In this article, Professional Organizer Gigi K. Miller will share her tips on how to create and maintain an organized (clutter-free) work space, eliminate paper clutter, set up filing systems, create storage solutions and incorporate organization into your daily routine. So let’s begin!
Step #1: Create a space that works for you.
I always start by telling my clients to take a step back and create a vision of what you want your space to look like. To help, ask yourself these important questions: What function does this office need to fill? How much actual work space do I need? How much filing space do I need? And how much storage space do I need for books, magazines, office supplies, and other office accessories?
Step #2: Set up your space into zones.
Establish zones for the different activities that take place in your office. Here are some zones I recommend:
- Incoming Paper Zone Set up trays labeled as follows:
Action Needed: items that need immediate attention.
To File: the action has been completed and now it needs to be filed.
To Review: Such items as magazines, catalogs, research, etc. that you don’t have time to read now.
Tip: Set up a Recycle and Shred bin close to where you open mail and deal with paper.
• Filing Zone
De-clutter files at least once a year. Shred anything with personal information on it and recycle the rest. Check with an accountant or estate attorney about taxes & other financial papers before getting rid of them. Set up a customized filing system that makes it easy to access information quickly. I always ask clients, if you were out sick would an associate be able to find a file that he/she needs in your office?
• Office Supplies Zone
Keep office supplies organized by using bins, trays or boxes for storage. Label storage containers or the outside of you filing cabinet so you can find what you need when you need it. Take inventory of supplies before getting new ones. Save money and make less trips to the office supply store by knowing exactly what you have.
• Work Zone
Keep your work area clutter-free. I recommend keeping these items on your desk:
In-coming paper trays, phone, computer, lamp, 1 or 2 personal pictures, calendar, to do list, and pad for taking phone messages. The goal is to keep everything you need close by.
Step #3: Make staying organized part of your daily routine.
End the day with a clutter free desk by taking 30 minutes at the end of each day to return items to where they belong, check your calendar for the next day, and review your “To Do” list. Move any items you didn’t get a chance to do today to the next day. Leave the office feeling prepared for the next day.
Gigi K. Miller is an Atlanta based Professional Organizer, Presenter and Founder of Vision Organizing, LLC. She is a member of The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and currently serves as the Marketing Director for the local Georgia chapter (NAPO-GA). For additional information, visit www.VisionOrganizing.com or contact us directly at gigi@VisionOrganizing.com to learn how we can help with your organizing needs.