Organize Your Office

Posted September 14, 2012 by Marcy Farrey in On the Ladder

At the beginning of the week, my desk starts out fairly clean. I try to put things away as I start my Monday, but by Friday, the clutter has returned. It creeps in and adds up until I finally can’t take it anymore. If you’re like me, you just grab the extra stuff on Monday morning, shove it in a drawer, and hide it away!

Obviously, this is not a great longterm solution. I’d probably save a lot of frustration if I made sure everything had a place. I work mostly from home, and I recently moved. I haven’t had the chance to get organized, but after a second week of clutter, I’ve decided this is the day to put my many things back into place.

Whether you work from home or in an office, consider getting your space a little more organized before you race out the door for the weekend — it will ensure a good start to your next work week. Kacy Paide has “12 Steps to a More Organized Workspace” on Ragan’s PR Daily, and they’re steps you can easily start now. Here’s a few of the tips that motivated me, and will hopefully motivate you too:

“Know Your Goals.” Paide says she tells her clients to make a list of 10 things they’ll do once they get organized. We tend to organize for the sake of organizing, and because people say it’s better that way. But you won’t stick with it unless you have a real benefit:

People never get organized or the sake of having pretty folders. They organize so that they can spend more time with their family, delegate more, workout again, and more.”

This is really a great place to start. And I do admit that my motivation was once about the pretty folders — I go crazy every time I go to an Office Depot or the Container Store. Instead of using all those things I buy to organize, I get lost wondering what will go in them. Don’t let this happen to you! Know what you want to organize and shop based on that.

“Start with the Low-hanging Fruit.” Too scared to start throwing away and moving things around? Paide recommends starting with the easiest items. Maybe start with that top drawer that you throw extra junk in. Paide says you can start with something as simple as dried-up pens, which is always my first step — think about how nice it will be to reach for a pen and know it works!

“Keep it Visible.” I said above that I tend to show things in drawers to get them out of the way. Bad idea. When you shove all of that stuff away, you forget about. In some cases, it wasn’t something I wanted to forget about! Here’s what Paide suggests:

If your office is out of order, it’s probably in part due to you being out-of-sight-out-of-mind. For many, anything filed is as good as gone. Files in drawers are best for archives. Anything active should be organized on the desktop or on the wall. Step racks and wall file pockets are good solutions.”

If you’re headed out for some shopping this weekend, make a list of what you might need to help organize your office. Assess what has been floating around and still needs a place. And be sure to have fun with it: let your office match your personal style. If you work in a more conservative office, hide something fun in your drawer. You’ll smile every time you reach for that Hello Kitty pencil box — I know I do!

Read the rest of Paide’s great organization tips here.

About the Author

Marcy Farrey

Marcy Farrey is a videographer, writer, and editor. In her previous life, she worked as a broadcast news reporter and producer in Lincoln, Nebraska and as a writer and producer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a Master of Arts in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University. Learn more about Marcy on her website

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