Sunday, January 4, 2009

How to Organize Office Clutter: 5 Tips You Can Use Today

If you work in an office or have a home office, you know how clutter can hurt your productivity. The key to keeping your workspace free of distractions is to have a plan. When you make a concerted effort to organize your office space, you'll likely notice a big difference in your ability to handle your workload.

1. Start by looking at the surface of your desk. Chances are that you have a lot of things on your desk that you don't actually need there. Mail, notepads, and extraneous paperwork can really take away from your productivity while you're sitting at your desk. You should try to remove as much from the surface of your desk as possible so that you can focus on your work.

2. If you don't have an organized filing system in place, your paperwork is going to be a major contributor to your clutter. Start by dedicating certain folders to different types of paperwork. You'll need separate files for different accounts or different bills. Having a specific place for everything will help you fend off clutter ahead of time.

3. Place all the paperwork on your desk in the right spot. When you receive new paperwork, handle it only once. Don't open a letter and then let it sit on your desk. Put it in the file it belongs in, whether that file is for permanent storage for a client's account or it's an action file for bills that need to be paid. If you stick to the rule of immediately filing paperwork, you won't have it build up on your desk. If you have paperwork that you need to access on a daily basis, consider getting a desk letter organizer. This way the paperwork that you need will always be handy, but it won't waste a lot of space on your desk.

4. Declutter your desk at the close of each workday. Don't leave files out on your desk. This is a surefire recipe for starting a pile of paperwork on your desk. Clean up after yourself and you'll never let your paperwork get out of control again.

5. Another place in your workspace that gets cluttered quickly is the top drawer of your desk. This often becomes a catch-all for everything that you want to hide from the surface of your desk. Make sure you have a top-drawer organizer which will keep your paperclips, pens, post it notes and other desk accessories organized. Don't put anything in the top drawer that you don't actually need. If you haven't used it in six months or more, throw it out to make more space in your desk. If you need to purchase any filing systems, check for office supply coupons online before you buy.

It should be pretty easy to keep your workspace tidy, provided that you have the necessary organization systems in place. Stay on top of the clutter by putting office supplies and other items away each day. It will be a lot easier to take control of your clutter if you manage it in small increments, instead of waiting for it to take over your desk.

No comments: