It’s a well-known fact that a tidy office makes for a much more efficient workplace… right?
So why is yours such a tip?!
- Coffee rings – check
- Old sweet wrappers – yup
- 5 zillion scraps of paper – hmmmm
- Biros that don’t write properly – most definitely
- Oh, and I bet your bin is overflowing too…..
Your whole mood can be affected by what’s going on within your office, so it’s well worth taking a little time to get some organisation in place and create yourself a little work haven that doesn’t have you wanting to tear your hair out as soon as you open the door!
It’s time to sort our your space. So with that in mind, here are:
My top 10 tips for a tidy office
- Divide your workspace into zones. These could include a space for your computer, a library/research area and a place for filing and storage. Oh and of course a space big enough for your favourite coffee mug. Get a pretty/motivational/fun coaster to put it on!
- Keep only what you need at arm’s length. You can’t possibly need all those pretty pens and fancy notebooks at once? Right now on my desk I have my laptop, a desk tidy with only essentials in it, a notepad and the essential cup of coffee (probably a bit cold as usual). Anything else I might need is easily accessible but not cluttering up my desk or my mind.
- Create a system for paperwork that works for you. It’s daunting to see a huge pile of documents on your desk so sorting through paperwork as you receive it really does make life so much more efficient. I use a small plastic drawer system, labelled as follows:
- To Do;
- To Read; and
- To File.
Then one day a week I set aside the time to clear the drawers and it feels soooo good!
- Establish limits. You can only store so much stuff. Do you really need all those books cluttering up the shelves? The pile of papers waiting to be shredded? If you need to keep old papers but will never look at them again, box them up and store them somewhere else. Donate books, shred your papers, and empty your bin.
- Sort your junk drawer. Everyone has one, usually crammed full of bits and bobs that have no home. We also use this drawer to kid ourselves that we have tidied up… out of sight out of mind right? If you’re anything like me, you fear opening this drawer – that’s if you can even wrench it open. Let’s take the first step together. OK, take a deep breath, open it and release! Now have a quick glance and anything you see that you haven’t used or missed in the last month get it in the bin! Do this once a week when you have time and you will soon feel cleansed!
- Clear out your inbox. Digital clutter is just as stressful as actual clutter on your desk! Create a zero inbox policy. Delete old emails and create folders for everything! Flag the ones that need attention and unsubscribe from all that junk. You can use email software such as Unroll Me which speeds this up massively. Then whenever new email comes in it goes straight into a folder or is deleted. Zero inbox remember. It’s surprising how much better this can make you feel!
- Streamline desktop icons. I personally hate to see a computer full of icons – even when it’s not mine. It makes me instantly stressed out and I can’t believe you regularly use them all! I keep the few that I have, lined up to the left of my screen and the most used ones pinned to the task bar along the bottom. Neat and tidy and I can also see the gorgeous wallpaper background I so lovingly selected (sometimes a lovely relaxing image, sometimes my child pulling faces).
- Put up hooks. Keeping personal items such as bags and coats out of the way makes for a visually tidy office. Hanging things neatly on hooks means visitors or colleagues won’t trip over your expensive handbag or sit on your latest coat.
- Short term storage. Keep a storage box nearby for any extra workload or research that you wouldn’t normally have such as newspapers and magazines. Even things like a gym bag or change of clothes could live here temporarily. The emphasis here is on short term! This is not a new storage area – just a temporary hideaway.
- Disinfect regularly. Your keyboard can be one of the yuckiest things you touch! Even if you’re neat dust, food crumbs and dirt will still build up on your keyboard. Keep a pack of disinfectant wipes in your (newly tidy) junk drawer and give the keyboard and monitor a wipe over once a week. You never know, this may also encourage you to tidy the rest of your office while you’re at it.
I block out an hour once a week to just do the bits of clearing out. This ensure that the clutter never mounts up and my desk and office can be an enjoyable place to spend my time.
We’d love you to share any tidy office tips that work for you over on our FB page. You can also sign up to our newsletter here and be the first to know about our latest blogs, offers, courses and resources.