How To Organize Your Office

The other day I did a quick search on Google for the phrase “A clean desk is a sign of…” and here are some of the top search results…

A clean desk is a sign of

… a sick mind. (Most common one, but I don’t really agree 🙂

… a cluttered desk drawer 🙂

… a cluttered/empty/diseased mind.

… prestige.

… someone with way too much time on their hands.

… efficiency and effectiveness!

Take your pick, but I think the last one is right on!

Here are some ideas for organizing your office without going overboard.

1) The first step is to plan

Before you go out and buy more and more organizers, think about the activities you do most often and the logical place where you do those activities.

For example, have a specific place for client files and another your main projects.

2) Consider different ways to arrange or setup your deks

An L-Shaped desk can be a useful way to setup your main work area.

The secondary surface will often be more than enough space to keep necessary documents while you can keep your primary desk space clear.

Setting up your office this way may help you focus on a single thing at a time without getting distracted with clutter, and if you need to meet with clients you have a natural place to do so.

If you’re concerned about something important falling through the cracks (you know, out of sight, out of mind), use an effective planner to help you keep track of the things you need to do. But avoid using your desk like a to-do list.

3) Make sure each item has a logical “home” where it naturally belongs based on how you use it

Instead of simply putting things away where there is available space, consider where you’ll actually use the item when you need it. That’s probably a good “home” for it. Have a special space for any work related documents that you need to access quickly.

After you have established “activity zones” for all your main work activities, then you can go to your office supply store and get any containers or gadgets to help you organize. But only after you’ve established a logical home for all your items.