It’s the middle of the day and your deadline is quickly approaching. Are you searching for that one piece of paper that has all your usernames and passwords so you can log in and complete your project? “Face it…” you mutter to yourself, “This workspace is a hot mess”. Frustrated and overwhelmed, you want to throw everything on the floor and bust out that box of Cheez-Its you hide in your bottom drawer and rage snack. It’s time for a change! You’re turning over a new leaf! You’re not going to be “Cluttered Claire” anymore; today, the world will meet “Organized Olivia”!
But how? Everything about your desk says disaster! Well, here are 25 suggestions to make your office cubicle more organized.
Everyone holds onto some things a little longer than they should. So, start by going through everything on/in your desk and office and get rid of things which are unnecessary. And yes, your boss IS necessary. Get rid of extra papers, trash, and any tchotchkes that are taking up needed space. This will make it easier to keep it clean in the long run. Stop overwhelming yourself with needless clutter.
2. Cleaning Schedule
Getting kids to follow a chore chart is hard, making one for yourself can be harder, but having some sort of schedule to clean the office is a necessity. The schedule does not have to be elaborate (or even written down) but at least set a day and time to clean and stick to it! If it helps, make a to-do list of one thing to clean every day so, at the end of the week, everything is nice and tidy. These tasks could be as simple as taking out the trash, deleting emails, or prying those sticky notes off your monitor you no longer need.
3. Go Paperless
One of the biggest culprits of clutter is miscellaneous papers. Old notes from a meeting two years ago or a contract from when the office purchased the vending machine in 2008 are probably no longer needed. Going paperless is a great option when defeating office clutter. Not only does it help the environment, but you can also access your files from anywhere. There are many ways and apps to help you go paperless. Google Docs is your friend!
Going paperless is a good start but sometimes it’s not enough. So, for very important documents—which require being accessed quickly—investing in a lockable document box will allow you to have the papers close by and not stowed away in a filing cabinet. These are great for contracts that require having a hard copy or any document of value.
5. Desk Storage
This might seem obvious to most but it’s easy to get blind-sided by the sheer number of things we must keep on our desk. In certain cases more is not always merrier. Having a home for everything in your office is vital, and especially true for your desk. Since all desks do have built-in drawers and a filing system, opting for a desk organizer is a great way to keep things where they need to be while freeing up some much needed real estate on your desk.
6. Accessible Filing Cabinet
Going paperless is the goal but filing cabinets have many uses. They take up very little room, you can usually fit them under the desk, and they are lockable. If your office hasn’t gone paperless yet, they can be helpful for storing all of your papers, personal belongings, and the aforementioned box of Cheez-Its. Try a locking file cabinet to make sure what needs to be kept safe are kept safe!
7. Label Things
Does your office have that one, crazy person who excessively labels things? Well, maybe they aren’t so crazy after all. There may be a method to their madness. If you are the only person at your desk, you probably aren’t an issue because you know where everything is. Labels are for the benefit of others who may come in and out of your office borrowing or dropping things off. If everything is labeled, you can avoid the mess others may make (looking at you, Gary in accounting… looking at you).
8. Add a Light Fragrance
There are so many different aromas that float around the office. From the food coworkers heat up to mixed perfume or cologne, It’s a never-ending cycle of smells. By adding a diffuser or candle you can help balance out those smells. Try some essential oils which can help you concentrate. Diffusing peppermint can relieve tension and drainage. While eucalyptus and lavender can help with anxiety.
9. In and Out Box
Along with labeling and everything having a home, using an allotted space for papers going in an out will help with desktop management. This lets you and others know there are a structure and order to your workflow. This will also help prevent misplaced or missing papers which may affect a crucial deadline.
10. Vertical Space is Your Friend
Unless you are lucky enough to have a big, comfy corner office, your working area probably doesn’t have a lot of square footage. Take advantage of any vertical space you can. The more an office necessity can be off of a surface, the more room you’ll have to work. Invest in a rack or shelf to hang on the wall. This can also be used for knick-knacks, pictures, and decorations.
11. Dual Monitor Arms
As previously mentioned, space is of the essence in an office environment, especially on your desk. Having dual monitor arms will help you work faster, gives you more screen to work with, and take up less space. The dual monitor arms improve ergonomics in your workspace while accommodating a variety of computers. It can attach to almost any surface and takes up less room than one monitor stand.
12. Organize your Computer’s Desktop
Sometimes our physical workspace is clean and organized but the digital files, folders, and icons on our computer screens are not. Doing a regular consolidation and cleaning will eliminate the visual mess we don’t need to stare at every day. Start by creating and naming folders that make sense. Categorize like items into a folder by project or type of document together. Whatever is left can be put into a “junk folder” or a “revisit folder” until you decide it is safe to delete. If you’re like me (and have several hundred things saved to your desktop) start consolidating little by little each day until you can actually see your screensaver!
13. Organize your inbox
Much like the desktop, the inbox of your email client tends to fill with junk we don’t remember ever having subscribed to (how does that always happen)? Unsubscribing to a couple of spam emails a day will prove beneficial in the long run. It might take a while to see a difference, but you’ll be happy you did it. Creating certain folders for your inbox as well is also a big help when keep clients or projects organized.
14. Coat Rack/Hook
With winter right around the corner, It’s almost time to pull out the winter coats. Having a proper place to store your coats, scarves, and umbrella is always nice. The great thing about adding a coat rack or hook is they take up very little space as well as being multi-functional.
15. Hide Those Wires
As much as we try to consolidate cords, they always seem to get in the way when we don’t want them to—either on the desk or under it. Too many wires on the ground can be a safety hazard or cause people or dogs (if you’re at SKUTCHI Designs’ office) to trip. Try these plastic channel hooks. They slide into an aluminum rail where the end caps are used to secure the channel to the surface. Also, consider a wireless keyboard and mouse if possible.
16. Time blocking
Organizing your things is good, but organizing your day is also important. Time blocking is a way to apportion how much time you’ll need to allow for certain tasks. The idea is to commit your focus and time to a specific task during a period of your day or week. The task can be hard or simple and as long or short as you need.
17. Have a Planner
If you’re going to try time blocking, it would be beneficial to have a planner as well. It could be a paper planner or a digital planner. This will give you an actual space to block out your work as well as keep all of your tasks in order, so you never miss a deadline. Planners help get all the thoughts racing around in your head on paper or a screen so you can focus on the task at hand.
18. Snack Storage
From toddler to adults, everyone loves a good snack. Especially in the middle of the day when you start to feel a crash coming on. Some bring their own snacks where others have snacks on hand provided by the office. Regardless of a way to organize them is crucial. Having a snack cart will assure that everything stays in place and stays organized. Snacks in an office can get messy at times, so make sure you clean up after yourself!
19. Extra seating
Are you one of the “popular kids” at your office? Is your workspace frequented by co-workers and clients gathering for various reasons throughout the workday? Frequent visitors to your work area need a comfortable place to park without dragging chairs from other areas of the office. Having extra seating might be a must, but sometimes space is tight. Consider knocking out two birds with one stone with this multi-functional rolling bench. These rolling benches make additional seating easy, while also providing additional storage.
20. Add Bookshelves
No matter how hard the internet tries, printed books, magazines, product manuals, etc. will always be a necessity in some form; and yes, they take up a lot of space. Incorporating and organizing a place for them in your office is a requirement for an efficient work area. Books which are organized and kept on shelves is a real space saver. You can also use a bookshelf for just about any of your storage needs or to simply take mementos and knick-knacks off your desk and place them prominently on the shelf.
21. Coffee Station & Breakroom Organizers
Do coffee and snacks hold a special place in your heart? Early mornings (and some late nights) might call for a snack or coffee pick-me-up before diving into work. If you’re a walking zombie before you taste the sweet nectar of the caffeine gods, snack organizers are a must. Common areas such as kitchens, lounges, or break stations can easily get cluttered and messy with lids, cups, creamers, sweeteners, stir sticks and napkins. Keep these areas clean and tidy by providing a place for cups, sugars, and creamers. It keeps the area looking nice but also makes it easy to determine if the office is running low on anything.
22. Utensils, plates, and straws…
Utensils, plates, straws, and condiment organizers can also make break time easier (instead of throwing everything in the “packet drawer”). If your breakroom doesn’t have storage for these items, add this organization rack. It will provide a perfect spot to put the must-haves. Three large compartments with removable and adjustable dividers, so you can keep the salt and pepper packets separated.
23. Dust and Wipe Frequently
We’ve already mentioned getting on a cleaning schedule, but we can’t stress it enough. Dust and wipe off surfaces regularly, especially in heavily trafficked, or frequently touched areas. Germs and bacteria live literally EVERYWHERE! It’s vital to make sure they’re cleaned often and well. In addition, this will give the office a clean and polished look and a pleasant smell.
24. Add a Markerboard
Sticky notes can be awesome. Having a variety pack of little colored papers may be convenient for jotting down random, scribbled notes, but they can quickly take over everything we own and eventually end up in landfills. it’s time to ditch the stickies! Replace those random to-do lists with a markerboard. Not only are they cheap and reusable, but they can also help your coworkers leave notes or messages if you’re out of the office. There are several different sizes so they’re great for the cubicle or the conference room. Try a transparent glass markerboard to make your space look more modern.
25. Add Wall Art
Last but not least, add art. No one wants to work in a place that looks sterile and uninviting. Wall art doesn’t have to be pictures only, you can find wall art that is also functional as a means of displaying mementos or used for storage. This will make your office feel more welcoming while also being practical and useful. Get art that reflects who you are and what you like and don’t be afraid to change it up from time to time. Inspiration and decoration work hand in hand.
The organization is seldom easy or fast, but It’s can be very helpful. An easy rule of thumb to remember is separate, eliminate, consolidate, then find a place. Your office shouldn’t overwhelm you… it should inspire you! We here at SKUTCHI Designs hope this list will help make a difference. Try a few of these suggestions and let us know how they work out for you!
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