Staying organized in an office full of people, or even a home office all by yourself can seem impossible. How do you have the time when you are busy working all day? It’s not as hard as you may think, especially if you do it the right way. If you spend a little time each day organizing, you will be thankful you did it in the end, and as long as you keep up with it, you won’t have to spend time doing it in the future. Staying organized not only helps productivity around the office, but it also saves time and helps morale by reducing work-related stress. Employees who feel less stressed can work with ease and confidence, rather than frantically running around the office looking for misplaced items all day. Use these tips to keep your whole office organized.

Purge the Office

purge for an organized office

Whether it’s the whole corporate office, home office, or just a desk, the area that you are organizing, get rid of everything that doesn’t add value to space. Items include old papers that go to the shredder, decorations that are accumulating dust, machines that don’t work, potential donation items, and odd ends. If the office is large, start with one room and work your way around the building from there. It’s best to put your focus in one place to avoid overwhelming and discouraging.

You can take stuff out of the area as you find it, or you can empty the entire room of its contents and bring them back in as you organize. Some like this method because it allows you to visualize the space from a new perspective. With nothing in it, you can decide how a productive environment looks and organize it from there. Only bring back in the items that add productivity to the office, and avoid re-cluttering the area.

Toss the Clutter

Any clutter in the office is just adding to the stuff you have to look through to find that paper or piece of information you need, which often creates a cycle that takes you away from getting work done. In each room or space that you are organizing, decide what to toss out. If there are papers that have been sitting there for months, untouched, figure out if you should toss them or file accordingly. If there is trash or any broken items, those should go in the trash also. Getting rid of clutter in the office is an essential step to organizing.

Create a System

create a system to be organized

Once everything is purged, tossed, and organized, you will want to create a system to avoid the office becoming an unorganized mess again. Create mailboxes for each person, utilize filing cabinets for each department, and eliminate paper as much as possible. Creating a mailbox for each person allows a space for information to reach them daily, in the same spot. Encourage employees to check these frequently so that papers don’t pile up. The same goes for filing cabinets. To be productive, you have to utilize them. Make it a part of everyone’s routine to use the filing cabinets for any paper they can. This keeps all documents for a department in one place, so even if someone is out that day, others can locate information easily and efficiently.

Clearly label folders for different purposes, and be as specific as you want so people don’t get confused. Mailboxes and filing cabinets are efficient ways of organizing, however; try to limit the amount of paper that is being used. Paper leaves the opportunity for things to get cluttered quickly. Many people just end up with a pile of loose papers that never get used, or found again. Instead of printing papers out, you could try using Google Drive, Emailing, or Scanning items to place in a file on your computer.

Keep Trash Cans and Recycling Around

trash and recycling

Keeping trashcans and recycling bins can help decrease the amount of clutter around the office. People will feel more inclined to toss clutter if it is convenient for them. Having a recycling bin in the copy room will encourage employees to recycle any misprints, or papers they don’t need anymore. 

Get to Labeling

organized labels

Organizing space isn’t complete without a good label maker. Taking the time to label bins, shelves, drawers, etc. can save a lot of time, especially when the office is spacious. Labeling can help people who didn’t organize the stuff find it easier and more efficient. If it is your home office, it’s not as hard to find the items you need because they are typically in one room. Regardless, labeling can make a huge difference when you go to look for something or put things away.

Stock the Supply Closet Regularly

restock supply room

Nothing is worse than going to the supply closet only to find what you need isn’t there. When this happens, it often creates wasted time because then people have to find an alternative to what they were looking for. Keep that supply closet full to make sure employees are always stocked with supplies to get their job done. To keep up with the supply closet, you will need to come up with a system. Maybe someone checks it each week, or you have software to help keep track of supplies. Whichever method you choose, keeping your supply closet up to date is necessary for an organized office.

Keep up with the Organization

stay organized

Once you fully organize the office to everyone’s standards, keep up with it. You don’t want to turn around the next week and have to do it all over again. Keeping up with the organization allows everyone to do their job efficiently and have a productive workday. Processes will flow smoother, and employees will be happier.

An organized office is essential to a productive workflow. While it can seem time-consuming, it’s worth it when the outcome is a more efficient workday. Whether you follow one or many of these tips, your office will look better and run smoother overall.

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