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Review: Office Max Home Office Products

On April 2nd, 2009, I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to take part in an interactive webcast about home office organization with Office Max's Julie Kreuger and Peter Walsh, whom you may know from TLC's Clean Sweep and from the Oprah Show. About a week prior, I was sent these samples from two new home office lines from Office Max to get acquainted with.

The first line was called DiVoga. It is a cleverly designed line that is functional but also decorative. The line ranges from fun colorful choices like what is shown below to sleek fashionable desk accessories to modern metallics. DiVoga turns something as unattractive as a cork board into wall decor.

The second line was rather nondescript . . . in a good way. The [In]Place System by Peter Walsh is made to blend with any decor. It is a system that is made to streamline your home office. One of the things this system helps you accomplish is to keep everything visible. The poly is all see-thru and the tab-shaped Post-It notes allow you to label everything easily. The other thing that is great about the [In]Place System is that it is flexible. Everything is portable. The poly is durable and reusable when paired with the erasable markers used for labeling.

(I think Office Max threw in this rubber band ball to keep our children occupied so that we could play with all our new toys.)

Here are a few tips I learned about home office organization from Peter Walsh's webcast . . .

1) Keep flat surfaces clear.

2) Keep everything you use the most within an arm's reach.

3) Do not put one thing on top of another (i.e. keep things buried) or put things in stacks.

4) Keep what you need accessible. For example, don't put something in a covered file box underneath another stack of files.

5) Think about what parts of the system you really need before you purchase anymore pieces for your home office. If you don't need it, then it's just clutter.

6) Take a few minutes to clean up at the end of the day. This will make it easier to get started the next morning.

7) Do not be afraid to purge non-tax related files after 18 months.

To view the complete webcast, just follow this link to the Peter Walsh Blogcast. Peter Walsh answered one of my questions on the air! I was giddy!!

For someone like me who only has a desk in my bedroom and not a whole office space to work with, the DiVoga collection is wasted on me until we move to a larger house. I do love the [In}Place System though. It makes sense and is a good investment. I can use these on my little desk now and also in my dream home office sometime in the future. For now, my favorite piece is the File Tote shown below.

I work at the dining room table during the day. After my dear husband comes home, I move upstairs with my papers and laptop onto my bed. Don't judge me! It's comfortable and I can spread all my papers out in front of me. There is no better desk than a queen size bed! Anyways, I always have loose papers, like sheets of product information from various companies who have sent me items to review. It is much easier to keep everything organized and portable with this File Tote. If you want the perfect gift for a work-at-home mom for Mother's Day this year, give her a box of her favorite chocolates and put it in one of these file totes. Trust me . . . she'll love it!