Stop for a second and look around your office. What if your best client decided to pop in on you right this very second? Would your office represent you well? Would your office reflect the kind of service you provide to that client? Or, are you looking at piles of paper that need filing, pairs of shoes, yesterday’s coffee mug, stacks of reports and journals, shopping bags, lunch containers, etc.? It’s time to organize your office so you don’t send the wrong message to your clients.
So, how do you attack this space and make an impact? Many of our clients come to us with this same question. In this post and the next, we’ll share our top ten favorite tips for getting your office organized and keeping it that way.
Work in One Area at a Time
As you work, do not leave the area in which you are working. You’ll be distracted by things in other areas and lose valuable time. Put items that belong somewhere else by the door and deal with them later.
Set Time Limits
Knowing how long you can work is crucial. Be realistic; if you only have the energy to work two hours, then stop after two hours. Make sure you don’t overdo it, because this will discourage you from future organizing.
Use a Timer
This may sound silly, but it works. Whatever amount of time you schedule to organize, use the first half to sort and the second half to put away. You know what normally happens: you sort for the whole time and before you know it, you have 70 piles and it’s time to stop. Set the timer for half the time, stop sorting when it rings, and start putting away.
Have a Clutter Buddy
Having a colleague to help you is very motivating and can alleviate any boredom that may set in. Perhaps two of you can organize your respective offices during the same time period. Or you could hire our Professional Organizer to come in and guide you through the steps necessary to install systems with long-term results.
This is so important! If you know there is something waiting for you at the end of an organizing session, it can be very motivating. It can be something like lunch in the new hot spot on the corner, 9 holes of golf, a half-hour walk…whatever makes you happy.
Learn to Let Go
By asking yourself a few quick questions, you can rid your life of a lot of clutter. Do I really need this? When was the last time I used this? Where else could I find this information? Could someone else benefit from this more than me? Why am I keeping this? Be honest with yourself and you’ll see that letting go is not so hard.
Decide to Make Decisions
Clutter is nothing more than unmade decisions, (read that line again). So as you organize your office, you’ll be making a series of decisions. You have to be in a decisive mood or you’ll never get anywhere. Instead, you’ll be pondering over old stuff, moving it from one place to another.
Get the Urge to Purge
If you normally keep everything, make sure you are in the frame of mind to de-clutter your life. If you are NOT ready to purge and let go, don’t even waste your time. You have to admit to yourself that you are unhappy with the clutter in order to have a motivating factor. Until then, you probably won’t throw much away. That’s why many of our clients spend time coaching with Patty, our Certified Professional Organizer Coach.
While you are organizing, try not to: answer the phone, make any calls, check your email, write any emails, or let people come into your office. Let people know that you’re not available for the time that you’re going to organize and close the door if possible. The more distractions you have, the less focused you will be.
Make it Fun to Organize Your Office!
If you look at organizing as a boring or grueling chore, you’ll hate every minute of it. Envision the end results… No more stress and no more piles. In addition, you’ll be setting a good organized image for clients and be able to find things when you need them, not by accident three days later.
Good luck! If you need help, don’t be shy. You can reach Patty at Patty@ProductivityUncorked.com.