I love setting intentions for a new year ahead. It’s about beginning things on the right note and that includes preparing your workspace for success, inspiration, mental focus, and happiness.
Sometimes when I find myself having a difficult time focusing on work, it’s not because of any business related mental block. It’s literally the physical clutter that’s blocking me from getting anything accomplished. It’s a feeling of claustrophobia. There’s just too much “stuff” around taking up space and not letting me be the best I can at what I do.
Why is it that, so quickly, our working spaces tend to become overrun by excess paper, office supplies, binders, leftover cups and mugs, and so many other things?
When I feel this way, I really do need to take some time to clean off everything and get organized.
The best thing I can do to start this process is to literally remove everything from my work space, dust and wipe down all surfaces, monitors, phones, etc. and carefully decide what needs to come back to my workspace, what needs to get filed away physically or digitally, put in its proper place, or thrown away.
Doing this declutters me both mentally and physically. It can certainly increase my efficiency by having everything necessary within easy reach. It makes me feel better. I immediately feel more professional and ready to face any new challenges just by getting more organized. You, too, might find that the process makes you a happier and healthier person while you work.
Here are a few of my tips to keep you organized from here on out for the year ahead:
- Organize all of your small office supplies.
All items that get used regularly like pens, pencils, post-it notes, clips, USB drives, charging cords, etc. need compartments, drawers or caddies to keep things tidy. Keep them coralled and neatly organized with other like items and only keep the things that you use regularly within close range. If they’re not being used regularly, keep them in a supply storage closet
Whatever tools are part of your workspace, there’s a caddy or organizational system that will work to keep them within arm range when needed.
2. Keep paperwork organized.
Deciding which files, binders, or documents need to stay on your desk space should be a priority. These days, much of this can be digitally filed as well. Transfer as much as you can to be stored on your computer or external drives. Whatever you don’t need, put it in the garbage or recycle bin.
File papers away immediately to keep on top of a clean workspace.
3. Keep your digital desktop organized
It’s almost just as easy to become computer cluttered these days with so many applications, downloads, shared files, etc. Soon, your computer desktop is barely visible with all the incoming files you’ve quickly saved onto the home screen.
I try to keep a few master folders, somewhere between 10 and 12, on my home screen to manage all of the digital clutter. Within these I’ll create sub folders to organize everything.
I try to delete all unneeded images and downloads weekly as well.
Organize your computer desktop files, edit through download files, empty the trash, get rid of unused applications.
4. Use boxes or bins to store material.
For my line of work, I have a lot of bulky items that cannot be digitally stored like fabric swatches. For things of this nature, I have streamlined stackable boxes and bins to store them away from my desk space, but within easy access. I just make sure that I regularly edit through them, getting rid of outdated items so that they don’t overrun my workspace.
Covered stackable storage boxes can quickly hide away bulky items that aren’t easy to file away.
5. Always have a wastebasket close by.
With a small trash can nearby, you’ll be more likely to throw things out as needed instead of waiting until the end of the day or the next day to ditch these items. This keeps you in the frame of mind to continue to be organized and clean.
Ditch it if you don’t need it.
6. Perform regular maintenance.
Once you’ve gotten everything nice and tidy, the best thing you can do is to spend a few minutes at the end of every week putting unneeded things away, wiping down surfaces. You’ll feel refreshed and focused once you re-start your workday the next week.
7. Treat yourself.
Personally, I love to treat myself to a new organizing caddy, a water tumbler, a beautiful journal for the new year or even a fresh cut bouquet of flowers to reward myself
Reward yourself for a job well done. It will inspire you to regularly maintain your organizational habits.