Feeling weighed down by clutter? A messy environment may not seem like a big deal, but you’d be surprised at how much it can influence your day-to-day life!
Too much mess can actually lead to stress, in addition to other negative feelings like anxiety, helplessness, and overwhelm. Clutter can even distract you from what matters, eating away at your expected productivity.
When it’s time to organize your workplace and get things under control, we’ve got you covered. Here are the five key workplace organization tips you need to get from mess to success.
1. Purge Your Workplace
If you’ve been drowning in clutter for too long, the first step is to tackle the root of the problem: you may have too much stuff!
Set aside time for you and your team to empty drawers, remove broken tools, shred documents, declutter shelves, and toss out anything you aren’t using. If possible, go through each area one at a time for best results.
Note that this workplace organization tip isn’t a one-and-done procedure! After all, there’s a reason we call it “spring cleaning”: it should happen on a regular basis. Make sure to put a time on everyone’s calendar for an annual deep cleaning as well as a monthly cleaning on a smaller scale.
2. Spread Out
There are few things that make people more clutter-prone than cramped quarters. Creating an environment where each person has enough space to spread out can help make the area feel more open and inviting—and much less of a mess.
Of course, your ability to spread out is limited by the actual amount of space you have in your office. If you’re working in a larger setting, you may find it easy to give each team member a sufficient amount of space, in addition to extra areas like breakrooms, relaxation areas, and meeting spaces.
However, those in smaller spaces will need to be more creative. One easy method is to delineate different areas to give employees a clear idea of where one person’s space ends and another person’s begins. This can be done with clever flooring and carpeting, furniture or desks set out for specific purposes, or portable partitions and office cubicles that you can put up and break down as needed.
3. Choose the Right Organizers
If your office is like most, a great deal of your most important tools and documents are tucked away in drawers, cabinets, and filing systems. This is a great way to keep everything organized, but it only works if you’ve chosen the right tools for the job.
Box up extra cords and equipment you don’t use often, for example, but corral the office supplies you’re always reaching for onto eye-level shelves. Grab a rolling storage unit for meeting tools that travel from one conference room to another, and put the cleaning supplies in the kitchen where you’ll need them. Paying a little extra attention to the way you store your tools can help you find them a little easier.
Desk organization is a creature of its own, but the right organizers can help you tame the clutter a little easier.
4. Label Everything
Once you’ve stashed everything in its place, it’s important not to forget the necessary follow-up: creating labels! There’s nothing worse than not remembering where you’ve put something, so make sure to do this as soon as possible after you’ve finished organizing.
Labels come in all shapes and sizes, of course, but there are a few easy and inexpensive ways to get started. If you don’t have a classic label maker handy, try printing out the labels on your computer instead. If you have more time on your hands and want to get crafty, you can create unique branded designs for each—or you can handwrite themselves for a more personal touch.
5. Declutter the Computers
In the modern world, only part of a workplace’s activities actually happen in the office. The other part happens on a computer—and our computers can be just as prone to clutter as our physical environment.
When you’ve finished setting up and organizing your new office space, don’t forget to take some time to consider the content on your electronic devices as well.
Toss out old photos and documents, and do an inventory of your programs to uninstall anything you haven’t used in a while. Even if your computer’s storage doesn’t seem like a huge issue, you might be surprised by how much faster your device becomes once it’s free of the clutter. However, make sure you’re saving any files you need to keep for legal or tax purposes by creating a special folder or printing them out.
Just as you put everything into physical drawers and filing cabinets, try to set up a logical filing system for your computer. This might be as simple as creating one folder for working files and one for archived files, or it might be a complex system with sub-folders. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s simple enough to stick with in the long-term.
Make Your Workplace Organization Work for You
No matter how daunting the task may seem at first, organization in the workplace doesn’t have to be an ongoing source of stress. With a little bit of planning (and plenty of elbow grease), you’ll find that one big push to declutter your space can have long-lasting results. Make sure to use these simple workplace organization techniques as you get started!
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