It’s that time of year again! Spring cleaning. No one really relishes the thought, but getting rid of all the clutter is a great way to set a positive tone in any space – especially in the office (home office or otherwise). In your workspace, productivity levels flag when you’re constantly shifting piles around to find what you’re looking for. The good news is, organizing your office doesn’t have to happen all at once. Indeed, keeping a well-organized workspace is more attainable if you treat it like an ongoing mission, instead of a one and done campaign. Read on for our simple tips for organizing your office space this spring and getting a more effective workspace.
Remove All Waste
This sounds like a no-brainer. Yes, you’ll want to take out the trash. But think about waste in another sense. What haven’t you used in a long time, if ever, and is just going to waste? Is that pack of pencils helping anyone? If you are a tried-and-true lover of pens, surely you can find someone who can adopt those pencils? If something is broken and can’t be repaired, hasn’t been used in months, or is going to waste, remove it.
Create Work Zones
Determine what activity will happen in each area of the office. You will want to have a main workstation, a resource area (binders and helpful contact lists) and a supply area with everything necessary to conduct business. Move everything to its proper side of the office as much as possible. This will help retain ease of use and thus increase productivity.
Pare Down the Knick-Knacks
Of course you want to make yourself feel comfortable and what better way to do that than by adding some of your personal touches? Family photos, travel souvenirs and other baubles can provide positive feelings, but having too many poses as a distraction. Challenge yourself to identify three to four key pieces that should remain and remove everything else.
The need for paper files decreases every year. What documents can you store digitally? Can you scan and then shred old documents gathering dust? If not, is there a place you can store these papers out of the way? And for the digital files you are making, are you unnecessarily duplicating files and saving multiple versions of the same thing? Rethink the way you save documents to streamline your office records. If you’re retaining files on your computer, be sure to do regular backups.
Lastly, only keep immediate projects and their materials within reach on your desk. An easy way to do this is to add vertical file holders to your office wall. This will help you avoid stacking items and overlooking things that need to get done right away. Designate the first folder closest to you as “most urgent,” the next can be “important,” the next “important but not urgent” and the last can be labeled “non-urgent.”