Tips and Steps to Declutter your Office
As much as we all would like to put off cleaning our offices, now is the time to get to it. Not all of us have a traditional office, fewer and fewer people do, but maybe you have a small office in your home or an area where you take care of business.
But it really doesn’t matter! The process of throwing out is pretty much the same. Whether you’re an up and coming entrepreneur or a corner office gal, you’ve got to let go of what no longer serves you or its purpose. Spending more time searching for things than actually working is no way to succeed.
I know for some of you the mere thought of clearing the clutter is overwhelming. It is a lot easier with someone else to help you and that’s where I come in.
Here I will give you step and tips on how to clear the clutter and make a work space or whatever it is for you a happier place to be!
Three steps and tips to start the process of a happier work space:
The first thing you must do is set aside time to deal with the clutter. A lot of us feel we just don’t have the time to do this, and it’s so overwhelming. But the time we save once everything is organized will more than make up for it. You should set an hour or two a day or a couple hours a week until there is no more clutter left in your office. Having an extra set of hands to help you through the process makes it a lot easier and a lot less stressful.
The best place to begin decluttering your office is your desk. There is no reason to keep anything in your work space other than the current things you are working on. Your current projects should be kept where they’re easily accessible, but instead of keeping them in piles on your desk, they should be organized in file folders clearly labeled. It’s most likely that the piles of papers on your desk include old and out dated information that can be shredded or recycled. Also there are probably documents that you need to keep but are not currently using, which can be placed in a file folder labeled and filed in your filing cabinet.
Now that you have cleared some space on your desk, you need to go through your files and discard anything you no longer need, shredding all documents which contain confidential information (Social Security #, License #, address, bank card #, and checks from old checking account etc…). If you’re not sure, it may be smart to consult an attorney or accountant to determine the life span of certain documents by law. Items that are needed for legal or other reasons, but not used on a regular basis, should be archived in a lower file drawer or storage area in the basement of your house. Valuable papers should be put in a safety deposit box or a safe in the house that is fireproof and waterproof.
- Copy folder- holds everything you need to make a photocopy of.
- File- put everything you need to save for future use. (If you have a scanner on your computer you can scan documents that are important to you and file the hard copy)
- Read- is for articles and business paper you haven’t had time to read immediately.
- Enter- for information that needs to go into the computer: such as addresses, expense list, love letter etc…
- Clip-its- holds coupons that I cut out or download from websites, to be at my fingertips whenever I go shopping.
Make a rule that when going through your mail and email: deal with it immediately. If it’s about an upcoming event or meeting, copy the information into your planner (whether it’s a paper planner or your phone calendar). If it’s a quick question, answer it immediately, then recycle it or trash it goes. If you need the information again in the future and it’s not readily available elsewhere, file it. Just don’t put it back in your inbox. I’m sure there will be some items you can’t deal with right away. Those items should be put on your “to do” list and placed in the appropriate file on your desk.
Set aside some filing time to avoid unfiled piles of papers on your desk. Often we need to refer back to something we have worked on recently, and it’s not fun to have to sift through piles of paperwork to find it. The time you need to file will depend on the amount of paper you generate, but the smart way is to keep it up to date.
Okay, I know I said three tips but I thought of one more! Implement a “clean desk” policy where your desk must be cleared of all clutter at the end of each day (I know it sounds hard but you can do it!!).
A clean office is a productive office. When you have a work environment that is clutter free it makes for a happier you, because it will make for fewer things to distract you from the task at hand. This will make it less likely for you to forget about things you’re supposed to do or to miss important events, because the information won’t be buried under a pile of other papers. As a result this will make you more confident, appear more competent, you will feel less stress and free up more time for the activities that you enjoy doing.
Let’s face it none of us enjoy cleaning up are office, and it’s always easier when we can hire an organizer to help us. So call me, and I will help you have your office clutter free in no time.