If you’re still waging war on your cluttered office, don’t stop! I’m picking up where I left off from my previous post — Wage War on Your Cluttered Office (Part 1) — to share more things you can do.
Today’s post shares some additional steps that you can take to get your office organized and functioning well. If you have already started to do what I outlined in Part One, you’re half way there and you can surely see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Most important is to remember that staying clutter-free is an ongoing endeavor. If you fall back into old habits (e.g., piles of folders accumulating on the floor, papers on every surface and not in their rightful folders, things hanging from the backs of chairs, etc.), the clutter will start to build up and once again take over your space.
Avoid having a cluttered office by taking the six additional action steps listed below.
6 More Steps to Organize Your Cluttered Office
1. Arrange your desk. Be sure that the things that you use frequently (i.e. pen, pad, stapler, cell phone holder, etc.) are easy to access. And remember to keep your desk as clutter-free as possible. The items that you don’t use frequently should be put away in a drawer or in a supply closet.
2. Clear your floor. Remember, your floor is meant to be walked on and not intended to store books, papers, files, and whatever else you don’t have room for on your desk (or other furniture). If the floor is cluttered, this can present tripping hazards, too.
3. Organize your files. Keep your files in order and be scrupulous about maintaining them.
- Don’t put paperwork back on your desk when you have finished organizing it. Instead, put the papers into their “assigned folder” and then put away the folder in its proper place.
- Take up to 15 minutes each day to re-file, reorganize, and get rid of anything that you no longer need. This will ensure that the paper clutter never has an opportunity to get out of hand.
4. Clean up regularly. Like Mom always said, cleanliness counts. You can use a cleaning service or you can do-it-yourself. Take a moment or two at the end of each day to wipe down the surfaces in your office so that you don’t come in each morning to dust bunnies (or spills from yesterday’s lunch).
5. Take care of keepsakes. If you absolutely cannot bear to get rid of some of your memorabilia, buy a container or an attractive box, place these items in it, and then store it on a shelf or in your closet. Label it Cherished Mementos. Periodically rotate one or two pictures or souvenirs from this collection that you keep on display. Each time you start a new rotation, see if there are any items that you can let go off.
6. Find a place for your accessories. Resist the temptation to hang your coat, scarves, or umbrella on the doorknobs or off of the backs of chairs. This contributes to a general impression of disarray and clutter. Mount hooks in a designated place (on walls, behind doors) for things you use often.
Just Remember …
As with many projects, it’s best to set a deadline lest the actual work of clearing the clutter stretch on indefinitely. But, don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself enough of a window to get your office organizing project accomplished without too much stress — but make sure that you adhere to your schedule.
Once everything has been sorted, stored, and organized, you will feel a wonderful sense of peace, calm, and accomplishment.
Finally, the battle of the cluttered office will be over!
Stephanie is a professional organizer in works with business owners to streamline operations, improve time management, and to design a functional home office.