If you feel that you are stifling in your office at work because there simply isn’t enough room to move about freely, you are not alone. Altogether too many offices are cluttered with unnecessary equipment, outdated files and other items that simply aren’t used any more. If you are looking for ways to tidy up your work space by reducing clutter to improve efficiency, try these 5 tips to get you started in the right direction.
1. Set Aside One Day Weekly for ‘Inventory’
One of the tasks which you have probably overlooked simply because of a perceived lack of time is to set aside one day a week to go through a checklist or inventory of everything you see lying about you. From unused file folders to day-old coffee cups, there are probably dozens of things which can be filed away or tossed to free up that much needed space to work.
2. Tidy up Your Work Space at the End of Each Day
Speaking of day old coffee cups, why not take those last few moments at the end of every work day to tidy up your desk and immediate surroundings? This will give you much more room to work and when you arrive the next day you can get right to work. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to put your hands on the file you were working on the previous day because you can’t find it through the mess!
3. Keep a Vertical File System on Your Desktop
When it comes to keeping files on hand, don’t just leave them stacked up on your desk. Why not invest (or have the boss do it!) a few dollars to spring for a vertical file system that holds those files you are actively working on. You can simply reach up, grab the file you need and get immediately to work without sorting through half a dozen files randomly scattered on your work surface.
4. Learn to Make Administrative Decisions on What to Keep and What to Toss
Throughout the day you are likely to set some things aside to later decide what to do with them. One of the behaviours you can teach yourself is to learn to make administrative decisions on the fly. Quickly learn to determine what is worthy of saving and what needs to be tossed without further thought. We all have a bit of the ‘pack rat mentality’ in us but there are just some things that will never get used again. Either throw them out or file them away, but by all means, never just leave them out in the open to clutter the area in which you are working.
5. Redecorating and Relocating Furniture and Equipment to Increase Available Space
Most offices soon outgrow the space they have available. As technology improves, we add gadget after gadget to make life at the office easier, but all those gadgets soon get in the way. Not only does equipment and office machinery get in the way, but those hardwires are often in our way when moving about. Have you considered installing those wires under the floor? Hiding computer and telecom wires under raised access floors is one way to prevent accidents and keep them in a safe environment where they won’t easily be damaged in any way.
So you see, it really is possible to stay on top of things at the office but you will most likely need to retrain yourself to keep up with clutter along the way. By tidying up at the end of the day, taking one day a week to clean up the area and by keeping clutter to a minimum you can work more comfortably and efficiently. It just takes a bit of thought and getting used to a new way of doing things – but it can be done, so try it!