Here are our tips on how to get organised in the workplace. These are for the office but some would work at home too.
We love stationery but we know that often in the office and at home it can start to feel a bit cluttered and disorganised, especially when it takes you an hour to find a working pen.
At your Desk
Take all of your stationery out of your desk, out of holders etc and lay it in front of you.
This way you can see everything and establish what’s working, what needs throwing away (in the recycling hopefully) and what belongs to anyone else.
Return any office supplies that aren’t yours.
You don’t want to be THAT person in the office. Then throw out all pens that are no longer working, any paper that isn’t useful anymore goes in recycling and so on.
Once you know what you have left separate it out into sections.
- Use several times a day
- Use several times a week
- Use once a week
- Use hardly ever
- I don’t even know why this is in my desk
Now locate some great desk organisers.
Start with pen holders and letter trays, perhaps some magazine holders if you tend to have brochures etc. They should be on your clean desk (give it a wipe) nicely spaced out so you don’t feel cluttered
Everything you use several times a day should be out on your desk.
- For example – Organise your pens, calculator, the stapler etc should be to hand and ready to rock.
- Anything that gets used several times a week is top draw territory
- Everything that falls into the once a week or hardly ever should go in the lower desk drawers. Consider if it needs to be in your space at all.
- Anything left over goes back to the stationery cupboard. The chances are you’ve been meaning to put it back there for weeks.
Voila, you have a neat and tidy desk. You might consider after this moving to your virtual desk and tidying up those desktop files that should be on the server.
In the Stationery Cupboard
So we don’t suggest tidying the stationery cupboard if this isn’t your responsibility. Yes, it might seem cluttered, but if someone else needs to organise it they might have a system.
That said if it is your job or its one of those jobs that no one has claimed, then crack on!
- Much like the desk tips its time to get everything out. Choose a quiet time and make sure you’re not disturbing the whole office.
- Once everything is out again, separate out the items
- High turnover items such as paper, pens, pads – things that you go through daily
- Meeting / conference / corporate goodies
- Printer cartridges
- Cleaning items including bin liners (if they live here)
- Furniture / desk equipment / ergonomics
- Rubbish – let’s face it there is probably a lot you could throw in the recycling
Once your organised out into groups start with the recycling and then give the shelves a wipe, it will feel much nicer
- Start with the high turn over items, put them on an accessible shelf for everyone (think height, you might be able to reach but can everyone?)
- Everything else should be in their different sections
- Cleaning items should ideally be on the floor or in a separate part of the cupboard (or in the kitchen)
- Desk equipment should be safe and not causing any hazards in walkways or liable to topple off the shelves
- Once everything is in its place get labelling! Label the shelves so everyone can clearly see where things should go, more importantly, they and you can see if you have run out of anything
- Ideally, you should have a stock-list of everything you have, keep it up to date by checking in every week or getting people to let you know when they have taken things (you might still want to check too if that’s the case).
This should keep your stationery cupboard organised and easy to manage instead of a black-hole where stationery goes to die.
Getting organised around the office
On a quiet day or perhaps if you’re in early, take a walk around the office floor. Look out for any stacks of printer paper or boxes of pens that seem to have gone walkabout.
Maybe have a chat with your colleagues and see if they have everything they need. Do they know the process of getting new stationery ordered? If not, then perhaps a company-wide email to remind everyone would be a good idea.
Make sure there are plenty of recycling bins available and clearly marked. If you have a system for disposing of printer cartridge make sure it’s displayed near the printer. Just in case anyone is unsure when popping in new ones.
Finally, don’t forget to keep on top of everything! Every 3 months is a good marker to have another clear out, and check your system is working well.
We’d love to hear your tips and hints too on being organised. Get in touch if you can add to the above.