Saturday, March 20, 2010

SOS! A Double Header: Organize A Functional Office In Your Car and Seasonal Sports Equipment Transitioning


“My sales job takes me from site to site. Even though I have an office my real working space is my car. I take client files, samples, my laptop, and attaché case. Is there a way to organize my car as a mini office? “ – Juanita

Yes, Juanita, your car can be transformed into a functional office without a whole lot of effort. As in organizing your home and the brick and mortar office, remember that that the right tools can make the job so much easier. However, the underlying principles and their application are the real key to organizing success.

While you are sitting in your car you are probably working on your client files; therefore, you need a way to store the files safely and within reach of the driver’s seat. A flat surface to write on and place the laptop on is a must as is a place to rest your cell phone. Samples, brochures, and marketing give-aways belong in the trunk where they can be easily grabbed before you enter your client’s office, but they won’t get in the way of your work. When space is tight you have to diligently protect it.

To transform your car cabin into an office you need a specialized car desk. These desks fasten into the passenger seat with the seatbelt. There is usually a generous niche for files, a non-skid surface to hold a laptop and provide a writing surface. Some models offer specialized attachments for a cell phone and even a portable printer. Car-go-desk and Mobile Office, Inc are companies that have a large number of desk options for the car.

One other tool that that will make a world of difference for you is a power inverter. A power inverter transforms the power from your car battery into AC power that your appliances use. One end of the inverter plugs into the cigarette lighter and the other end has one or more outlets. With an inverter you are not restricted by the battery life of your appliances.

Of course no office is complete without a trashcan, and auto supply stores have models that fit in your car.

Juanita has nominated the ASPCA for the charity donation drawing.

Kathleen sent this question: “We are used to swapping seasonal clothing, but how do you organize other seasonal items? For example I have a bike and golf clubs for summer and skis and sled for winter. I don't really want to have to reorganize a closet each season, but I have limited space and need to get to my stuff. “

When space is limited it is really important to make use of walls and ceilings in order to preserve floor space. Mounted racks and brackets will keep the equipment off the floor, accessible and neat.

Organize.com has a variety of brackets to get bicycles off of the ground. When there is ample ceiling height, I like to use bicycle lifts. The lifts have brackets that connect to the ceiling and hooks that connect to the bike. Through ropes and pulleys, a little bit of strength can lift the bike off the ground. Wall mounted brackets require more upper body strength and coordination.

I like wall-mounted racks to hold ski equipment. The skis and poles stay upright without flopping around. Some racks also accommodate bulky ski boots too. Check out Organize.com for the racks and for utility hooks to hang a sled. The Stud Grabber hook attaches to an exposed stud without tools and each hook holds up to 25 pounds.

Golf equipment storage racks are typically meant to sit on the floor, but they manage to store all of your golf equipment in a small amount of space. The storage racks at Stacks and Stacks can hold two golf bags, shoes and boxes of tees and balls.

Picture the golf equipment rack on the floor, just above it -- or to the side -- the ski equipment and the sled, and above all of it the bicycle hangs from the ceiling. Everything is easily accessible, stored neatly and fits in very little floor space.

By taking advantage of vertical space it is possible to avoid rearranging sports equipment during season transitions. It’s nice to have one less thing to do so you have more time to enjoy using your equipment.
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