Taking Control of the Mess – The Office

June 19, 2010

by Jennifer Smith

Most of us create an office in our home so that we can keep the chaos out of our living space. All too often, the office becomes a place to dump stuff like bills, magazines, or knick-knacks and before you know it, the place is a cluttered mess. If you don’t have the artistic vision to turn your office supplies into a masterpiece, here are some practical ideas for organizing your workspace.

1. Designate a specific area for repeat clutter offenders such as bills. Depending on your available space, use a folder, tray, or file cabinet to organize and store loose paper so that you know where it is when you need it.

2. Commit to putting things away as soon as you bring them into the office. We like to remember this one as the “ice cream rule.” When you bring ice cream home from the grocery store, you wouldn’t leave it on the table for a few hours, right? Apply the same urgency to your stuff and you’ll find fewer piles growing.

3. Keep your office essentials accessible so that you aren’t continuously taking them out and putting then away. Go shopping for some office furniture or organizers that match your decorative taste and make staying organized less of a task.

4. Ban items that don’t belong in the office. Take a moment to scan your area and then remove your coffee cup, old magazines, or spare change. Suddenly you’ll have extra space that you didn’t know existed!

5. Set aside five minutes a day for minimal sorting and organizing to avoid creating an out of control mess.