You may be ready for 2019, but how about your office? After a year of hard work, does your desk need a bit of attention? Maybe there is a stack of business cards from networking events you meant to enter as contacts but never got around to. Or perhaps you have all those post-it notes with reminders on your desk and monitor that you don’t quite remember what they were for. Or maybe you just need to hit the “reset” button to start the work year right.
Whatever level of decluttering your office needs, now is a great time to get started a put a few systems in place to remain clutter-free and organized throughout 2019. Here are a few tips to put you on the right track:
Start with 3 categories: Keep – Trash/Shred/Recycle and Belongs Elsewhere
Take a look at what’s laying around that doesn’t belong in your area. Once identified, sort everything into these three categories: Keep, Trash/Shred/Recycle and Belongs Elsewhere. The idea here is not necessarily to put things away but to prioritize what needs attention.
Obviously the “keep” box is for those items that you need and belong in your office. This includes things like client files and important papers, office supplies, computer/tech equipment, etc. Don’t spend a lot of time thinking through what should be kept – if your initial inclination is that you will need it, put it in the Keep box.
The trash/shred/recycle box(es) are specifically for everything that needs to go. You want to be careful that you are disposing of these items correctly. For example, documents with sensitive information (think social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank routing codes, usernames and passwords, etc.) should be shredded. Be aware of items that you can recycle and/or donate as well. You may not want to keep that old chair or smart phone, but somebody else may get use out of it.
The last category is “Belongs Elsewhere”. This is for those items that have somehow or other found their way into your office that need to be returned to their proper home. Perhaps it is that Halloween candy dish you put out or something else that just doesn’t belong.
Tackle Each Box One at a Time
Once you have everything categorized, it’s time to go through each box and put it in its proper place (even if that is the trash!). Tackle each item individually and pace yourself so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with the process.
Here are a couple of ideas that will cut down on clutter now and in the future:
- Digitize what you can. This includes documents, pictures and even business cards – all of which take up precious office space and can easily get lost in the daily shuffle. Storing them on your computer or other storage device will ensure that they are accessible when you need them.
- Be ruthless when deciding if something should stay or go. Keeping that souvenir mug or cheap calculator that you got at the last convention may seem important at the time, but, really, what are you going to do with it other than move it out of the way?
- Find a home for everything. Your mom was right when she said “a place for everything and everything in its place”. It is extremely helpful when it comes to your office space – you will be amazed at how much time you’ll save when everything is put away and easily accessible.
These tips will just get you started on the road to a clean office and a productive 2019. To stay on top of your newly organized workspace, make sure you plan time into your daily and weekly schedules to tidy up and keep yourself organized – it will give you the business edge you need for 2019.
If you need help sharpening your Business Edge, give us a call at 732.859.8419.