By Jessica Filigno, Home and Office Organization Expert and Founder of Jessie’s Interiors
It’s that time of year again! Spring gives us another opportunity to start fresh and reclaim our spaces. Office organization can be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, spaces for you to focus on. Since office clutter has a direct impact on how effectively you work, it’s important to spend some time creating a system that works for you—but don’t be overwhelmed! Set aside a couple of hours every week to tackle one task at a time and you will immediately feel more focused and calm in your own space. Concentrate on clearing off your desk by keeping only what you really need in eyesight. Try to tackle that paper clutter by creating systems that work for you when you need them; focus on ease of accessibility and giving every action a flow. When spring cleaning your office, think about your daily tasks and organize around them.
For more inspiration, follow these tips to help tackle your office organization.
1. Digitize what you can
Digitizing paper, photos or any loose material in your office will help to keep your desktop clutter-free and organized. Make sure you organize your online folders accordingly so you know where the documents are when you need them.
2. Create an ‘in and out’ mail system—and follow it
Go through your ‘in and out’ mail system once a week to ensure nothing is overlooked. This system can include bills, receipts, report cards, etc.
3. Organize your email and computer files
Organize your email and computer files into general folders. Check online to see how you can customize your email to make it easier for you to retrieve the information you need, when you need it. If you receive a lot of unwanted mail, take the time to unsubscribe from any additional content. This simple step can save you a ton of time searching through emails and will help you gain control of your inbox.
4. Clean off your desktop
In order to keep your desktop clutter-free, only have the items you use on a daily basis within arms reach. Try going vertically, using shelving systems, to store items larger items you may need. Categorize your items into separate boxes or file folders—just remember to label everything!
5. File important papers
Filing important papers right away clears not only your desktop, but also your mind. Insurance paperwork, birth certificates and passports should always be stored somewhere safe and out of a child’s reach. If you need a document, take the time to put it back right away.
6. Reclaim your command centre
A quick trip to Staples is all you need to get your command center back up and running. Start with a sturdy three ring binder then add tabbed dividers as needed, labeling accordingly. You can also opt for labeled portfolios to help store emergency contact numbers, takeout menus, gift certificates or postcards.
7. Tame those cables
Those unruly cables, cords and wires seem to always be a visual eyesore in the office. Luckily, there are a ton of products on the market to help you tame your cables and increase your desk space.
8. Look up!
One of the best ways to maximize storage in a small place is to think vertically. Wall shelving is a compact storage system that is an effective way to save valuable floor space, and can also serve as a focal point in your office. Be creative with the colors and sizes and add items such as candles, frames or keepsakes to help personalize your space.
9. Restock items
Now’s the time to restock the products you need and organize them accordingly. Remember to keep supplies and often-used items stored separately. This keeps less frequently used items from taking up valuable desk space.
10. Evaluate your lighting
Whether you work in a home office or cubicle, the quality of lighting in your workspace can make a big impact on your productivity. Ensure your desktop is well lit since you may be reading for several hours at a time. But remember: nothing is better than opening up your windows after a long, cold winter!
Jessica Filigno—a Toronto-based professional home and office organizer—is an active member of theProfessional Organizers in Canada (POC) and specializes in residential organization, helping to eliminate clutter in her clients’ homes. To find out more, visit Jessie’s Interiors.