Is your home office/workspace bursting at the seams with clutter and paperwork?
If so, that clutter may be keeping you from effectively managing your business. Surrounding yourself in paperwork and clutter only adds stress to the already overwhelming job of record-keeping and paperwork. Here are a few tips that may help you get organized and reduce that awful stress:
- TRASH all papers you will not need anymore. As your business expands, so does the volume of mail you receive. Get in the habit of opening your mail everyday and sorting through it. Keep all the important paper and trash the rest. Get rid of flyers, empty envelopes, boxes, plastic wrapping etc immediately so they don’t collect and clutter your space. Of course, we encourage you to recycle what you can into a recycle bin and trash the rest! You will need to make space for all of the new files you are about to create.
- ORGANIZE your papers and other items in your workspace. This may mean a trip to the office supply store. You may want to use ring binders, file folders and file boxes to keep documents together. Small desktop organizers will keep your pens, paper clips, note pads and other small items together in an easy to find place – there is nothing worse than constantly searching for that pen you know you just had!! A small cork or magnetic board will be helpful for posting important reminders, calendars or other items you don’t want to get lost in the paper shuffle on your desk.
- FILE your documents on a weekly basis. Make it a point to spend some time every week dealing with the documents on your desk. If it works for you, pick one day a week that is dedicated to office/paperwork – I like Fridays! Once you have dealt with a document, file it away. Searching for documents can eat up so much time that could have otherwise been more productive. Create yourself a filing system that you understand and works well for your business. Add labels to file folders, file boxes or even drawers. That way you will know exactly where to put your documents when filing and where to look when you need something at a later time. If you can stick to a weekly routine, the paper clutter will stay at a minimum and make the task less overwhelming.
- FREE your space of useless dust collectors. Even more expensive items can be considered clutter if they do not serve any functional or aesthetic purpose. They may include old office furniture or outdated electronic gadgets no longer in use. Gather cables and cords under your desk or workspace. Tie them together with twist ties, zip ties or anything to keep them from getting underfoot and creating hazards.
- CREATE more storage space by building multiple shelves against a wall. Higher shelves can hold files and papers that you are not currently working on while the lower ones can be used for those you need on a daily basis; perhaps lighter items on the top shelves with heavier boxes on the bottom. Shelves are generally inexpensive, but if that is not an option, then perhaps try stacking file boxes or filing cabinets. Remember to label them!
- BRIGHTEN your office with desk lamps, brighter lighting or windows. A dark working environment is not conducive to productivity and good business. Dim lights tend to make the work area gloomy and you to feel lethargic. You will most likely avoid your paperwork if your workspace is dark and dingy.