The ability to organize your workspace, both physically and digitally, is an essential part to efficiently running your business. I find the more organized I am, the more productive I am. It’s just part of the equation, but it’s a big part. When an item is out of place, I spend unnecessary time looking for it, hence, less time actually working. When my apartment is cluttered or messy, I'm distracted from my work and feel the need to use time during my workday to clean. Working from home already has its challenges, so I find that having everything in order just makes things that much easier.
Now, I’m not saying you need to be perfectly tidy all the time in order to get stuff done (I know I’m not despite my best efforts), but there’s something to be said for a clean, clutter-free workspace and a good system of organization. Here are a few tips for organizing your workspace:
Set up a filing system.
I have a mixture of hard-copy and electronic documents, but it works for me. I try to keep the physical paperwork to an absolute minimum and scan and save the rest. As long as you can easily and efficiently find what you’re looking for, many methods will work. One thing that has helped me decrease paper clutter is opting for electronic statements for bills. I can log on and access the information at any time without the paper clutter.
Clear your desktop and any drawers and shelves and start from scratch. What do you really need? What do you use every day? For me, it’s my laptop, keyboard, mousepad/mouse, additional monitor, reference manuals, a few select books, and various office supplies (pens, pencils, scissors, etc.). I also always have a drink at my desk, so a coaster is a must (I picked up some cute Kate Spade coasters here). Once you have your workspace cleared, wipe down your desk, file/shred paperwork accordingly, and rebuild with the essentials. Keep things you use every day within reach, and remember: keep it simple.
Keep decorations simple.
I really enjoyed adding a bit of my personality to my workspace, but there is such a thing as too much. Find a good balance—choose elements that motivate you but don’t distract you. Some of my favorites are my “Be Brave” print by Charm and Gumption, a framed photo of my business logo, a framed card my sister sent me (it says “You’re the Bee’s Knees"), and photos of my husband and me. I chose to make a gallery wall above my desk so I could keep the top of my desk clear and clutter-free (check out HomeGoods for super-cute and affordable frames). For a photo of my gallery wall, see "How I Started My Business."
Create a system for incoming paperwork.
I have an inbox-style tray in my desk drawer that I use to keep incoming paperwork in one, neat place. It not only looks nice, but it helps me keep track of things I need to take care of. Once or twice a week, depending on what I have coming in, I go through the pile, take care of anything outstanding, and file/shred accordingly.
Organize your office supplies.
The Container Store is my favorite place for organization. I keep my pencils, pens, paperclips, and other small supplies in trays inside my desk to keep them together and easy to find.
Do you have other tips for organizing? Feel free to leave any feedback or questions in the comments section below. Happy organizing!