It should come as no surprise that a clean, organized office will be a more pleasant working environment than a messy, disorganized office. A cluttered workspace not only makes it harder to find things when you need them, but it can also make it harder to think and be productive.
Taking the time to get your office space in order can sometimes seem like more trouble than it’s worth. When the work starts to pile up and the phones won’t stop ringing, it’s not easy to find the extra time to organize your office, desk, and files.
What most people don’t realize though is that an organized office will typically lead to higher productivity levels and a much more pleasant working environment. So the question really becomes can you afford to not get your office organized?
We understand that these skills may not come naturally to everyone, so we decided to put together a few easy tips that anyone can follow and a few office organization supplies that will help to create a more systemized workspace.
Throw Away As Much As Possible
One of the first things you should do when re-organizing your office is to go through everything in it and throw away anything that is non-essential. Go through all of your office supplies, your old papers, filing cabinets, closets and anything else you may keep in the office.
Next, separate everything into one of three piles. There should be a “must keep” pile, a “throw out” pile, and a “let’s assess” pile.
Items like your computer, your speakers, chair and other essentials will go into the “must keep pile”. Make sure that anything that would be considered an “organizational supply” is also kept as it may help down the line. No one will know better than you what is truly essential to your workplace, but try not to be overly sentimental with any one object.
Things like old papers, old office desk supplies, and that Derek Jeter bobblehead that Gary from accounting got you for last years Secret Santa can go into the “throw out” pile. If you get nervous that you may need one of these things for something later on, just ask yourself when the last time you actually used it was. This will usually be a great indicator as to whether or not you’re likely to ever use it in the future.
Finally, you’ll place everything you’re genuinely unsure about in the “let’s assess” pile. This pile is perfect for documents, old paperwork, older business equipment, and other items that had a higher purchase price.
If you end up with a large stack of papers, it may be worth taking the time to scan the items into your computer’s filing system for more efficient storage and retrieval. If you have unused furniture that still has re-sale value, you may want to try services like OfferUp or Craigslist to see if you can recoup some of the value and make more space.
Typically you will want to try and reduce your “let’s assess” pile to be as few items as possible.
Once you’ve finished purging your office for all of the clutter, it’s time to get to work!
Give Things A Specific Place
Now that you’ve reduced everything in your office down to the essentials, you’ll need to put everything away. But don’t just haphazardly throw things back into drawers and closets, give every item it’s own specific place.
It may be a good idea to invest in some smaller accessories like wall-mounted file holders, small cubbies or drawers, or even a few new filing cabinets.
As you identify the best place for each object, it may also help to label the area with the name of the item. This is helpful in two ways. One, it will help you remember what goes where once you’ve finished using something. Two, it will also prevent you from resorting to old bad habits and just putting things down wherever it is convenient.
If you don’t have a label maker handy, you can also just pick up some basic labels and write on them by hand. It may not look as neat and professional but will serve the same purpose.
It’s also a good idea to consider how often you use each item and how you use the items. You will likely want to place items that get more regular use in close proximity to your desk. Items that you use less frequently may be better suited in a closet or filing cabinet.
Organize Your Desktop
So now that you’ve put away all of your office supplies and other gear, you should give some special attention to your desktop. Typically, your desktop is going to be the messiest and most disorganized part of any office. It’s also probably the most important part of your office to keep as neat and systemized as possible.
First, it’s definitely a good idea to invest in a few additional desk organization supplies, desk accessories, and other desk organizer tools like desktop accessories, accessory dispensers, letter trays, and file folder racks if you don’t already have these things. These items will not only help you to keep your papers organized but will also let you stack them vertically so that they take up less desktop real estate.
It’s also helpful to create levels or tiers on your desk for optimal desk organization. For example, you can buy a monitor riser for your computer monitor that will turn previously “dead” desk real estate into a new storage space. By efficiently stacking items on your desk, you’ll be able to maximize your storage space and maintain your desktop organization.
Organize Your Desk Drawers
Now that you’ve organized the top of your desk, it’s time to give some attention to the drawers and cabinets in your desk. Depending on the size of your desk, you may have no drawers or you may have multiple drawers and cabinets.
It’s a good idea to pick up a few additional drawer organization supplies like drawer trays and drawer separators to help keep everything in the drawers neat and separated. The more drawers your desk has, the easier it will be to become disorganized, so it may be a good idea to “overestimate” the amount of drawer organization supplies you’ll actually need.
If your desk has cabinets make sure it has shelving. If it doesn’t you’ll definitely want to add some shelving to maximize the space and keep items organized. Depending on the size of the cabinet or cabinets, you may also be able to fit a small filing cabinet for even better segmentation and organization.
Utilize Wall Space
Wall space is an often underutilized area when structuring an office or workspace. If you’ve run out of floor space for more cabinets, you can always go vertical and hang small cabinets, shelves and filing systems on your empty wall space.
You can keep things simple with a few hanging file trays or letter holders. This is best when you just want to keep paper clutter off of your desk.
For people with bigger pieces of hardware in their office, like photographers or videographers, shelving can be a great way to keep your gear off the ground but easily accessible.
It’s always best to first identify what your needs are and what you plan to store using wall space, and then buy your wall organization supplies based on the need.
Get Organized and Stay Organized
Getting your office organization game on point is only half the battle, you’ll also need to stay organized. We’ll spend time going into more detail on personal organization tips and tricks in another post, but here are a few quick ones to get you started.
Get a personal planner or personal calendar and really start using it. We carry lots of great options like these ones from Day Runner
Whenever you use something always make sure to put it back in its specific place, even if you plan to use it again soon.
Do a weekly clean up and reorganization on Friday’s before you leave for the weekend. This way, you’re starting the following week fresh.
Buying Office Supplies for Organization
You know it’s time to get your office organized, so what are you waiting for? If you’re unsure of the right organization supplies for your office or workspace, just give our customer support team a call and they’d be happy to help you with your shopping. Order your business supplies today and get them fast with our expedited shipping.
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