect each level, starting on the top surface of the bookcase: Zone One.
Here I have created a little bill paying center. My bill sorter contains a slot for each day of the month and a drawer for stamps, envelopes and address labels. (Yes, I am still somewhat old school and mail some bills with checks in stamped envelopes.)
The calendar hangs above it, for handy reference. My phone and Rolodex are also on this tier. There is a notepad and pencil in the drawer of the bill sorter for taking messages.
Moving on to Zone Two: reference central. This shelf is home to all daily reference materials: dictionary, thesaurus, phone books, address book, even my bird guide. In a three tiered paper sorter I keep several types of computer paper stocked as well as copies of the most current home decor catalogs. (When the new ones arrive, I recycle the outdated ones). My pad folio, personal decorating binder, home owner's reference manual, and a couple of extra notebooks also hang out here. A little red tool box containing picture hanging gear rounds out this tier.
The bottom bookshelf contains my design essentials: Zone Three. The expanding file where I organize my design inspiration tear outs (as discussed in an earlier entry) sits here for easy access. Another file box dedicated solely to my business related files shares the shelf. On top of it rests my C2 paint color kit, which I am constantly referring to at home or using on consultations.
You can use this formula to create your own personalized zones for items that you and your family refer to on a daily basis. Those common items that you and your loved ones so often use will always be found in the same spot. You may never find yourself answering the question" Honey, where's the phonebook?" again!