A Clutter Free Workspace

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A Clutter Free Workspace

Post by clararose » January 15th, 2010, 8:52 am

A clutter free office is an organized office... and a place of creative bliss!

Have you seen those pictures of the business professional sitting behind a desk that is completely void of clutter? There is a single pen beside a single pad of paper and a single picture of a loved one standing beside a small ivory colored globe. All of the books are lined up neatly on the shelf and somehow they are all the same size and shape… if not the same color. Picture perfect, is it not?

Realize that this image, although perfect and serene, is not reality. This has been staged to look perfect and they are probably trying to sell you something. Here are some practical tips for getting you closer to your goal of a clutter free office.

Take a look at the size of your desk and work space. If you only have room on your desk for your computer keyboard and a post it note, you might need to consider a bit larger desk if you want to be organized and work efficiently.

Office Organization 101: start by controlling the flow of documents that move in and out of your office. These tend to be those stacks of paper that get shuffled through and moved around the desk through out the day.

• The In Box – This can be as simple as a single tray file organizer or flat container that can hold in coming paperwork and mail. It is your holding pin for items that you have not yet addressed or looked at.

• The Work in Progress Box – Any items from the in box that can not be addressed because you are waiting on something or someone before you can complete it. A file folder organizer rack will give you a place for loose papers as well as a place for customer files that you are working on. When the customer file folder is no longer needed just slip it into the out box to be re-filed.

• The Out Box – As your projects or tasks are completed you will have things that need to move out of your work space and onto another department or get filed or mailed out. If you are fortunate enough to have an assistant that handles these items, he or she will appreciate finding it in the same place all of the time.

• Options – Depending on your work space and personal preferences, you might opt for a combination file organizer. It usually consists of several spots that act as your in box, progress box and out box but also can have a file folder rack on top. They come in call sorts of different styles, colors and configurations.

Now let’s control the flow of information that moves in and out of your office. The sticky note method, which covers the desk with post it notes, will never be a viable means of tracking information.

• The Message Pad – This is a great way to keep track of incoming calls and customer contact information if you are not interested in using a computerized contact system. Even if you do use one of these programs, it is common to record them first in the message pad. Make sure you get the type of pad that has a duplicate since this can be a great reference tool if you ever need to look for someone’s contact information that may have been misplaced. Have you ever searched frantically for a sticky note with an important contact number on it?

• The Activity Log – A simple journal or notebook will suffice, just make sure that it is spiral bound so it can always be open on your desk or it won’t get used. It only takes seconds to record an event on your log but is an invaluable resource later. Never tear out the pages or throw away old journals, you never know when you might want to refer back to them or use them to justify a promotion! Now, this may seem like an over kill if you are a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants sort of person but can really track efficiency for better time management.

• The Label Maker – Okay, this may be going too far for the beginner but neatly labeled file folders and locations make is simple for someone else to find things should the need arise, after all everyone takes a sick day now and then. For those of us that have a bent toward this... it is most satisfying.

Now that you have a starting point and a few simple tips, make a trip to your local office supply store to pick up the items that you will need to transform your office into a clutter free zone. It doesn’t need to be expensive to be functional.

In under an hour you will feel empowered by your sense of organization and you will be more productive with your time, after all time is money!

Clara Rose

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Re: A Clutter Free Workspace

Post by Ryan » January 15th, 2010, 6:16 pm

Hah!! That'll be the day!

When I open my file drawer I find labels that say: Important stuff, More Important Stuff, Stuff I Might Need.

You should see the desktop of this computer. Takes me five minutes to find something after I've downloaded it.


My love of fly fishing and surfing connects me to rivers and the ocean. Time with water reminds me to pursue those silly little streams of thought that run rampant in my head.

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