Working as a freight broker can be very rewarding; in addition to the opportunity to earn excellent pay, there are perks like setting your own schedule and, if you choose, working out of your home. But, unless you’re a naturally organized person (and how many of us are?), you may quickly find yourself struggling to find what you need among the piles of paperwork. So here are some home office organization ideas to make everything a little easier:
1. Set up a dedicated space – This can be a spare room in your home, if you have one. If not, then put a table or desk in an empty corner and call that your office. The size isn’t really that important; many work-from-homers do just fine with a PC and desk set up in a closet or under a flight of stairs. What’s vital, however, is that it be devoted purely to business-related matters. Don’t let it do double-duty as a place to change diapers, watch TV, or do any activity other than work. This will help you focus your thoughts and keep your resources all in one place.
2. Think vertical – If you must make do with a tiny spot for your work area, then you probably won’t have a lot of room to spread things out. In many cases you can arrange things to rise towards the ceiling instead. Big box retailers and furniture stores have tall computer desks with shelves that do just that. You can put your computer at eye level, then your printer on the shelf above it, then folders or files on the one above that, etc. This is a great way to make the most of a confined space, but a lot of us don’t think of it because we naturally picture things going left to right, not up and down.
3. Piles are your enemy – If you have piles of pages stacked as far as the eye can see, you have an organizational nightmare on your hands. So tame that wilderness of printed forms by separating everything according to category. Keep what you really need, and trash or recycle everything else. Binders, paper clips, or staples can be used to keep documents in proper order. Write your own page numbers in multi-sheet documents, if none appear already. That way, if one gets shuffled around, you won’t spend precious time trying to figure it out.
4. Make a filing system – The key is to come up with a system that works for you. Some people do best with an A-to-Z alphabetical arrangement. Others set things up by subject, client, or date. All that matters is that it makes sense to you, and you can find what you need when you need it.
5. Keep supplies together – It can be a huge drain on your time if you have to take time from a project to track down a box of staples you laid down somewhere. Every office needs pens, paper, clips, folders, and a hundred other little things. So keep them in the same area and as neatly divided as possible, with the things you use most, like sticky notes or pens, close at hand.
6. Keep it clean – Even if you make use of all these home office organization ideas, it can all be in vain if things return to the way they were. So once you have everything right, take a few minutes each day to make sure it stays that way. You might want to devote the last five minutes of your workday to straightening, organizing, and tossing out stuff you no longer need. This will keep your workspace as tidy as possible, and prevent the paper jungle from rearing its ugly head again.
As important as it is to keep your paperwork straight, it’s just as important (perhaps even more so) to keep your virtual paperwork in order—that’s where TruckingOffice comes in. Our trucking brokerage software makes it easy to keep on top of expenses, dispatch loads, pay your drivers, generate invoices, and do all of the many tasks that come with the job. So take our online tour, and see what we can do to keep your business running hassle-free.