If you work alone in an office, then having a cluttered workspace may allow for own personal productivity or your method to the madness, as some might call it. Yet, if you have to share that same clutter with others trying to work, then both productivity and morale may be affected by all. Lack of organization can be very stressful to many – whether it’s something as small as having to look for an item for more than a minute, having that junky space be a nesting ground for critters or worse, to misplace a very important item that costs the company a lot of money.
While no office is perfect, tidiness does help. Sometimes a person may want to keep all forms nearby but there is a way to do this without risk of your office becoming a fire hazard. Now, you may have the resources to hire a professional organizer but here are a few simple methods that will help to create extra space in an office setting. Over time, you can show other employees how to do the same.
- Perform inventory of all office supplies and equipment. In extreme cases, this is the best way to get through all the clutter. This may be the most time-consuming but at least you will have a record of what’s in stock, model numbers (in case of re-ordering) and what needs replacement. Any outdated or unused items can either be disposed of or stored outside of office.
- Use media storage such as a flash or separate hard drive. Some companies keep paperwork in what is commonly called “cold storage.” This would contain important documents and other paperwork that was more than five years old. Some companies keep papers for more than ten years but as moving space is always needed, it is wise to scan the older documents and save the image on the computer’s hard drive as well as a backup source.
- File cabinets can be stacked to fill empty wall space. Ideally, these should not stand alone more than five feet in height if it is a high-traffic office setting. Also, overhead file cabinets can be installed above desk area.
- In smaller offices, the length of a desk may be aligned with a wall as opposed to being horizontal in mid-space. This makes more room for foot traffic.
- Resist the urge for “cute” office furniture. Retail chains sometimes sell desks that are very elegant or extremely basic but not always practical as they don’t have drawers or a place for hanging file folders. These are mostly ideal for the front office that relies on visual aesthetics or for someone who does not need to have papers and basic supplies handy at all times.