No matter how crazy or chaotic your work life feels during the last quarter, the start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to clear out the clutter from your office and regain control over your schedule. Here are a few simple suggestions for starting the new year organized.
Clean Out Your Files
It’s easy for your cabinets and folders to become overstuffed with outdated files and paperwork, so now is the time to purge the old and make room for the new. Ask yourself whether or not those documents will be relevant to your work in the coming year – completed projects and last year’s receipts should not be living in your active files! If you need to refer back to those papers in the future (for legal, tax, or other reasons), move those items to an archive file out of your office in permanent storage. And if you find papers that have no logical home in your filing system, create a new folder with the appropriate category. January is here, and you should be able to file any new document in seconds!
Take A Look At Your Office
Office clutter can take over throughout the year – you get busy, create a few piles here, a stack over there, and suddenly you can’t see a single horizontal surface! Go around the room and collect every loose item you find, creating a set spot for each:
- Supplies and equipment: Only keep what you use on a regular basis at your desk - then store the “extras” in a cabinet or closet.
- Reference manuals: Keep loose brochures and sets of papers in expanding files or 3-ring binders with Index Dividers between topics. Try Smead’s durable TUFF™ Expanding File® for frequently accessed items.
- Blank stationery items: Neatly stored in either stacking trays or a document sorter.
- To-do’s: Set up a desk file sorter or hanging files with categories for each type of action – “to call,” “to pay,” “to file,” “to read,” etc.
Having assigned storage space for everything makes it easier for you to maintain order after the first of the year. Just take a few minutes at the end of each day to put things away (not hard when you know where everything goes!)