5 Office Organization Tips

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This past January in Lexington, KY we got a lot more snow than usual. I enjoyed the snow - but not many other people did. What we did manage to do around here is get focused on our organization. And after a few lunches with some of my friends - I found we were not alone. January is a big month for organizing anyway and often times we could all use a bit more tinkering - even the most organized among us can stand to make changes now and again. My business partner is a very neat person. And I have learned a great deal from him about organization - and one of his tips is below. But before we go here's a little Pin-spiration
Love the Walls and Great Color
Tip #1:
Set up a time of day everyday for filing

By making it part of your daily routine there is no question about when it needs to get done. Treat it like an appointment. I have two things to share here. One is that it absolutely works to keep your desk clear and takes only a few minutes. The second is it took me five seconds to realize I have an underlying problem was my filing system. It isn't up to par. In speaking with my friends we all agree that ugly, confusing files are a big turn off and almost all of us avoid filing because there is so much chaos in there! Finding things is hard and putting them away is just not happening for lots of people. Thank goodness I'm not alone in this. But I did do some research and found two really inspiring YouTube Organizing Divas Alejandra and Cheryl. I've been busy reviewing lots of systems. I do think it is time for me to invest in new files. Since I have been giving myself time to file I have to say how uninspired I am when I open those ugly green file folders -- I'm thinking for my personality color is much needed. I will let you know what I decide upon. You can get the freedom filer here and I believe Office Depot also carries it as well as lots of pretty colored files - and you can use your Commerce Lexington Membership to get a discount card and grab a rewards card too.



Tip #2
Get a Catch All Tray

The most genius idea ever is a catch all tray! Love my little catch all tray so much! I love it because it works for me. I have a tendency to pop lip glosses into my coat pockets. And I have a lot of lip gloss. I will shove my hand in coat and there will be at least one in there -- maybe 3 or 4! Before I used this tray- I would my coat pockets on my desk and run out the door. With the catch all tray I deposit them in there instead.  At the end of every Wednesday I take them to their home. I almost always have tons of hair elastics, and a zillion little notes that haven't yet made it into my planner to deal with and quite a bit of change. I'm a multi-sensory learner and a highly creative type so my catch all could have any number of things in it - but usually it's just earrings, gloss and tons of notes. That stuff used to be everywhere on my desk. Now that I'm using this system reguarly I may upgrade to a nicer tray :)



Tip #3
An easy system for receipts

The almighty receipt box has changed my life! Taxes are everyone's reality and I was always rather terrified of them. But knowledge is power and I have learned the importance of keeping these bits of paper organized. For me the receipt box is the solution. I have a few envelopes inside of my box and that is where I keep all receipts for each area of our lives. I have one envelope for each business plus household and my personal spending one as well - there's always a lunch break once a week where I do some personal or household errands -- relevant envelopes get taken home once a week and added to our reconciliation box. It has really helped cut down on the mess on my desk and in my purse. Did I mention it makes life 50 times easier? I love it!



Tip #4
Organize by Interest

As an entrepreneur I have a lot of interests. I have to juggle a lot of roles and I bet you do too. In order to keep things straight I found that keeping like items together was really helpful for me. I have a lot of publications since there are many areas that need my attention. So I  have an area for marketing/PR, one for business skill development, one for basic office supplies such as paper, envelopes and correspondence, and one for finance as well as ones for each one of my businesses. Because I know what area's things are in I never have to sort through unrelated items to find what I am looking for. This really helps me and a bonus tip a friend gave me was to put everything away before you move on to the next project. I like doing this -- it's like crossing things off the list. And it resets the desk as a playing field - I'm done with finance today - now on to social media -- I'm done with social media today -- onto healthy living.

Tip #5
Tinker

My business partner Eric taught me something important a long time ago which I have since adopted with great results . He said that he believes in getting a set up in place and then tinkering with it as time goes on. I asked him to explain it a bit further and he obliged - this is what I gathered from his wisdom. The core items you need to have to focus are a clean and clear desk top with anything you might need to actually work with in easy reach - pens, paper, lights, computer etc. Everything else needs a home. And most importantly you need to take time at the end of the day to put things back in their homes. After a short while you will see that some things work perfectly and some are a fail. You have to give yourself room to make adjustments and TINKER with it. Every so often you will outgrow things, or technology will change or you will be moving closer to your goals and you will need a new set up. I think this sort of allowance is very helpful. It means you can and should establish time to create a good system but then you need to be compassionate enough with yourself to adjust it periodically and as needed. This was very insightful - organization is ongoing -- it's in the maintenance. It's actually not perfectionist or rigid as I once thought it was. It is freeing and should reflect you and your needs. 

Bonus Tip!!!!
If organizing bums you out and you feel you have to spend too much time on it. I recommend doing what I do - I am not the type that can do big overhauls in one fell swoop usually. It works best for me to build it into my schedule and spend 15 minutes up to no more than 2 hours on any given project. So that means when I am on conference calls or taking CEU's online and I can fiddle with my desk I do it. It's a great time to tidy up a drawer and still learn at the same time. At home I devote a whooping 15 minutes every other day to organizing a drawer at a time - going through stuff like socks, sweaters, PJ's and the like is less cumbersome when you break it down this way. I find if I do this process a couple of times a year everything stays fresh and tidy.

Happy Cleaning and Happy Organizing
-Sabrina

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