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Organization can make the difference between flopping and thriving in your home business. And it’s not just your business being affected. A lack of organization spreads chaos throughout all aspects of life.
If you consistently:
- Miss deadlines
- Forget to keep track of your business income and expenses
- Waste time looking for things around the house
- Spend money buying things you already have
- Wait until the last minute to finish tasks
You may need to reevaluate some of your systems and get organized. Here are some ideas:
If you’re a service based business like me, you’ll need to track your deadlines. Otherwise you may suddenly find yourself with an angry client. Don’t do that!
I just use a simple Excel spreadsheet. Actually, I use two. One is for posts for the Homeschool Review Crew, so I always know when it’s time to write about each product I’ve been testing. I created a separate spreadsheet here, because I have a couple of dates for each post to track, and I thought it looked funny when I combined them into one.
My other spreadsheet is for my client work as a writer and virtual assistant. I insert the deadline, activity, and price. By always sorting by due date, I can always keep tabs on what work should take priority.
Do you know how much money your business has made year to date? Could you quickly find out how much money you made in state if you’re required to track that for taxes?
If you keep tabs on your P&L throughout the year, you’ll have a much easier time when April rolls around.
My husband made me a handy spreadsheet for tracking income and expenses. Since I committed to doing monthly income reports here on the blog, I make it a point to analyze my numbers at least once a month.
You can use online systems, a spreadsheet, or another system that works for you. Just be sure your income and expenses (including receipts) are organized.
Do you know how to get a hold of your clients? If you don’t want to waste time digging through emails, you’ll need a way to organize all your client information. Here you can keep notes on your client’s voice (if you’re ghostwriting), contact information, responsibilities, and contracts. Trello or Evernote both work well for creating these systems, though you can also use a spreadsheet for most of it.
In Home Organization
We just switched bedrooms around a couple weeks ago, and our house is so much more organized! During the move, we declutter a ton of stuff, made a massive donation to Goodwill, and made the house look so much better.
Have a home for everything, and make sure you teach your kids where things go. Otherwise you’ll soon find your systems are no longer working. Practice putting things away correctly, and keep close tabs on things during the first two weeks. Pretty soon it’ll be a habit for everyone!
I like having a dedicated space for the toys and materials my kids use during Family Writing Time, school time, and free time. This keeps them out of sight/out of mind during other times. They’re less likely to get spread all over the house if we all know where they go when we’re done.
To save time, try organizing your kitchen for efficiency. Keep your dish cupboards near the dishwasher if possible, to make unloading a breeze. Keep your baking stuff in one spot, and like items together. It’ll save steps when you’re in the kitchen.
Make Tweaks to Other’s Organization Systems
The organizational structures I utilize may not work for you. Each family, and individual, is unique. Whenever I need a new way to organize something in my life or business, I look for inspiration.
Pinterest and Google searches are helpful, as long as you don’t get sucked in for hours. Be as specific as you can in your search. For instance, I recently searched for “Large Family Homeschool Organization Ideas.” I found several ideas.
If a system looked like it could work for us, I copied and pasted the URL into a Word doc, along with a brief reminder to myself. When I had found a couple possibilities, I was able to mix and match to find something to try.
Tweaking is essential when you’re organizing. There’s not a one-size fits all method to becoming organized. So get ideas and then put something into place.
Organization is a Work in Progress
There’s always something to organize, or a more efficient way to handle things. What works during one season of life may stop working during the next.
So don’t fall for the idea that you can organize once and be set. It’s always a work in progress! Don’t be afraid to try something new if what you’re doing is no longer working.
What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to organizing?
Please share what you struggle with most. For me, it’s my kids’ schoolwork. I’m excited to try a new system as we start the upcoming school year. Otherwise, I’ve learned to only save the best, and to toss the rest before it builds up.
P is for…
Tomorrow we’ll look at another tip for working at home with kids. It was a mind shift I had to make, and it’s been so helpful!
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Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.