Get Your Workspace Organized On Clean Out Your Desk Day!
January 14, 2019
By: Cathie Ericson
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to get rid of clutter? Heading back into the office after the holidays—even if it’s in your home—and vowing to tackle desk organization can be a losing battle. Why? You’ve probably just returned from several days out and have a to-do list longer than Santa’s was. All at once work office organization goes out the window.
That’s why we propose a better idea to confront office organization. Participate in “Clean Off Your Desk Day,” which is always held the second Monday in January, falling on Mon., Jan. 14, 2019. Here is a checklist for how to organize your workspace once and for all.
1. Set aside time to adequately tackle work office organization
If you don’t allocate sufficient time, you are bound to put off getting started, get interrupted or frustrated. If this happens, you may be discouraged from ever finishing the project, thereby making your efforts at desk organization futile.
2. Figure out what belongs on your desk
Some people make the mistake of completely cleaning off their desk, which is not the best approach. That’s because you will tire of constantly reaching into your drawers for office tools like pens or notepads and decide that desk organization is more trouble than it’s worth. So be realistic and smart about your space. Most of us don’t use our staplers or scissors on a regular basis, so those should be relegated to a drawer, especially if you need small desk organization ideas. But if they play an integral role in your day-to-day job function, then by all means keep them accessible. Same with file folders. Many of them can be stashed away in a drawer in expandable file folders or hanging file folders; others should be handy in a desktop file folder holder.
3. Determine your storage capabilities and match them to your needs
How to organize your workspace depends on how much space you have. If you work in an open plan office, you likely have to consolidate more than if you have your own dedicated cubicle with filing cabinets and ample drawers. So assess what you have to work with and then figure out what products would fill your needs; for example whether hanging file folders or expanding file folders would be easier to store, or if a good scanner will be your go-to office organization tool instead.
4. Create a system for your papers
Once you’ve determined what sort of file folders you need, you can decide how to use them. The best bet is a customized system that you devise specifically for your processes. Having an “in” and “out” box doesn’t make sense if you rarely mail anything. It might work better to organize papers by due date if you have a lot of contracts or invoices. If going through your existing backlog is too much to tackle on Clean Off Your Desk Day, don’t sweat it. You can vow to use the system going forward to prevent new clutter and deal with existing papers whenever you have a short block of free time. And, try to keep a recycling bin handy.
5. Put your planner or calendar to good use
In some cases, desk organization devolves into a monitor covered in sticky notes. This is a case where less is more. You are not going to pay attention to these reminders if there are too many of them. That’s where your planner can play an important role. Instead of posting the digits to an upcoming conference call on your computer screen, you can write them down in your calendar instead. Using a calendar as a to-do list and repository for reminders makes it more likely you’ll get rid of clutter.
6. Document your success
Did you make good headway? Consider taking a picture of your amazing desk organization and hang it in your workspace so you can remember why you want to organize your workspace and how delightful it was to get rid of clutter. While you’re at it, post it on social media with the hashtags that will attract traffic and engagement. Because that is truly something to brag about.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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