Whether your co-workers have declared your office to be a junk heap or you just need a bit of de-cluttering, you have lots of ways to make your office more organized. You don’t have to implement them all, but try working in a few of these key tips to help you get a more organized office. Who knows, when you’re able to actually find everything quickly and easily, it could even make you more productive.
1. Schedule time for de-cluttering
Even the most well-planned office space can get filled up with papers, notes and junk if you don’t take the time to clean it up. That’s why you should take the time to de-clutter on a regular basis. If you’re the super-scheduling type, add a 15-minute serious cleaning session to your calendar every Monday or Friday, so you can start the week off fresh.
2. Have a daily tidying session, too
While you don’t need to go through all your clutter every day, straightening up the items on your desk can reduce the amount of stuff you have to clean up at the beginning or end of the next week.
3. Have a go-to box
Having a neat box into which you toss mail, notes, bills and other materials can help your work surface clear of clutter.
4. Actually go through that go-to box
Don’t make that go-to box a receptacle for trash. Toss away mail that you don’t need as soon as you’re done reading it, and go through the go-to box during your weekly organizing session.
5. Group items strategically
Keep all your computer-related items in one place, your notebooks or paperwork in one place, and books or reference materials in another place. If you’re focused on one particular task, the rest of the office doesn’t have to get cluttered.
6. Hide away things you don't use all the time
Some key office furniture can help you cut down on clutter and keep your mind free of clutter, too. Look for shelves with doors, for example, behind which you can store things you need in your office but you don’t need to use every day.
7. Hide away cables and electronics
In the modern office, there’s always the inevitable barrage of cords, cables and chargers which can invade a desk space. To cut down on the amount of space they’re taking up, try using U-shaped pins to hook the cords along the bottom of your desk, for example, or attach rain gutters to the back and bottom side of your desk, into which the cords lie, recommends Lifehacker.
8. Use organizing trays in the drawers
Small things like scissors and pens don’t have to sit on the desktop – but they don’t have to be lumped together in a drawer either. Handy drawer inserts can help you keep all the small items organized. You can even use inserts for large cabinets or drawers, helping to separate notebooks or books, or adding extra shelves to your storage spaces.
9. Organize your thoughts with a to-do board
Since your thoughts might need organizing too, get strategic about your to-do lists. On a whiteboard or bulletin board, create sections that represent the various parts of your job. A journalist, for example, might have a section titled "Writing" into which she writes her current writing projects and their deadlines. Other sections might include "Phone calls", "Interviews" and "Research".
10. Bring in inspirational art or photos - just not too much
You might like having a photo of your family or an inspirational quote on the wall – but do you really need ten of them? When it comes time to de-clutter, that might include removing some of the kids’ artwork, photos and other stuff that’s making your office walls look like a college dorm room bulletin board.
With a combination of regular organizational tasks and a good office setup, you should be well on your way toward a neat and tidy space that won’t horrify your co-workers.