Sometimes you may find it hard to allocate some time for your office organisation. If you sat down and figured out how much money disorganisation can cost you, you would reconsider. Occasionally moving piles of paperwork or rearranging your desk doesn’t count. Having a neat and orderly office working space leads to higher productivity and much less wasted time.
Organising your office doesn’t have to mean it’s going to take you days, it can be done in stages, completing just a little bit at a time. It’s more effective if you treat it as a task that is ongoing, instead of leaving it and having to tackle a mammoth task.
Have a look at the following tips for helping you to create the ultimate organised office space:
Give your office a complete once over
Much like you would declutter other areas of your home, you should aim to have a decluttered office space. Think about the saying ‘ clutter space, leads to a cluttered mind’ you should declutter, empty your bins, shred unneeded paperwork and get rid of anything you don’t or need.
Concentrate on one area at a time. If you have things that don’t work, either get it repaired or chuck it out. If you have items that you haven’t used in months, have a think about if you really need it, if you don’t, out it goes. This applies to all areas including equipment, supplies, furniture, etc. Don’t forget to consider your knickknacks too, artificial or real plants and decorations, if they’ve gathered dust then they can leave your office looking shabby.
Create work zones
Think about what tasks you usually complete in each area of your office. You will probably have a main working space such as your desk, an area for storage and then a supply area. You should then put the appropriate supplies and equipment in their designated area. If anything is out of place, tidying this first will help with future work. Position the supplies and equipment that you use most often within easy reach. If you don’t use particular items regularly, store it or put it away.
It’s a good idea to take some time to label shelves, baskets, drawers and bins. It will make it easy to identify where things need to go, making them easier to find when you need to use them. If you ever have anyone else using your office, it also serves as a great impression. While you’re doing this you should revise your filing system. The need to store paper files has decreased, and more people are now using digital methods. You should have look at what you can store digitally, can any paper forms be converted to digital? Are you duplicating files? Do you need to look up how to remove junk file on Mac? If you do store your files on your computer, make sure you create a back-up, for just in case situations.
Clear your desk
Tp begin with you should remove everything, then clean your desk thoroughly, You can then put back the items that are essential for everyday use. If you have trouble narrowing down what you do and don’t need on your desk try making a list for a week of work and jot down every item you have used and how many times. Once you know which items you use regularly and on a daily basis, you can start to organise your desk and include your essential items.
Organise your desktop too
Once you’ve organised your desktop you can start to organise and streamline your desktop. Create a usable folder system and group similar application together. If there are programmes that you use on a daily basis try pinning them to your toolbar. Make sure all your files and images are well organised and clearly labelled. If you look at decluttering your desktop at least once a week, you will find that it takes much less time and keeps you productive.
Organise your drawers
When organising your drawers you should try to group things like stamps, envelopes, sticky pads, notepads and stationary in the same draw space. You could use drawer organisers as a tool for storing little items such as tacks, blue tack, paper clips etc.
Have separate inboxes
If you work with other people or have numerous different clients then you may have the need for separate inboxes. If you want to remain with one email address, try creating a different folder, inbox or tray fro each person.
Sort out your piles
With your newly organised office space, you aren’t likely to create piles and piles of paperwork anymore. You will, however, still need to sort out the old ones. If you have a lot to sort through, you may be put off but it’s only going to continue to grow. Although it may take a little bit of time, it will be worth it in the end. Try sorting through a small pile each day until it’s clear, you just need to make sure it’s more than what you’re adding.
Sort out your mail
Try to avoid sticking your mail to one side to look through at a later date. Wherever possible you should be looking at your mail every day. Whether it’s through the door or to your email address. React to it, read it, delegate it and sort it to where it needs to go.
Discard old paperwork
You most definitely don’t need to keep every single piece of paper forever. You should allocate a discard date to each piece of documentation. Mark the date that it can be tossed or discarded on the top of each piece, that way you won’t gather a large collection of outdated paperwork. Some financial and legal documentation needs to be kept for specific length of time, make sure you research this and understand the requirements.
You can either use just a few tips or try all of them. Putting in an effort to create and maintain a tidy and organised office space will pay off in the future. Do you have any other tips that you could share in the comments?