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5 Tips to Keep Your Office in Order

By Rashelle Isip

Created: 02/21/2013
Last Updated: 02/21/2013

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Do you need some help getting things organized in your office or practice?

Here are several general organization tips to help you keep things in order and running smoothly.

Give items a home. Make sure office supplies don't get lost or misplaced by giving items a home. A home is simply a place where supplies will be stored when not in use. Designate areas on desks and cabinets, as well as in closets and cupboards, for storage of items and make sure your staff knows where they can find office supplies on a regular basis, as well as where the stock of additional supplies are kept.

Create holding areas. Ever wonder what to do with items that are constantly in transit, such as incoming or outgoing mail or paperwork that needs to be processed and/or filed? Create specific holding areas for in-transit items to prevent them from floating about the office. Not only do holding areas corral materials, they also make it easy to see at a glance how much work needs to be done/processed. Use mesh bins, baskets, hanging folders and the like for physical paperwork and designate holding files or areas on computers for digital items.

Make a separate general or communal workstation. In addition to specific staff work stations, consider making a separate general or communal work station for all staff to use that is easy to access. This station should be stocked with general office supplies, such as notepads, pens, paper, scissors, ruler, markers, stapler, staples, paper clips and any other materials that you deem appropriate for your general staff to use in a pinch.

Keep frequently used items at your fingertips and store the rest. Prevent cluttered workspaces and offices by creating a storage area for extra stock of office supplies. Items will be out of your way, and you'll have an easier time identifying when you need to order more supplies for your stockroom.

Enforce an office-wide cleanup at the end of every day. Regular maintenance can help keep any office tidy. Develop a regular cleanup routine for yourself and staff at the end of every day. For example, make sure files and materials are filed, stored and securely locked up; clear off countertops; make sure general trash, recycling and medical waste are properly and securely disposed and so on. You might also consider making it a rule for staff members to clean up, tidy and secure their workspaces after their individual shifts as well.

Rashelle Isip is a blogger, time management and productivity consultant and professional organizer. She is founder of The Order Expert, a site featuring practical and creative organizing, time management, productivity tips, inspiration and much more. For more information visit: www.theorderexpert.com.