The 2021 work year is already in full swing. To avoid getting overwhelmed or side tracked, it’s a good idea to make your workspace the most productive it can be. This requires some smart organisation – so let’s take a look at some work office organisation hacks to get you on track for a spectacular year.
Work office organisation hacks
Home office organisation: why is it important?
You’re not just doing it for visual appeal or to look good on your video meetings. In fact, DIY office organisation has been proven to reduce stress levels and calm your brain. This is because unorganised clutter sends signals to your brain that you’ve got even more work to do.
When you’re stressed, it’s easy for your brain to take these visual cues and become overwhelmed by both actual and perceived work – triggering a deeper stress response. Organising your home office workspace lessens the intensity of your stress triggers in your workspace, while giving you a tangible sense of control.
In addition to giving a sense of control, being properly organised actually helps you become more efficient. Efficiency leads to you ticking more items off your to-do list, which leads to a greater sense of accomplishment….which makes you feel good. Get the picture? Chances are if you need to organise your home office in the first place, you’re working in a state of partial or total clutter right now… read on to learn some great office organisation tips, especially for small spaces.
Here are our best home office organisation tips:
Give yourself a clean slate. If you’ve let clutter build up on your desk, the easiest way to deal with it is to take EVERYTHING off your desk. Then put back your computer, and essential working items like your mouse, printer, tablet and chargers. Everything else will need to be organised elsewhere.
Sort through the items that were on your desk. Evaluate how often you use each item – daily, weekly, seldom? If you don’t use something at least once a week, set it aside. Once you’ve reorganised your work space, you can find new homes for all your desktop odds and ends.
Tackle your papers. Paper has a way of stacking up and cluttering up your space, so sort through every piece of paper in your office using the following three options:
- Shred/toss it
- File it
- Take action from it
Get a filing system in place. Get colourful. A well-organised filing system signals a functional, efficient home office space. To organise, separate your filing system out into five colour-coded categories and label each folder according to your needs.
- GREEN: Financial papers
- RED: Medical
- ORANGE: Household
- YELLOW: Insurance
- BLUE: Personal
Or you might want to colour code by client, project or month – however you can make sense of your paperwork and keep filing organised, is ultimately up to you.
Get the black bags out, because you’re going to want to toss out:
- Pens that no longer work
- Old magazines and newspapers (recycle!)
- Unused or broken office equipment, including those dodgy earphones, old scanners and fax machines. (again, you can recycle these as e-waste.)
- Outdated documents
Unsure when you can throw out documents? Here’s a guide as to how long you should hang onto important docs:
- Tax returns and supporting documentation (receipts etc) – 7 years
- Payslips – 1 year
- Investment statements – 1 year until your year-end statements arrive
- Medical bills – 1 year
- Credit card statements – at your discretion
- Newspapers, magazines, print-outs, flyers: as soon as you’ve read them or are finished using them.
Sort your office supplies and stash them in containers and storage boxes. If you’re worried about space, you can stack them. Or you can use them in hard-to-reach spaces, like corners, under your desk or on top of your bookcase. Containers also help you to divide and maximise existing storage spaces – shelves, drawers and cabinets are easier to keep organised when everything has a container to call home. You can even use silicone cupcake liners to organise your tiny things like paper clips and buttons.
Become best friends with a label maker. Labelling all your storage shelves, containers and boxes will help you identify the contents of each box or container without opening the lid to take a look.
Add wall pockets to the sides of furniture for extra storage. These make a great spot for papers and notebooks where you don’t have much room for a filing cabinet. Simply attach them to the side of your desk, or behind a door for smart, quick storage.
Let your pot plants live somewhere other than your desk. They’ll appreciate more sunlight on a windowsill and you’ll appreciate more desktop real estate. In the same spirit, hang your standing photo frames on the wall and rein in the decorative items as well.
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