Two years ago, The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal each had an article about the death of the traditional office. When I first started organizing offices in the early 2000s, office buildings had private offices — lots of them. Then the trend moved toward "office hoteling," and later, in the name of improving communication, but more truthfully I suspect, to cut costs, "open space" offices became the trend.

Recently, among the most popular purchases for offices were private spaces that looked like old-fashioned telephone booths — but with no telephone — so people could have a private conversation. It's impossible to predict precisely what will happen with office design, but one thing is for sure, for the foreseeable future, the "home office" is here to stay!

Several years ago, we realized that one of the biggest challenges our clients had about getting organized was getting the paper off the kitchen counter! Through the years, we have seen many homes with offices, but they frequently end up being storage areas for postponed decisions. (Remember: Clutter is postponed decisions®.)

Some time ago, I gave a speech to a group of women in the media. Afterward, one attendee came up to me and said, "You just have to come to my home to help me get organized." I arrived to find a beautifully designed and decorated luxury condo -- with one small problem. There were piles of paper scattered here and there -- on the kitchen counter, the bay window, the side table, the bedside table -- even the dining room table, much to her embarrassment!

After some discussion, we concluded the best solution was to turn a small closet currently storing items she didn't use or need into an office. Her response, when the job was done, "I wish I had met you 20 years ago. My life would have been much more pleasant!" Today, many people like or have to work from their kitchen or dining room table. While not the best solution, given the right tools, we can make any space into a "productive environment" where you can accomplish your work -- and enjoy your life!

Now, more than ever, every house needs a "home office." It may not be a physical "office" per se, but it must be intentional (that's the keyword). It's a place where you manage your work --whether you're working for a company, for yourself, or managing the "business of life."

Our goal is to help you create a Productive Environment™, an intentional setting where you can accomplish your work and enjoy your life. How does your workspace rate? Find out what areas you can improve using our Productive Environment Scorecard™.

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Author's Bio: 

In 1978, Barbara took out a $7 ad in a New York City newspaper to advertise her professional organizer business. For 20 years, she focused her business on organizing paper and physical clutter for home offices and organizations. Then the Internet Age came about, and she utilized her principles and expertise to help clients with digital clutter.

Over the past 40+ years Barbara has helped 1000's of companies, and became an icon and top expert in the industry. She has been featured on national media platforms such as Good Morning America, The Today Show and CNN Nightly News. She has also been showcased in publications including USA Today, New York Times, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple and Guideposts.

Barbara and her team teach business owners a 9-step system to go from overwhelmed to optimized. Step 1 is a free Assessment that can be found at