For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved offices. When I was a little girl, I remember going with my dad to his office on Sunday mornings. I looked forward to it all week. My sister and I sat at the secretary’s desks (in those days, they were still called secretaries) and did our homework. I loved the typewriters, the pens, the stacks of stationary, the organization…basically everything.
My love of desks (& organization!) has stayed with me. On the early days of this blog, I admitted to alphabetizing my library…and now, I feel compelled to disclose the fact that I organize the files in my office not only alphabetically, but also by color. It’s just how I roll….
When I was sick as a dog with FBC, my organization skills went out the window, which was NOT good for my psyche! I am so much more focused and productive when I’m organized. FBC didn’t care though.
The HOTY knew when I was feeling better because I started cleaning…and organizing. My putzing around the house, including spending time at my desk made him very, very happy (Silver Lining).
Here are some steps I use to keep my home office organized:
- Proximity based on frequency of use. I think that this is the key organization tip for any type of organizing (e.g., kitchen, closet, car trunk – seriously). If you use something every day, it should be closer than something you use only a few times each week. DUH, right? This helps you keep an organized desk because items are located closer to you based on the probability that you will use them so fewer items need to be moved around where they can become disorganized.
- Get rid of pens and pencils you don’t need. I have one type of pen I like to use, but every month or my pencil holder gets filled up with other random writing instruments. If you aren’t going to use it, don’t feel bad about giving it away. It is just clutter. The less clutter you have, the closer you are to having an organized desk.
- Organize as you go. It is more efficient to stay organized as you work instead of trying to do it all at the end. You should be constantly working on keeping your desk neat. If it gets disorganized in the middle of a big project, take small steps. Clear a 1 foot by 1 foot area before you leave for the day. Making a small effort toward organization may not seem like much, but if you do it everyday, it will keep things headed in the right direction for you.
- Move electronics out of sight. Keep your cable modem, wireless router, firewall, battery backup, etc. off your desk. Even if you have enough room they introduce visual clutter. By cutting down on clutter you reduce the amount of work between a messy desk and an organized desk. This organizational tip can go a long way toward making your desk and office a much nicer place to work.
- Make filing a habit. I keep unused manila folders and a label maker in my desk drawer so that when I have something to file, I can do so quickly and easily. Easy filing is one of the most important organization tips. The more effort it requires the more difficult it will be.
- Create extra drawer space. To compensate for my lack of drawer space, I use bookshelves with a bunch of (cute) boxes with lids to help give me some more drawer like storage.
- Lighting. Make sure you have enough light on your desk. Maybe it is just me, but a bright work area is easier to keep clean than a dark one.
- Take ten minutes at the end of each day to keep your desk organized. Place tomorrow’s top priority project in the center of your desk.
Though I tend to be a traditionalist, I am loving some of these desks with the leopard print and more contemporary vibe. I believe that a person’s office (or work space) is a wonderful self reflection.
Have a time and place for everything, and do everything in its time and place, and you will not only accomplish more, but have far more leisure than those who are always hurrying.