If you’re a working mom (or even one who works at an office from home), you know how hard it can be to keep your office space organized and free from clutter. Papers seem to pile up, stationery gets lost and being busy on the computer all day makes it hard to keep everything in order. We all know that this can put a stop to productivity, and it doesn’t look good in front of colleagues and clients. So what’s the best way to deal with it?
Throw junk out
This might seem like an obvious one, but sometimes it’s hard to make the distinction between what you need and what you don’t. But you really need to sit down and take a good look at your desk. Be ruthless, and throw out or recycle any items that you don’t need or use. If you’ve got your own office and have boxes gathering dust in the corner, it’s time to sort through these and get them out of your sight.
This sounds easier than it is, but you’ll find that there’s nothing as quietly liberating as having everything in its place. Keep your desk drawers free of junk and instead only include items that should be grouped together. This makes it easier to find something quickly. When it comes to desk space, start by clearing everything off it and wiping it down with a damp cloth – you might notice a few coffee cup stains! Only put things back that need to be there – like the computer, phone, pen and notepad. Include other decorative items like a plant and photos (but not too many)
File away papers
Lone papers strewn everywhere are easily the biggest hindrance to a clean and uncluttered office space. The best method to dealing with papers gone rogue is to come up with a filing system. You could file by category, and color code folders by project. Remember to also have a recycling bin and shredder in your office so that you don’t hold on to any unnecessary paper.
Declutter your digital space
What’s on your computer can be just as big of a source as clutter as your physical space. A messy desktop and email is very common, so you need to figure out your own personal way of organizing your digital workspace. When organizing your email, you can organize emails by project, or action-based folders like ‘reply’ or ‘archive’. You can clean up your desktop in much the same way – just delete any unnecessary files and organize the rest by placing in folders.
Keep up the good work
When keeping your workspace clean and organized, you need to consistently stay on top of it with maintenance. Spend 5 or 10 minutes each morning or afternoon tidying up your space and filing documents. That way, you won’t end up with a big messy pile to deal with by the end of the week.
What are your favorite tips for organizing your office space?