How to Organize Your Office
It is no secret that having an organized office can help you be more productive and feel less stressed. Since the focus of my business is office organizing, I hear lots of complaints from clients that say they feel so overwhelmed at organizing their offices. Here are a few tips to make that job less stressful.
- Look at your physical space and decide what you need in it to operate a business.
- Remove all items that don’t relate to an office if possible.
- Create office zones: 1-where you work most often- usually the desk, phone, computer, printer, desk accessories, and active files. 2-Overflow supplies, supply cupboard. 3-Reference section-books, magazines, articles, manuals, bookcase. 4-Archive files. Information that you need to keep, but don’t access on a regular basis. 5-Other zones may be created if needed.
- Set up active files. These are files that you will access everyday or at least every week. They should be located as close to your main work area as possible, preferably next to your desk. These should be separate from your own personal files. They will include files to operate your business such as licenses, contracts, business forms that you use such as invoices, pricing information, blank contracts. You should have folders for financial information such as budgets, checking and savings accounts, rewards points for credit cards, etc. You may need files for resources and ideas that you collect from articles and books. Of course you will have client files too. Color coding helps to keep these sections of folders more easily visible.
- Sort and purge files that are not active any longer. These are archive files. They include information that you must keep, but can store in another place other than your Filing cabinet. Use bankers’ boxes and locate them either in the same room as your office, another room, or off-site.
- Don’t forget to include some personal items in your office to make it feel like your space. A caution is not to place items on bookcases in front of books. It makes it harder to access the information when you need it. Place these items on higher shelves that are not needed for office items, a window ledge, or other appropriate place. You may want to consider putting some personal pictures here as well.
- Assess your office now. Does it make you feel like going into this space and working there? Do you need to change anything to make the environment more productive or physically appealing? Do you have a comfortable place other than your desk chair to relax and read over material? If not, make those needed changes. A pleasant working environment makes a big difference in your attitude as well as reducing stress and increasing productivity.
Barbara Boone is the owner of Busy Bee Organizing Services located in Cockeysville, MD. She provides office organizing for small businesses, home-based businesses, and busy professionals. Her focus is paper management and file set up to help clients reduce stress and increase productivity. She has been organizing in the fields of education and business for over 36 years. Barbara is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, Business Networking International, and a board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners. She loves to travel, garden, create crafts, and play with her Yorkie, Lillie.