Are you often overwhelmed by desk clutter? Not sure where to start or how to make your day more efficient and spend less time searching for that much needed document? Papers stacked a mile high, file folders strewn across what used to resemble a desk, and somewhere under the endless piles are your loose pens, some that work others that don’t, coffee cups that have been sitting around for an unknown length of time growing shades of green and black molds. If this is you or has the potential to be you, let me help you out with some pretty simple organizing tools to keep you and your office organized.
Here are six simple tips to keep your desk clutter free and everything at the tip of your fingers for quick reference:
1. Use three ring binders to organize your bills, invoices that need paying and so forth. Leave all of your bills inside the binder and place on one of your shelving units or bookcases, this allows for easy access and cleans up your desk/working space. In the binder, place your chequebooks inside a plastic pencil case along with stamps, a pen, and envelopes are stored in the side of pocket of the binder to make easy bill paying a breeze and all at your fingertips. Once paid – move to another section of the binder – clean out every few months and store in the filing cabinet.
2. Use baskets for in-mail, outgoing mail and junk mail, items to shred – when baskets are full take to recycle, file, or shred as necessary. Uniform coloured photo boxes, cigar boxes marked with specific supplies that you use for example pens, pencils, tacks, batteries, software are excellent storage ideas. They stack easily and look appealing to the eye.
3. Instead of filing the “old-fashioned-way”, using tons of paper and boxes to store it in, scan all your documents, and save the files on your computer – do not forget to do a daily back up using an online storage system or an external hard drive!
4. Create a chalkboard wall calendar using chalkboard paint or use a cost-effective, time efficient white board. Change your dates monthly with ease while adding and erasing items on your to do list. Never worry about losing that little sticky note or the ever-important-written-somewhere-on-a-piece-of-paper “to-do” list. Forego the idea of using more paper and in the end, it is more economical as less paper is purchased.
5. To organize printer cords, computer power cords, monitor cords, keyboard cords, printer cords, scanner cords, phone cords, lamps, and extension cords, hook a standard plastic or metal basket underneath the desk, creating a cage. Run all the cords through here, where they can stay wound and separated from each other. Label them so you know which you are unplugging. Use adhesive Velcro strips to secure surge protectors and dangling cords to the underside of a desk. An alternate solution, instead of dealing with the jumble of cords, is to go wireless.
Organizing your home office does not have to be as daunting as what it may seem. Take 10 minutes at the end of the day to clean your desk and prepare yourself for the next workday. With these five tips, you are on your way to a more efficient and productive day.