The Perils of the Home Office
By Nicole Dean

So you’ve started a home business.
You went out and purchased a nice
desk and comfortable chair, and maybe even a new computer with all of the
necessary extras. Now you’re ready to earn an income from home! How nice it will
be to be your own boss, to work when you feel like it and to answer to no one.

At least that‘s what you think.

If your business involves the Internet you’re probably going to spend a lot of time at
your desk. You think your desk at work was a mess? You have no idea. This past
year was one of the most stressful times I’ve ever experienced; mostly due to the
chaos that was my Home Office, conveniently located in my dining room. Here is the
type of scenario that played itself out in my home on a daily basis:

Get up, fix coffee, take cup to desk, move slinky off desk, let the dog out, open email,
start making list of tasks to complete, answer the phone, take a message for husband,
leave note on desk, let the dog back in, separate screaming siblings, remember to pay
phone bill, locate phone bill among the dozen or so envelopes piled up on desk,
write check, leave the prepared bill among the remnants of the other bills, three-year-
old runs up to give Mommy a hug and spills coffee all over desk, throw out the
phone bill with the pile of trash (forgetting it’s there in the first place) along with son’
s school enrollment paperwork that’s been lying on desk under home business
catalogs and order forms and phone message taken earlier for husband.'

The result of my morning's effort? Enrollment is late, phone bill isn’t paid on time,
and husband wonders if I'll ever regain sanity. Rewind, repeat tomorrow, next week,
next month, etc.

Sound familiar? If you’re new to home business, then maybe you haven’t yet
experienced the perils of the Home Office. I think the phrase is an oxymoron for most
people. There’s very little divide between the stuff for home and the stuff for your

Even if you’re lucky enough to have a separate room for your office, I bet your
family (and you too) are guilty of leaving items or taking stuff to and from your
desk. I don’t know how many times I have looked for the three ring hole punch, only
to find it on my daughter's art table along with the kitchen tongs and bathroom

So you’re asking yourself, "How do I keep my desk organized and my desk contents
out of the hands of my family?" Good question.

There are dozens of articles and books written to help "get organized", but if you and
your family are not respectful of the Home Office Space, then no number of
organizing binders and boxes and tabs and expanding folders will help. I tried.
Really I did. I kept finding my lovely wicker In/Out Box in my daughter's room, you
guessed it, by the art table with the other items she ‘borrowed.’

What finally helped my stressful Home Office situation was to schedule a time every
week to throw away old bills, to not even bring the junk mail into the house in the
first place, and to use a simple file folder system located in my desk drawer to keep
my home business paperwork, and family papers.

As far as the littlest sneak thief - I gave my daughter her own desk drawer full of
interesting things to look at. Simple plan.

Now if I could just find that ringing telephone…!

Meet the writer: Nicole Dean faces the perils of the Home Office daily. She's a work at home
mom, and owner of
Show Mom the Money - a fun resource to help Work
at Home Moms stay sane. She welcomes you to visit
Home Organization Help for a battle plan to tackle your home office perils
and the chaos in every other room of your house.
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Marcia Passos Duffy, Publisher & Editor
Author of
Be Your Own Boss

301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently