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Admit it, you’ve thought about it for some time now – how to get your act together and make your office organized and professional looking. Having too many unnecessary things lying about, long past their relevancy to your work, is often responsible for lagging productivity. Are your clients kept on hold longer than they’d like while you search for that file or paper critical to your conversation? That’s not really helpful to your business. Cross off a day or two on your calendar and dedicate it to this important task. To motivate and help you along, we have a few useful tips.
Get That Urge to Purge
This is the critical first step, sorting through everything to determine what is relevant to your job and what you will use, and what is just jetsam and flotsam to be discarded. Warning – this is not a pleasant task! Certainly not as pleasant as going shopping for new organizers, pretty baskets, boxes and bins. But first things first – you need to know how much stuff you’re keeping before buying attractive storage paraphernalia to house it all in.
This task requires that you give each document, file, folder, décor item or furniture piece, a good think about how relevant it is to your day-to-day job, and then either trash it, archive it, move it somewhere else, or keep it. This process warrants constant judgement calls, so take your time and don’t rush through it. Purging done haphazardly and thoughtlessly could be counterproductive to what you’re trying to achieve here.
Work With the Work Flow
Once everything that’s been deemed not necessary is trashed or moved, you are ready to organize your surroundings. This is when you should think about the way in which you use the space. Where would you like to place your desk to feel most motivated to work? What do you need right at hand most of the time? Do you need an armchair to relax and get your creative juices going? Doing some thinking about how you would like to use the room will help you position furniture and work-related items in a way that’s optimal for being efficient and productive.
Everything in Its Proper Place
Here are some Office Housekeeping 101 tips. Files go into file cabinets in whatever logistical arrangement makes most sense to you; books, folders, and binders belong on a bookshelf; currently used materials should be easily accessible, i.e. in the desk’s drawers or tower cabinets beside the desk. Work at this distribution process until all flat surfaces are cleared of stuff!
If after purging you are still left with a substantial volume of materials needed, consider adding wall shelves or wall-mounted storage, or installing standard premade cabinets to provide additional storing. If you’re at a loss with what to do about those dust-collecting, tripping cables, the easiest way out of that entanglement is to invest in a cord manager or collector, or just go wireless!
Keep It Personal and Motivating but Not Distracting
As wonderful as they are, pictures of an unforgettable vacation with your family can cause your mind to wonder and impede productivity. You definitely need personal items in your office, but keep them to a minimum. Consider instead such items such as motivating phrases or your diplomas or certificates of achievement on the walls – they will enliven the walls, but keep you on point at the same time.
If what’s been holding you back from clearing out your office is the thought of the huge pile of trash that this job would render, you can always call a junk removal company to take it all away and dispose of it in a professional, environmentally friendly way. So, now that this last excuse is gone, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get decluttering!