Where you work has a huge impact on how you work. During a busy day at the office, the last thing on your mind is cleaning up your desk. While it may not seem important at the time, research shows that an organized desk actually does make you more productive and healthy. So if you’re spending half as much time trying to find paperwork as you are actually filling it out, it’s time to tidy up! Get a jump on spring cleaning with a few of these office organizational tips.
Clear Your Desk
Files from canceled accounts? Old post-its? Miscellaneous papers? All those are contributing to a messy work environment. Take a look around your desk and ask yourself – “when was the last time I used this?” If you work in a larger office, items like staplers, tape, and markers can probably be moved to the common area or supply closet.
Investing in a good label maker is important. Yes, we know “everything is online” nowadays, but there are still plenty of times a physical label will come in handy – especially one that is small, portable and easy-to-use. Not only will it help you keep everything organized, it can help others in the office know where to leave materials for you.
And while you may not have to use a label maker for digital files, it’s still important to label all of your documents (and we mean real labels, not, “To-do”). Labeling files by specific purpose or date is a great way to cut down on wasted time searching through dozens of documents with the same name.
Scan Old Papers
Speaking of going digital, we all have that stack of old papers that we could probably get rid of but hang on to just in case. Instead of leaving them in a drawer – or worse, sitting on your desk – scan them into the computer. Now you’ll still be able to print the file out if you actually do need it, but they won’t take up any space.
Invest in Letter Trays and Organizers
Using a paper tray is a simple trick that can help eliminate the majority of clutter on your desk and will prevent papers from falling over or getting lost. If you’re into color coding your work (which is another great way to stay organized) pencil cups are another way to keep loose pens and markers from making their way across your desk and under papers.
When was the last time you cleaned your keyboard? If you’re like most Americans, the answer is probably never. Sure you may have a cleaning crew come through the office once or twice a week, but most of them are not allowed to touch anything on your desk. Every Friday before you head out for the weekend, spend a few minutes wiping down your desk, keyboard, mouse and phone with a disinfectant spray.