Your workspace should be one that nurtures creativity and productivity for smooth workflows. When your office is messy, it can be the complete opposite: an environment with plenty of distractions, and completely zero focus.
Whether it's messy office supplies, stacks of paper clutter everywhere, or a desk space filled with sticky notes, a messy work space is not conducive of productive business operations. Try your hand at office organization with our 10 tips to keep your workplace churning out better, faster, and more efficient work!
Why Organize Your Office?
Keeping your workplace organized will clear your mind, and help you focus better on the task at hand. There are plenty of areas that need consistent organization, and both physical and digital work spaces should be kept neat and tidy for convenient access to much-needed files.
The trick to organizing your office is to keep it simple: focus on one area at a time each day until your entire workplace is kept to your liking. You may opt to free up your to-do list to an office organization day, but this may hinder your work. Instead, keep to a schedule and make a habit to stay organized.
Tips to Organize Your Work Space
1. Remove Everything from Your Desk
Remove everything on your desk and wipe down each item thoroughly - apply a cleaning solution if applicable. Wipe the desk with a sanitizing solution, and let it dry before placing only necessary items back onto the tabletop. Keep your useful, everyday office supplies on your desk for convenient access, and keep trinkets away from the workplace.
You can use containers, trays, or desktop organizers to keep the items on your desk in their proper places. It is a good idea to label each organization basket with the corresponding items in them, so you have a continuous guide for organizing tips.
2. Keep Your Drawers Neat
Essential but rarely used items can go into your drawers. Use desk drawer organizers and small baskets as dividers that will help you stay organized, even with the force of opening and closing your drawer. This way, your items won't roll around freely.
Do the same for your folders, files, and documents. Offices typically keep record of all their clients and projects, so keep these on hand for ongoing projects, and store those that have been long-completed. Keep the most important documents and frequently-used files in drawers and filing cabinets closest to you.
3. Delegate Activities for Each Work Area
Your desk is your main work zone. The binders and cabinet could be your reference area. The drawers and shelves could be used as your immediate supply area. Furnish each work area with appropriate supplies and equipment. By separating each area by usage, you get a clearer view of where certain office supplies need to go.
4. Keep Essentials Close to You
Walking back and forth to gather office supplies consumes time, which you can use to do more productive things. Keep a few essentials near you: staple wires, tape, scissors, and other items you may need to get your work done daily. Keep a stack of multi-colored pens, signing pens, and a pencil or two for those quick notes.
5. Create a Coded Filing System
This cannot be stressed enough, but label everything! Some of us may know how to store documents in the filing cabinet, but many of us may forget to label them properly. Office organization is not simply keeping items out of sight and out of mind, you will need to ensure you can find these items again later on when you need them.
Keeping your office organized is especially important for documents, as you may need them as reference material later on. Looking for those old files can be a pain in the neck when nothing is labeled properly. Use a coded filing system to make labeling easier: use either colors or easy-to-understand codes to file your paper clutter properly.
6. Don't Forget Your Digital Files
Besides your physical office space, your digital office space needs organization too! Label your digital files similar to how you organize your physical documents. Color-code these files whenever possible. You may need to get a secure cloud storage space for your files, especially as you scale up your business.
7. Use a Task Management Tool
When your schedule is a mess, so are you. Do you often find yourself missing out on important meetings and deadlines because you've forgotten about them? Take note of these important dates using free online tools and applications that would organize your to-do list for you, and remind you of the most important tasks you need to accomplish.
An online application as simple as Google Calendar should do the trick. You may already have a company or personal Gmail, so it is best to utilize the workspace tools to make your job easier, and to keep you more productive than you've ever been!
8. Use Up that Free Wall Space
The wall space is often forgotten when it comes to utilizing the space in the office, but that vertical space is perfect for storing small office supplies, keeping a physical calendar or to-do list, and pinning notes and important papers on neatly-organized cork boards. Make use of open shelves, boards, and other hanging office furniture to give your walls a purpose!
9. Organize Your Wires, Chargers, and Cables
Use desk organizers meant for wires, chargers, and cables. The mess of these wires can be distracting, as well as off-putting - plus, the mess can damage your wires over time too! Use clips or hooks to keep your wires neat. Find an awkward space you can use to hang up a wire organizer for your own convenience.
10. Put Up an Open Shelving
Open shelves, unlike walled ones, immediately show you the items located in each shelf without having to muddle through the mess of office supplies. This also clears up your desk space when you add an open shelf near your work area. Keep important office supplies near you: like papers, printer ink, folders, and more.
With open shelves, you may need to clean the office supplies in them more frequently as these items are exposed to the dust floating around. Still, it is a good place to keep your extra pads of sticky notes, or even your wire chargers when not in use.
Bonus: Automate Repetitive Tasks
Automating recurring or repetitive tasks, such as organizing meetings and restocking office needs, can save you time that you can use for other important undertakings. This also ensures that you will never miss any recurring tasks, which you could neglect at times.
There are plenty of online tools you can find to help you with your day-to-day tasks. These will streamline your work, and help you get more done in one day! This will also free-up your schedule, and make you feel less overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done in the day.