A clean office makes for a clear head, but who has time to organize with your workload? Setting up systems and sticking to them allows you to work smarter while you work harder. It also gives the impression that you're on top of things. Who wants to leave them standing there while you shuffle through mounds of paperwork to find the one file folder they need?
Here are my five steps to organize your office.
1. Make a Plan.
As with any large project, making a plan is essential to achieving success when it comes to office cleaning. For best results, business men and women should start by identifying what items need to be cleaned, how often they should be cleaned, and where everything should go?
Try to write it down so you don't forget, or at least have headnotes just in case the ideas got lost in your head.
2. Declutter and separate.
- Get Rid of Old Papers.
Chances are many of those papers piled high on your desk aren’t of any value to you. As you begin to sort through your stack of papers, begin asking yourself: Do I need this? Why? Where will I look for it when I need it? Then, create a filing system that best fits your needs, and make a point to file future printouts as they are created to keep the problem from reoccurring.
- Separate Business and Pleasure
Regardless of where you do the bulk of your work, it’s important to keep distractions at bay. Keep a home office free of distraction by having a designated mail location away from your office space, and encouraging family members to keep the area free of toys, tech gadgets, and anything else that might invite lost time and inefficiency to sneak into your day.
- Keep Supplies and Often-Used Items Separate
Daily-use items that you’ll likely need throughout the course of a day, like your laptop, pens, planner, and Post-It Notes, all deserve a spot on your desk. Other items, such as tape, stapler, paper clips, and envelopes, should be neatly stored inside your desk. This keeps less-frequently-used items from taking up valuable desk real estate, but ensures that they are easily accessible.
- Organize Your Computer
When your favorite desktop background starts getting obscured with icons, it’s time to de-clutter your virtual desktop. File away documents that you’ll need again, and send everything else off to the virtual recycle bin. Not only will you have a much more attractive looking desktop screen, but you will save countless hours searching for your important documents.
- Slow Down
One of the biggest pitfalls to organization is finding the time. Invest the time to properly organize your space, so files, supplies, and other items are in an intuitive, easy-to-find place. Once you’ve established a system that works for you, stick to it! Spending a few seconds to return items to a designated spot will help you save lots of time in the long run.
A clean office is vital to the running of a business. It improves productivity, because all items are organized and in their rightful place. It improves creativity and focus.
- Keep a closet or basket fully stocked with all of your office cleaning essentials (glass cleaner, dusting spray, microfiber wipes, rubbing alcohol, paper towels, etc).
- Give every item in your office a place and keep it there. If you have trouble remembering where things are, label the storage locations.
- Clean your office phone frequently by spraying cleaner onto a cloth and wiping that on your phone. Dip a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol to wipe down the dial pad.
- Take out the trash frequently and vacuum frequently in areas that people eat. This will help keep the bugs at bay.
- Remember to clean behind your furniture as well. That strip of dust and dirt behind your desk betrays an otherwise clean and tidy office.
There are many ways and tools to help you organize you office space, here are a few that are essential and affordable:
Binders: If you have piles of papers everywhere, it's probably best to use binder organizers to keep papers from stacking everywhere.
Keyboard organizers: If you don't have a convenient storage space at your disk this keyboard organizer will help you keep your desk clean and tidy.
Card organizers: If you're like me and have a ton of business cards laying around the office then you need a good card holder or go the extra mile and invest in a good rotary business card organizer.
Desk organizer: You need a place to sort your mail, pending documents, etc.
Files organizer: Stash your files and bills in a cute file tote.
Drawer organizer: Use drawer trays to organize Utensils, Tools, Crafting supplies or Vanity stuff.
5. Keep it organized.
- File As You Go
One of the biggest office offenders is piles of paper -- on your desk, on your shelves, and eventually on your floor. It's easy to get busy and start stacking papers to file for later, but before you know it, you have a task that's too big to tackle. The key is to process papers as you go. Set up a system of trays or file folders that are clearly labeled and make it a habit to use them. The same goes for your computer desktop.
- Create two zones
Not all work is created equal. You should approach office organization with this two-zone perspective.
Zone 1: Computer work. This is your traditional desktop. You spend most of your time here, knocking stuff out and getting things done.
Zone 2: Non-computer work. This is where you go to do non-computer stuff. It could be the same desk, but simply another area that is cleared of monitors, cords, and chargers. This is where you go when you thumb through documents, use your iPad, sign papers, scan documents, or stamp envelopes.
- Reboot Your Office Every Evening.
Finally I hope you found this post helpful, it took me a long time to write and search for links that might be helpful for you.
Tell me your favorite strategy to clean and organize your office, and don't forget to spread the word with your friends and family. Thanks.