Make the “space” work for you

You will never find time for anything. If you want the time, you must make it.
– Charles Buxton

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We’re rolling into fall, and getting ready for tax season around here. So here’s my question:

Are YOU ready for tax season?

The reason I ask is that you may not be aware that there are steps which you can *still* take that would significantly impact your tax bill for this year.

But here’s the problem: you (and I) may not comprehend those steps unless we sit down and have a chat about your situation. I suggest you do this quickly. It could mean significant savings for you.

Moving on to this week’s Personal Strategy Note, I often advise my clients and their friends on the *tax* elements of setting up a home office, but I came across some great advice regarding the actual setup of the space…and I believe that it’s worth your time to check it out…and to take some time to make that space work FOR you, not against you!

Oh, but before I get to that, I almost forgot to point out some more economic good news–one of my favorite activities in my Notes. Turns out that “Personal Spending” was reported last week, indicating that spending rose in August at its fastest monthly pace in almost 8 years! While the news appears to be good for the economy, we do have to take it with a grain of salt, since a large part of that spending was the result of the “Cash for Clunkers” vehicle purchasing incentive program, which is no longer in effect.

Finally, the housing industry received some good news last week, as Pending Home Sales were up significantly at 6.4%, which was far above expectations.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/2009-10-01-pending-home-sales-august_N.htm

Some of the increase is likely due to folks working fast to take advantage of the $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit, which is currently set to expire on November 30th. Be sure to ask me about this, if you or any of your friends, family members, neighbors or coworkers could benefit from this great incentive.

(And, again–please do feel free to leave comments. I read every one that comes my way!)

“Real World” Personal Strategy
The Perfect Home Office

These days, more and more people are working all or part of the time from home, making a home office a necessity. And while I have never proclaimed myself a “design guru”, here are some “Real World” tips for creating the perfect home office…

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– There is no bigger mistake you can make than purchasing office furniture or equipment without knowing exactly where you’ll be placing it in the room. Before you buy any new furniture, make sure you measure and plot where each piece will go, and don’t forget to account for electrical and cable outlets.

Furniture – A desk that’s roughly 60-inches wide, 30-inches deep, and 29-inches high is not only conducive to work, but it’s highly functional in terms of storing the items you use regularly. Your chair should be comfortable, but its primary function should be to promote healthy posture. Good posture will facilitate strong mental focus and will help to alleviate back and neck pain.

Lighting Quarantine divx – Don’t underestimate the importance of quality lighting. If you’re lucky enough to have a window in your office, this should serve as your primary light source during the day. Natural light is easy on the eyes and promotes physical energy as well as a good mood. It’s also free. Large lights like floor lamps and ceiling lights should have the ability to be dimmed. Also, make sure your desk lamp is equipped with a light bulb that’s easy on the eyes. These “soft” light bulbs can be found anywhere, from office supply stores to grocery stores.

Storage The Christmas Wish dvd – Identifying the type of items you need to store, as well as the quantity, will help you to determine an appropriate course of action. Here are a few helpful hints.

• Closets are great for storage. Not only can they house filing cabinets, but they are also perfect for storing the items you don’t need to access on a regular basis. This helps to maximize the actual workspace of your office.
• Shelving is one of the most versatile options for storage. Shelves can be purchased cheaply and come in a variety of sizes. They are easily installed and take up zero floor space.
• Don’t forget about your garage. When it comes to older files or anything that is rarely accessed, a garage can provide ample storage space. Word to the wise, however, the garage can be a dirty place. Plan accordingly by storing paper items in boxes and wrapping equipment in protective plastic.
• Visit a store that’s dedicated to home organization. Nowadays it seems like nearly every mall has a store of this kind. You’d be surprised at some of the inexpensive, space-saving storage options available.

Wall Organizers – Dry erase boards, chalkboards, corkboards, and magnetic boards are fantastic tools for keeping clutter off your desk. They are inexpensive and available everywhere in a variety of sizes. There are even combination boards that provide countless options.

Cords – Never underestimate the importance of power strips as they provide the ability to plug multiple devices into one outlet. The better power strips also provide surge protection to the equipment that’s plugged into them. In addition, cord covers are a great way to not only hide cords but to keep them from becoming a tangled mess. They can be purchased quite cheaply at any electronics store.

Decor – Last but not least, once you’ve got all the necessities in, don’t overlook decor. Certificates, diplomas, awards, trophies, and pictures not only complement an office, but they also help to personalize it. It’s also a great idea to put “triggers” on your wall which motivate, inspire and help you to maintain the proper mindset for creating wealth.

Follow these simple steps, and more organization, function, and focus could be right around the corner.

I hope this helps!

Pam BritzMake the “space” work for you