A well-organized office looks good, runs smoothly, and is a lot nicer to work in than an office that is chaotic and disorganized. Stacks of papers, boxes of materials, tangled cords and jam-packed drawers might not bother some people, but the time spent wasted looking for things that should be in plain sight costs money and is exhausting. Disorganized electronic files are just as bad. On top of how a messy office affects the workflow, it also stresses out everyone who has to work there.
Fortunately, there are many business office organization ideas that can declutter the workspace. You can use these suggestions on a large scale for business offices, and on a personal scale for a personal office or workspace within a larger office.
Below are thirteen of the best business office organization ideas:
1. Create Activity Centres
Everything that a person might need to complete an activity should be kept all together in one area, especially those activities that are done regularly. For example, keep all paper supplies, staplers, hole punches, and other stationery accessories near to the printer/copier machine.
For the mailing or packing and shipping area, keep all necessary supplies and tools in one place. This will allow staff to keep an eye on supply levels and top up when necessary, and will save a lot of time and frustration when employees are freed up from walking all over the office gathering what they need.
2. Get Stuff Up Off the Floor
When you run out of desk space, you might think the floor is the only option. That’s not so! Use bookcases, shelving units, and other storage options to keep things off the floor and at eye level.
3. Have a Folder for Everything
If you absolutely must have paperwork in the office, make sure it’s well-organized and in a folder. Hanging folders and manila inner folders are a simple and inexpensive solution. The hanging folder is a place holder and should be left in the same spot all the time; just pull out the manila folder when you need its contents.
4. File, Scan, Shred
Any signed copies of paperwork should be filed away as soon as it is created. Other documents that don’t need to be kept in physical form should be scanned and then shredded to keep paper documents to a minimum.
5. Wrap Cords
If your office’s computer cords are a giant tangled mess, there is a simple way to get it cleaned up and tidier looking. You can pick up some special twist ties and cord covers at a local office supply store that will keep your cords and wires bundled together and out of sight.
6. Store Manuals in One Place
Create a designated folder or drawer for all of the instruction manuals for machines and devices at the office: printer/copier, fax machine, telephones, even Bluetooth headsets. When they’re all kept in one place, no one will have to spend time hunting for them.
7. Use Corkboards
If you or your employees need to frequently refer to checklists, install a cork board right near each desk. This makes it easy for the employee, or you, to pin a reminder or task list to the cork board and untack it when it’s not needed anymore.
8. Create Divided Drawers
If the desk drawers don’t have built-in dividers, head to the office supply store and pick up some wooden, metal, or plastic dividers. Organize sticky notes and notepads, paperclips and push pins, pens and pencils, scissors, and other office paraphernalia. This keeps everything sorted and easily retrieved when needed.
9. Perform Weekly Maintenance and Cleaning
At the end of each workweek, have everything put back into place. File or scan and shred paper stacks. Have someone vacuum, sweep, and mop the floors; clean the bathroom(s) and kitchen. It’s important to keep the office clean and hygienic. Remember to take out the garbage and recycling. And finally, dust all the open surfaces.
10. Use a Labeler to Organize Shelves
Not only files need labels; shelves and drawers need them, too. When a shelf is labeled, everyone knows where things are supposed to go.
11. Scan Receipts and Store in the Cloud
Much like with other paperwork, there’s no need to keep physical copies of receipts. Instead, scan them and store them in the cloud and throw out the paper copies. Some apps allow you to sync up your scanned receipts with credit card records or accounting records, making bookkeeping easier.
12. Keep a Central Cloud Location for Company Documents
To avoid having each employee set up a virtual filing system, use one central cloud for all company documents. Use something like OneDrive or Google Drive to set up central folders in order to share documents.
13. Keep a To-Do List
Mental clutter can be just as bad as physical clutter in the office. The trick is to get things out of your head and onto a list, either paper or electronic. This allows you to focus on the important task at hand and still keep on track of your next tasks.