How to Organise Your Home Office SpaceThe cluttered energy of your home office space may be carrying over into your productivity and impacting your ability to run your business.
Not only is a disorganised space distracting you, but it also eats up time from your day. Did you spend 10 minutes looking for a contract this morning? That’s 10 minutes of work time you can’t get back.
Are you ready to maximise your productivity and enjoy the benefits of an organised office space?
Here’s how to get started painlessly.
Get Rid of ClutterDe-cluttering your office is a lofty goal. The only thing that stops most of us from living a clutter-free life is that it’s hard to know where to start.
Start by choosing three things to toss out.
There’s probably more than three things that deserve to be in the bin, but don’t worry about those yet.
Have you chosen three? Well done. Now, you’ve started!
Here are some other ways to get started on de-cluttering:
- Start clearing out and organising a single desk drawer. Do another one the next day and so on.
- Clean off your message board. Remove anything that belongs in a time capsule. Get rid of photos as well to boost the amount of space available for actually communicating important messages.
- Clean a single filing drawer. Start with the drawer you most often need access to rather than the messiest drawer.
Don’t worry about de-cluttering your whole office all at once. Once you begin, you’ll start to see items you can do without over time, and it will make the process even simpler.
Organise by Material TypeWant to keep your stuff but avoid having to dig through five different places in your office to find what you’re looking for?
Organise everything by material type.
If you’ve got storage materials (jump drives, external hard drives, blank CDs, etc.) group them all together in a single area.
There are two benefits to this:
- You’ll only need to look in a single location to find what you need.
- You’ll have a better idea of how much space you need to store supplies, papers, and other things that live in your office.
Invest in Open-Faced FurnitureOpen faced furniture is your office’s best friend.
Plenty of people choose cabinets with doors or roll top desks because it allows them hide their clutter and focus on their work.
Plus, what’s sweeter than an upcycled armoire repurposed as a desk or office storage facility? These pieces of furniture are admittedly a lovely way to bring personality into your office.
However, it’s because they hide clutter that you need to do away with them.
Being able to close the door on your mess is a problem because it prevents you from cleaning it.
The issue with clutter in an office isn’t just the disorganised atmosphere that simultaneously clutters your brain. It also lies in how much harder clutter can make your day.
Looking for the paper copy of an invoice? You could lose an hour trying to find it over the course of a day. Do you have a client who – for some unknown reason – insists on paying you by cheque? That cheque can disappear.
Using open-faced cabinets and desks forces you to reckon with your own disorganisation and encourages you to keep things clean, or at least stops you from creating cabinet chaos.
Back Up All Paper Copies of Documents and ReceiptsNot all your organising efforts should be directed at clutter. The goal of a tidy office is also to make sure you can find exactly what you need precisely when you need to find it.
Backing up your paper copies of documents is a great way to do this. It will not only save you an incredible amount of time but a huge amount of money in late payments, lost invoices, and even in tax paid.
Completing this task isn’t as complicated as you probably imagine. All you need is:
- Your smart phone
- A scanner
- Your office computer
Of course, the scanner itself is optional if you have a scanner app on your phone or tablet.
Ready to get started? Here we go...
1. Start with Receipts
Receipts are the bane of our existence but the key to invoicing and to lower taxes.
There are plenty of apps available for managing your paper receipts. We like the Lemon app because it’s free and allows you to label receipts as soon as you upload them.
If you’re running a small business, Shoeboxed is a good option because you’re able to scale according to how much space you need.
Of course, you’ll still need to keep the paper receipts, but those can be put out of sight somewhere safe rather than being under your feet.
2. Take Care of Your Bills
If you’re still receiving paper bills, this is a good time to stop. Not only does going paperless save the environment, but you’ll find the benefits of paying bills online will help you pay them on time and better track your finances.
3. Turn Business Documents into PDFs
Take the file full of essential business documents and turn them into PDFs with your scanner (or phone scanner).
Now, you can access your documents with the click of a button and the big box of paperwork you need once a year can be put somewhere where it won’t be underfoot.
Backing up your paper copies is essential for de-cluttering, but don’t get rid of all the paper. You’ll need to ensure you’ve kept all your hard-to-replace documents in a safe location.
De-Clutter Your Office to De-Clutter Your LifeKeeping an organised office isn’t simply about having a tidy workspace or keeping those pangs of OCD at bay. Organisation saves you both time and money when trying to complete simple and complex tasks, so you can get back to work (and back to billing) faster and with less stress.