After spending last weekend organizing a home office I thought it would be helpful to post some of the things that most people have problems with when it comes to organizing their office space and a few tips to help curb those issues.
1) Outdated manuals, binders – What happens here is that you go to a course, you get a wonderful binder full of information, you look at it a few times and then it goes on a shelf and collects dust until you eventually get rid of it. Or perhaps you purchase a printer that comes with a manual but then the printer dies but the manual sticks around. If you can get electronic documents over paper ones it is not only environmentally friendly but easier to get rid of once you no longer need it.
2) Extra office supplies – Most of us have office supplies we never use or no longer work. Case in point, pens/highlighters. How many of yours actually work? And furthermore do you really need 100 of them. Get rid of supplies that no longer work or that you have excessive amounts of. You only have two hands, unless you are really talented and can use your feet.
3) Papers scattered all over the desk – Often when you are working on a project it is inevitable that your desk will start looking more ragged as the day progresses but the trick is to have a place for all the papers you work on. Whether they go back into files, desk drawers, paper boxes, other storage containers or even the recycling so that at the end of the day you have a place to put all of those papers back into. Which leads me to the next point.
4) End of day clean up – When you have completed your work for the day, tidy your work space, usually this only takes 10 – 15 minutes but when you come back the next day you will be all set to get going and won’t be starting the day searching for things, such a stress buster!
5) Continual maintenance – Once a week, friday is suggested, take a look at what you are working on and how you can organize things so that the following week you are starting fresh again. If you have tidied up every day this shouldn’t take long and if you have missed a few days then this is the time to get things in order again.
Remember, it’s not just your office space that needs organizing, your computer desktop icons, electronic folders and email can also quickly become unorganized. Remember to delete things off your desktop when no longer needed, create folders when working on new projects so that documents are easy to access, delete unnecessary emails as you receive them and be sure to implement the end of day clean up to your computer as well.
Lastly, don’t get discouraged, getting organized doesn’t happen overnight. It can take a while before new behaviours sink in and things start to click.