Having an organized workspace can significantly increase your productivity. It may seem overwhelming to wrangle your desk into submission. With this workspace organization checklist, it’s much easier than you think!
- Create a filing system. Start by deciding how you’ll categorize items in your files. Project? Client? Accounts payable? Accounts receivable? You can have several, just don’t duplicate across them. Once you have the categorize, create a drawer or folder for each. Clearly label it. Within each category, create a means for alphabetically or numerically filing documents to make them easy to find later.
- Organize existing files. How long are you keeping old documents? If it’s more than seven years, it’s probably too long. If it’s not financial documents, even less time is necessary. Pull out documents you no longer need to store and either recycle or shred them as appropriate. If you’re unsure, contact your attorney or accountant for appropriate instructions. If purging large numbers of documents, a professional shredding company can come to your home or office and ensure proper disposal. Check out Shred-It (they do hard drives too!)
- Sort paperwork. If your desk has piles and piles of paperwork on it, begin by sorting through them. Anything that can be filed, immediately do so. Anything that can be discarded, immediately place in recycle bins or in a separate area to be shredded later. Any remaining documents belong in a desktop bin. You can purchase stacking or vertical ones inexpensively at Staples or other office supply stores. Have them based on project or client – whatever makes sense for your business.
- Organize your desktop. Pens, pencils, rulers and other items often wind up “lost” in the clutter on a desktop. Use pencil cups or other containers to store items like this which you’d like to have close at hand rather than tucked in a drawer.
- Address your drawers. Use dividers or small bins to organize loose items such as pens, pencils, paper clips and elastics. Put items you use more frequently near the front and less used items towards the back.
- Clean everything. Now that your desktop, files and desk drawers are organized, break out the cleaning solution and a rag. Give everything, including your keyboard, computer and monitor, a good cleaning. Finish off by vacuuming your chair and sweeping, mopping or vacuuming the floor.
Once you’ve done all these items, you’ll be feeling much more at ease in your workspace. If working through this list feels overwhelming, contact me to get help!