Less is More – Easy Ways to Minimize Clutter

In day to day office life it can be pretty easy to let your organization slip away from you. Be it your desk or filing cabinet, I think it’s important to make time to maintain an organized workspace, and it’s something I definitely need to work on myself! Here are a few tips and ideas I’ve found online that I found helpful to keeping up and de-cluttering your area:

  1. Purge your office – If it hasn’t been used in over a month, or you’re constantly moving it around; get rid of it!
  2. Gather and redistribute – Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.
  3. Establish work “zones” – Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.) Place the appropriate equipment and supplies in the proper area as much as possible.
  4. Close proximity – Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.
  5. Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
  6. Clear off your desk – Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.
  7. Organize your desktop – Now that you’ve streamlined you desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it. Use desktop organizers  or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.
  8. Organize your drawers – Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc. Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.
  9. Separate inboxes – If you work regularly with other people create a folder, tray, or inbox for each. Or you can organize your folders by project, whichever works best for you!
  10. Clear your piles – Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones. Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.
  11. Assign discard dates – You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded. Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.
  12. Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
  13. Straighten your desk – At the end of the day do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day. All you need is 5 minutes.
  14. File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

clean_office_desk

 

Submit a comment