Simple Ideas To Organize Your Office
Is your office unorganized and keeping you from performing at your best?
In this article, I’ll share my experiences in setting up and organizing my office. You don’t have to do exactly what I do, but use the tips that make sense for you.
I spend 80% of my time in my office. Therefore it would make sense to make it as comfortable as possible while setting it up to my preference.
Everyone’s different, but if my office is organized and clean and everything is where I want it, I am much more productive than when it is cluttered and messy.
Let’s look at a few areas you can focus on to organize your office so you feel good working in it and are more productive.
To start, I recommend planning what areas to organize. When you plan, you’ll take everything into account and have a strong overview of what’s needed.
I performed a makeover a few years ago, and I haven’t had to ever since because I took the time to plan first and then execute. So it’s been clean and organized ever since.
Keep your plan simple. Take notes of what you want to organize and clean and what items you’ll need to set up your office, so it’s just the way you like it.
Keep your notepad ready for the next few sections of this article, so you can plan for each.
What Do You Want To Get Rid Of?
The first step is to identify what you want to get rid of.
The organization process is one of the best times to get rid of the big stuff. It could be an old cabinet, an old office chair, a desk that’s seen better days. This is an opportunity to remove anything you no longer want in your office.
This process doesn’t mean you have to replace everything; just get rid of some items while updating others.
Do you have enough space in your office? Have you considered using extra wall space or storage units to improve functionality if you’re tight on space?
You can use the walls to put up shelving or purchase cabinets if you have unused or wasted wall space.
If you have a large room, you could bring cabinets forward about a foot or two instead of putting them right up against the wall, using the space behind them to store items.
Mapping Everything Out
I’ll grab a notepad and start writing down the categories I want to organize.
For example, I want to organize my supply cabinet, an area for office equipment where I can put items such as cables, backup hard drives, and any equipment not in daily use. I also need a place for tools such as a laminator, cutting board, document binder, etc.
Once I have that area mapped out, I’ll go to my desk and start to map out what I need on the desktop and desk drawers.
The next step is to identify any bins or shelving I need to purchase. I’ll take measurements, so I know if an item, for example, plastic organizers, will fit when I’m at the store. When choosing organizers, I may purchase two or three items to see which works best in the office and return those that are inappropriate.
It’s time to look at your equipment. Is there anything that’s been giving you trouble, slow, or just not efficient? For example, is your monitor screen showing weird colors, or maybe it’s time for a wider screen.
Perhaps a wireless printer or a docking station can make things organized and more efficient. This might be a good time to update any equipment because you can set up things to match your office’s new look and get rid of old equipment.
Keep in mind if you have a business, your new equipment is a tax deduction.
As time goes on, your office becomes cluttered with many things you don’t really need.
Clutter attracts more clutter. For example, you have a pile of paperwork you haven’t completed yet. With a pile on your desk, you find it easier to place new paperwork on the pile instead of putting it away.
The same goes for items on your shelves. For example, if new supplies come in, you put them on the cluttered shelf instead of putting them away because it’s convenient.
From my experience, when your office is organized, and you have a place for everything, you simply get into the habit of putting everything in its proper place right away, which avoids clutter build-up.
People have different methods of getting rid of clutter. My method is to get a few large bins to declutter everything in one step because if you try and declutter while organizing, it takes a lot more time. So instead, I’d like to clear all the clutter out at once, putting them in bins and organizing later.
Each bin has a category. For example, one is for supplies, one is for those issues related to office equipment, and one is for those items that I haven’t used and won’t be using for a while. I’ll also have a bin for items I’ll never use and should get rid of, and finally, I have one bin for garbage.
As I’m decluttering the items, I’ll put them in the appropriate bin and take a mental note of the items I’m keeping, so I have an idea of the space needed to organize them.
It’s time to declutter your desk. This shouldn’t take too long because there is only so much you can put on a desk. My preference is to have a clean desktop with minimal items. For example, I have my speakers, keyboard, mouse, noise-canceling headphones, and one desk organizer. I don’t need everything to be on my desktop. I can use the drawers for that those items I use. This gives me room to work and a good feeling.
Once your desktop is just how you like it, it’s time to declutter the drawers. You may want to get a desk drawer organizer to keep all your items organized.
Filing Cabinet Decluttering
Filing cabinets can become cluttered quickly. To declutter your filing cabinets, go through all your files, reorganize them, and eliminate all the old paperwork you no longer need. You can also remove any documents. For example tax paperwork, you may want to keep up to seven years of records; anything older you can throw out or put in long-term storage.
After you have organized your office, you can wait about a week to ensure you don’t need to change anything. Once you have everything in place and are happy with the location of all your items, it’s time to get your labeler out. Start to label your shelves, drawers, file folders, and anything that needs labeling. You may want to use a theme for labeling for consistency and aesthetics.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you have many plugs in power bars, you may want to label each for clarity. For example, one would be for your computer, the printer, the monitor, etc. This allows you to easily identify what each cord is for.
Tips for Keeping Your Office Organized
Once your office is organized and set up the way you want it, it’s time to ensure everything is put away.
You might want to get into a few habits. For example, when I’m done for the day or even for a few hours, I’ll make sure I put everything away so that my desktop is clean and everything is organized when I come back.
At first, I would put everything away when I was done for the day. But once I time myself, and it took less than 30 seconds, and that’s when I figured I would clean up every time I’d be away for a few hours.
I don’t let the paperwork pile up when it comes to bills. I used to pay the bills once every few weeks or once a month. I’d find a lot of paperwork builds up, and I lose track of my expenses, thinking I have a lot of money in the bank, and then when I pay a month’s worth of bills, it’s all gone. I’d rather pay the bills as they come in, which gives me a more accurate idea of my bank balance while keeping the clutter away!
Before purchasing anything for my office, I always ask myself, will I really use it? Will it clutter my office? Once your office is clean and organized, you’ll start to avoid purchasing anything that could clutter your office.
You can reorganize once a year, once every four months, or once a month. Once you have gone through a major organization, you’ll find that you rarely need to reorganize, but doing so takes a lot less time and keeps you in the habit of keeping everything tidy and organized.
Well, those are tips I have to offer you. I hope you have found some value in them. Once you’re in the habit of organizing your office, you’ll find you don’t need to think about it; you just do it.
Now I have some resources that you can use anytime you are in the mood to organize or reorganize your office. Most of the tips lead to search results so that you have the latest and most popular resources every time you use them.
Books are another great way to learn and pick up tips for organizing your office. I like nonfiction books because you don’t have to read the book from cover to cover to benefit. Instead, you can go through the table of contents or index to find the chapter that interests you. It’s a real timesaver, and having a few books on any given topic allows you to have the information at your hands anytime you need it.
Some of the books you’ll find on the market include:
- How to Declutter Your Home or Work Office to Improve Productivity by Sarah Adams
- Smart Office Organizing: Simple Strategies for Bringing Order to Your Workspace Paperback by Sandra Felton
See Googles Shopping Results for Office Organization
Google’s shopping search results are another option to get ideas and see what items there are on the market related to organizing your office. I went through the link and found many ideas and items that can help. Take a few minutes to browse and see if anything can help organize your office.
Looking at images is another way to spark your creativity and get ideas. Google image search is something I often use, especially for visual ideas. Why not take a few minutes to browse images to gain insights and ideas for your office.
Pinterest Pin Ideas
Pinterest is an excellent site for getting ideas. There are thousands and thousands of pins on Pinterest, and many of them are organized and boards. See the link below for pins and boards related to Office organization.
The news is another great source of information for getting tips and insights about organizing your office. Using Google’s News site, you can access new and archived information related to Office Tips. So, if you have a few minutes, look at what the media covers about organizing your office.
YouTube is another great source of information you can use to get ideas to organize your office. When watching a video, keep an eye out for the related videos because the YouTube algorithm presents related topics that you may not have considered. I find many of these to be valuable.