28 Aug Organize Your Office – This Is How It’s Done
Are you tired of working in a space that feels too small, crowded and is full of distractions? I hear it again and again: “My office is too small”, “I can’t find what I am looking for” or “There is no room to put anything.” Are you ready for new beginnings? Begin by re-organizing your office and in just a short amount of time you will experience a positive impact on not only your motivation but also your creativity. The following five tips will make the process of reorganizing your office simple and achievable.
So What Exactly Is The Problem?
Given the fact of how much time we spend in our offices, it’s sometimes hard to grasp how little time and thought we actually put into the layout, organization, systems and product selection of our offices. However, the spaces we work in have a much larger impact on our creativity and will affect how we feel each and every day more than we want to admit sometimes. A well thought out functional design and choice of equipment can be a very important aspect catapulting our efficiency and providing us with the motivation we so desperately need. Here is my suggestion, design your office in such a way that you cannot wait to get back to work because you love the space you’re in. Hence the reasoning behind new beginnings, it’s time to start over and reorganize your office.
Chaos Or Order | Your Workspace Will Influence How You Feel At Work
STEP 1 – An Optimally Organized Office Follows A Very Simple Concept
When Re-Organizing Your Office: Keep Your Friends Close
. . . Anything you need on a daily basis, must be within reach.
. . . Anything you need on a regular basis but not daily, must be reachable within a few steps.
. . . Anything you need occasionally can be stored out of sight.
. . . Anything you might need sometimes can be archived.
. . . Anything you do not use or need has to go! Whether you donate it or discard (recycle) is really up to you.
I want you to take a close look around you and zone in on all of the items on your desk, now be honest which of these do you really use, DAILY? What about all the other items in your office, on the ground or tucked away in your storage closet? Are any of them used at all? Are items that really should be archived taking up your precious space? Do you really need everything you are looking at right now, out and taking up precious space? Or could some of the items simply stored away yet still in easy reach? I know what you are thinking, but I don’t have any room to store things away. Well, that’s where purging comes in and why it is so important to only have items in your office that help you get the job done and not hinder you every step of the way!
Therefore, before you even begin with the reorganization of your office, move your desks, empty out your filing cabinets and possibly even order new furniture, you should really ask yourself this question: What are your daily activities? What tools do you need to accomplish those activities each and every day? Start becoming aware and pay attention for a few days and really notice what you use and what you don’t. What are your main tasks? And how do you spend most of your time? Sounds too simple? I know this may be very generalized, however do not skip this step! Only when you know how you spend your time will you truly understand and able to set-up your workspace optimally and reflect your needs perfectly.
STEP 2 – When Re-Organizing Your Office:
Everything Has A Place And Everything Has Its Place … Period!
Do you waste time searching for things? Give everything a home. Store / place your scissors, hole punch, Ipad, stapler, reading material etc. ALWAYS in only one place. You have bills? Store them in one place! You have to manage appointments? Use your calendar ALWAYS! Not on sticky notes, loose papers or envelopes etc. trust me I’ve seen it. This will more than likely require you to make a few decisions but trust me making these decisions on the front end and then always sticking to them will take out confusion, cut down on search times and just overall take away your anxiety due to knowing exactly where anything is at any given time.
Ask yourself, do you have a trusted calendar system? Do you always add your appointments to your calendar or do you find yourself scribbling notes everywhere? Do you have a home for projects you are not working on this particular moment or are they placed all over your desk and office? Do you have little to do notes stuck to your computer or written on various pieces of papers and notebooks? Always remember everything has a place and everything in its place even if that means to take the sticky and place it in your notebook with all your to-do’s. What’s important is that you have everything in its place so you never have to spend your time searching for anything. Give it some thought and begin with items you tend to always search for. Make a decision today of how you want to deal with these items in the future.
STEP 3 – When Re-Organizing Your Office:
Decide On The Right Kind Of Storage And Filing System!
Another question is, what type of filing system do you want to use. There are a few options such as hanging files, binders, flip charts or possibly even digital. Every option has its advantages and disadvantages. (There will be a future blog post in which I will discuss just that.) In the end you have to decide which system works best for you and your needs and implement it consequently.
Personally, I like to use a combination of hanging files, binders as well as Evernote for digital notes. I love using hanging files for current projects for various reasons. I like them close by, I love the ease of adding and removing information and once I am finished with the project I can easily purge the file at that point depending on the papers I might simply archive the file or scan the papers to Evernote my preferred storage system (Evernote works beautifully with Google Docs – Download The Ultimate Guide To Getting Started With Evernote Here:) Binders are used for all my reference materials such as documents I need to look at quite frequently. Be sure to use binders that are sturdy and are well made I love using the Better Binders from Staples – click here for more information.
STEP 4 – When Re-Organizing Your Office:
Label, Label, And Label Some More!
At first it may sound a bit much or too cute for you when I tell you to label everything but I am not kidding. If you ever have the intention of organizing your office and keeping it that way then you must designate a home and said home must be labeled. Beginning with the storage closets, locations for your tools such as label maker, hole punch, camera equipment as well as all the lovely cables that we’ve got going awry these days. This will ensure that not only you but everyone else knows exactly where something can be found or returned to . . . Making use of photos and displaying them in certain locations to provide a memory for the desired look has also been a wonderful tool. Pictures really do say more than a thousand words!
Based on many years of experience I have found that the ones that have taken this tip to heart have been The Most Successful In Sustaining Their Organizing Efforts In The Long-Run in particular large offices where several staff members are accessing the same files, office supplies and tools.
STEP 5 – When Re-Organizing Your Office:
Begin Small And Continuously Improve! – KAIZEN
Kaizen – Is the Japanese word for “continual improvement”, and when it comes to office organization and efficiency, Kaizen refers to all of the activities that will continuously help you de-clutter and improve how you do things each and every day. And with that said: I’m a huge fan of taking action! 80% of an organized office will always beat the perfect solution or system that you never start. Don’t wait for the perfect time, begin today and begin with your desk, do whatever you can and continuously improve. First your desk, tomorrow or next week your desk drawers or the office supply closet and over time work yourself slowly through your entire office. Step by step.
Make an appointment with yourself and plan for times where you can critically examine your processes and sort things out little by little such as:
- Do you really need this file every day or does it actually belong in the archive with files you rarely access? If so, it’s time to clean out the file and archive or digitize. Remember Tip 1. Keep Your Friends Close everything else should not be in your immediate vicinity.
- Are these office supplies that are taking up most of your desk or desk drawer all necessary or could the majority possibly be stored with the remaining office supplies in the supply closet?
Overtime, you will experience how the supplies, the paperwork and all of the stuff you store in your office will gradually become less and less. Your office will become less crowded and create new space for new ideas, new workspaces and new tools that will make your work tremendously easier. Imagine instead of your office being cluttered with shelves and filing cabinets that you really don’t need you can create space for presentations or more work surface to layout projects where new ideas can be developed. Wouldn’t that be nice.
Here Is What Matters
The perfect office is the one that is individually tailored to your specific needs. It’s not about simply copying what others do but to realize and understand your particular individual needs. When you are beginning to re-organize your office, I want you to pay particular attention to how you work and what makes your work easier. The above principles are very general, the implementation of the reorganization does require you to look at what each respective tip means to you personally!
And What This Means For You
Re-organizing your office does take time and work but can also mean so much and in many cases it will bring stress relief as you will no longer waste time and in other words become so much more efficient! Trust me when I say, shorter distances, a well-thought out filing system and the use of areas for what you really need have the wonderful side effect that search times, back-ups and interruptions are reduced enormously! And can make you so much happier and relaxed in the long-run!
Now that you know how it’s done are you ready for new beginnings and would like to re-organize your office? If so, we would love to hear from you! What are your successes or your struggles? Comment below and together we can search for good and efficient solutions. Share with us how you feel or ask away if you have any questions. And don’t forget to snap a few photos before you begin. There is nothing like it than seeing the result and how much you’ve accomplished.