Do you walk into your workplace and immediately feel anxious? Does this anxiety have to do with the layers of post-its that line the edge of your computer screen or the teetering mountain of extra office supplies in the storage closet?
It is easy to ignore the growing amount of clutter that comes from myriads of people working in tandem in a shared space. But fear not, I have a solution!
Below I’ve created a guide on how to start and continue to keep your office organized, clean, and efficient.
1. Make a list
Take a tour of your own office and make a list of all the spaces that need attention. Start by writing down the space and specifically what needs help.
Ex. Kitchen - plate + silverware storage needs new labels
Now take this list and organize it by priority of space. What defines a priority is up to you. Is the kitchen a disaster and no one wants to eat there anymore? That’s a high priority. Is your own desk overflowing with papers and post it notes? That’s a high priority. Has the sales team been asking you for help for months getting their materials organized and stored? That may not be the highest priority but it will get you points with the sales team.
Download your own free + printable to do list here: http://www.elizaellis.com/2016/07/free-printable-irma-to-do-lists.html
2. Start Small
Now you’ve made a prioritized list that is three pages long and you are feeling a bit overwhelmed. Take a deep breath.
Start small and work your way up to bigger items on the list. The easiest way to start is to pick one project you can tackle in an hour. This may be your own desk or one cabinet of unorganized paper plates + napkins in the kitchen that has been taunting you for the past month. Once you’ve crossed one item off the list the rest will seem more doable.
Try to set aside one hour a day where you start to cross off smaller projects and then begin to make a dent on the bigger ones. Remember Rome wasn’t conquered in a day.
3. Allow Yourself to Let Go
As you organize you may come across what I like to call “hoarder’s tendency”. This is the inability to let go of an item because you think you might need it in a few months. If you don’t use it regularly, get rid of it. If you do end up needing it again, you can buy a new one - most the time you don't. If you are not using an item on a weekly or monthly basis it is not serving you.
The only exceptions are those items, such as holiday specific decor, that you definitely use on a yearly basis and should store.
Now that you have a starting point, go get 'em! And remember to take a breath.
What's the hardest part about getting started for you (other than having a million other high priority things on your plate)?