Piles of papers, office accessories, notebooks, stickers, cables, file folders, etc. It’s just stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis and it’s driving us crazy! How can we function properly with all those things laid all over our work space?! And it’s not just the mess – you have wasted God knows how much time trying to find that one piece of paper you had needed, yet you couldn’t find it as it was buried at the bottom of the pile.
It’s better to spend some time de-cluttering your office than waste hours trying to find what you’d needed. Cluttered workspace may distract you while you’re trying to get your job done properly.
Still, there’s no reason to worry about anything. We are giving you a de-clutter tutorial that will instantly help!
1. Do you really need all that stuff?
Step away from your desk and try to get a bigger picture of your home office. Discern every single thing that is placed on your desk and think whether you actually need it. You may even take a picture and print it, sit back in a comfortable chair and make a mental sorting out of (un)necessary items to have in your office.
Make a selection of things you use often and those you use rarely. Once you do, you’ll know which ones to storage or throw away.
2. Start with a clean desk
Remove everything from the top of your desk, and empty all the drawers. Once you have a clean workspace you’ll be able to visualize what should go where so that everything is just at your reach. Everything you know you’ll be using daily place on the desk. Other things put away in drawers. Computer (desktop or laptop), printer, scanner, pen holder and sticky notes should be on the desktop; a stapler, punch holder, erasers, piles of unused paper should be in drawers.
3. Don't let the cables rule your life
There’s almost no piece of gadgetry that goes without a cable (or several). And regardless of how crucial they are to get all equipment functioning properly, they make a huge mess! So, to get them out of the way and save yourself from tripping over them, bind them with a spiral binder. Labeling every cable with a colored sticker will help you tell them apart from one another. Rarely used cables should be kept labeled in a separate box in a drawer or on a wall shelf, or any easily reachable place.
4. Stacking your paper
First, separate important from unimportant pieces of paper. Then, categorize important papers according to their purpose: bills, receipts, tax revenues, etc. Shred, dispose of or simply throw away all you don’t need.
When it comes to old bills and invoices, the best thing to do is keep them for another two to three years (also, always have a copy in your PC if possible) until they hit expiration date. If you operate with paper often, consider getting an appropriate file cabinet for your office.
5. Organize your computer desktop
Last but not least important thing is your computer desktop and data storage (hard disk, USB flash memories and memory cards). Your computer should be used for keeping every day needed files so that you have them at your instant reach at any point throughout the day. Keep all other on mass storage devices organized in properly named folders (by subject and/or by year). It is of utmost important to have all your data backed up! This should be done periodically and systematically it could be restored if needed.
One more thing – put everything in its place when working hours are over. This may take you five extra minutes, but it will save you more time at the beginning of next working day.