Whether you work in an office building, an office cubicle or your own home office, you'll get the most work done and be the most productive without the clutter of papers, books and magazines in your office. Disorganization in your office often translates to disorganization in other areas of life as well such as being late to pay bills costing you more money, inability to find important papers, missing meetings and all can be areas that contribute to high levels of stress, depression and unhappiness.
Office Organization is an art that can be overwhelming to start but, will reap huge rewards in your life when you undertake the project. You can also be a good role model for other members of your family with a well organized office and it may inspire more organization in other areas of the home such as a child's bedroom!
Starting Office Organization
The first step in getting your office organized is to lay out all the paperwork that you currently have. Use a large worktable, the office desk or even the floor if needed.
Once all papers are out in front of you, begin to sort through what you need to keep or what you can get rid of.
Go Paperless â€“ Buy a Scanner
A scanner is a worthwhile purchase since you can begin to go paperless by scanning documents, cards, letters or any other paperwork that you would like to save. Simply scan the item into your scanner, save it as a pdf file and then place it in a folder on your computer. You can now safely shred the paperwork and still have your information with a lot less clutter! Find scanners at office stores or shop online to have it shipped direct to you with free shipping or free ink offers.
List of Dates Records should be kept According to the IRS:
Save these documents for one year:
Monthly bills and invoices from utilities, banking information and credit card statements.
Save these documents for seven years:
Save all tax returns, tax papers, year end statements from credit cards, department stores, loans, medical bills and any large purchase items.
Save these documents for ever:
The IRS requires that we always keep mortgage information, wills, trusts, social security information, birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates and all insurance policy information.
The list of dates that records should be kept will help you in sorting out which information you can start to get rid of and clear the clutter in your office.
Start Shredding Office Papers!
Now that you are familiar with what you need to keep, begin to shred any outdated bills, invoices, receipts that no longer fall within the keep category above.
Purchase a strong and sturdy paper shredder that will be able to shred credit cards, goes easily through staples and heavy papers. Recycle all the shredded paper by placing in a clear bag and placing out with your regular garbage pickup.
Get into the habit of shredding or filing papers immediately if not needed to prevent clutter from reappearing in the office.
Office Organization â€“ Filing
After all the papers are shredded, scanned into the computer or are still left on a pile to save, find a filing system that will hold all the important papers you need.
The size of the office space will be the most important determining factor in what type of storage system you will use for filing.
If the office space is large enough, purchase a large desk with file drawers attached or look for a large filing cabinet that can be stored out of the way but, still easily accessible in a closet in the room.
Manila folders work great to keep papers since the top of each folder can be labeled with what is in it and can easily be obtained when needed.
Keep manila folders in any type of filing storage container, bin or cabinet depending on your budget. Even the cardboard banker boxes can work well to keep the office papers contained and found easily to assist with office organization.
Find a desk caddy type of filing rack that can be kept on top of the desk for paperwork that will be used and needed daily. It's easy to access, easy to remember your to-do list and still is not lying all over the desk so that work becomes forgotten and deadlines become missed.
Expandable folders are a great way to organize and keep safe any paperwork that you may need to carry with you for a meeting or to work outside of the home or office.
Use a bookcase to neatly organize reference books, binders and inspirational artwork.
Office Organization â€“ The Desk
Keeping the desktop free of clutter is easier to do once you have a system in place and a place for everything in the office.
Organize the office desk by rearranging it to face a window if possible to get a dose of Vitamin D from the sun which helps to boost the immune system as well as reduces blood pressure among many other health benefits.
Try to keep just the computer, a lamp, a clock, a daily to-do list and something to inspire your work on the desktop to keep it clutter free.
Avoid eating at the desk to eliminate the potential of damage to a computer or other electronic equipment needed on the desk.
Use a comfortable desk chair that helps you to reduce back pains and helps to improve your work productivity- you'll actually enjoy going to work when your space is comfortable.
Keep a small garbage can next to your office desk so that you can keep your area clean and tidy at all times.
Office Organization â€“ Personalize your Space
Once your office is cleaned and all paperwork is in the proper place, add a few key pieces of artwork that helps to inspire your work and makes you want to be there.
Remove any other excess clutter likes magazines and books or knickknacks that add to the unorganized look of the office. Donate anything that is still in good shape and could be used by someone else â€“ and take the benefit of a tax deduction for yourself.
Try painting the walls in your office to create a warm and comfortable environment in which to work. One idea to try is painting all the walls but use another coordinating color to paint only one wall to set it apart from the rest.
Taking the time to organize the office is time well spent that will help you in the long run to remain the most productive as well as relaxed and able to think more clearly. Purchase all types of office organization items for yourself or a loved one as a gift online at overstock or amazon. Office organization supplies and files can be found in almost any color or pattern and can easily coordinate with an office to make it a place you will enjoy.