Over the years I’ve come to realize that there are 7 essential parts to the majority of offices.

My intention is to help you grasp how easy it can be to organize your office once you know these 7 essential parts..

I admit that most of them are going to seem like no-brainers. But, as I point them out, take a moment to identify each of the parts in your office.  If you are missing a part or if a part isn’t apparently clear in your space, then spend some time to put the essential part into place.  Once you have your office organized, then running your home, a biz, or studying will be so much easier!

Your ability to plan, focus and concentrate can be improved instantly  (And burnout rates tend to naturally decrease.)

Here are the 7 Essential Parts of an Organized Office you can put into place starting TONIGHT:

1.  Inbox – A place to catch all incoming paperwork that you will not process immediately.  The papers come from your mailbox, printer, vehicle, or purse/bags.

2.  Desk + Scheduler – A clear desk is useful for processing paperwork beyond the inbox.  Keeping this workspace clear is a MUST, so you can have space to spread out and work on one project at a time. A scheduler is the place where you organize your commitments – Dr. Appointments, Class Schedule, Traveling Days, Client Sessions, Events to Attend, etc.  It is your guidance system on what to do at approximate or exact designated times. It is NOT your to-do list. You can get more detailed using a planner or checklists when breaking tasks down. Asana is my favorite task management planner for business related projects. I use written to-do lists for most other things.

3.  To-Do + Project Holding Place – A system that separates your to-do paperwork into like groups, so you can instantly locate and process to-do items.  For example, “Bills To Pay”, “To-Do Lists”, “xyz to Complete.”  Things you actively work on, go here for quick access.

4.  Reference Materials – Reference materials may include items such as, educational material, program or event materials, resourceful books, articles, or magazines, and instructions or notes for specific tasks – ex:  Instructions for Website, Instrucitons on How To “xyz”

5.  Permanent Records – Documents you are required by law to keep for a predetermined amount of time, or items that serve as proof for something (ex: insurance claims), contract agreements, education transcripts, property titles/deeds, business license, and other really important papers, like medical records. Permanent records are rarely, if ever, accessed. However, when you need them, it’s extremely important that you can put your hands on them fast.

6.  Bulk Office or Client Supplies – Bulk office or client supplies on-hand, such as, ink cartridges, boxes of favorite pens, staples, CDs, CD protective covers, copy paper, labels, gift boxes, client gifts, thank you cards, and more. Keep your bulk office supplies off your desk and in a storage area nearby.

7.  Inspirational Space – An overall place that appeals to your visual senses and feels great to work in. It is not cluttered. Each individual system in this space comes together to create an overall collection of calm and order.  Incorporate inspirational artwork, vision boards, stylish decor, touching gifts, and/or thriving plants as the final touches.

Now it’s your turn.  I’d love to learn more about YOUR office.  Which parts do you already have in place?  And, do you have items in your office that do not fit into one of the 7 essential parts of an office I’ve mentioned above?  Tell me in the comment section below.

The following are comments that have been transferred from my original website.


  • Jess Webb says:

    Love this, Mel! I have most of these set up in my office – the majority of it happens in my file drawer in my desk. ;) I want to set up a better Inbox, though, so am going to find a basket for that today!

  • Kelly says:

    Love this! I need a better in box system for all of the samples I get. Maybe one specifically for the rejects that I’ll give away and another for the keepers I’m not ready to deal with. And right now I need a space just for review copies of books…a lot lately that are great. Your idea for a project holding place made me go “duh, why haven’t I thought of that instead of folders and stacks here and there?” The next question before implementing is space…where in my teeny tiny corner will I put the project space. It is mostly files. Not a lot…just a few….any recommendations?

    • Melody says:

      Hey there Kelly!

      I’d love to answer your question on my blog, but in order to give you ideas, it would be most helpful if I can see a picture of the teeny tiny space you are working from, plus a picture of the samples and project files you mentioned. If that’s okay with you, then email me a picture. I KNOW there are other ladies working from small spaces in their homes and it would help them as well.

      OR you can schedule a complimentary session (look for it on my services page) and I’ll give you a recommendation at that time.

      Have a wonderful weekend!