Organize + Energize: 10 Steps To Organizing Your Office

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


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Organizing your work space and your work habits will significantly reduce your stress on the job.

In order to maintain organization in your office or home office, you need to have systems in place for processing day to day functions. Without systems, you will become disorganized, overwhelmed, and stressed. With working systems, you will become efficient and productive along with many other benefits that come with being organized. Here are 10 tips to help you get started.

Have a system to:

1. Process your mail

Many people have difficulty with paper management and setting up and following through with a system. Process your mail every day. As soon as you touch it, either file it, attach to your to do list to take care of during the week, shred it or handle it right away. It will be easier to take 5 minutes and tackle it when it arrives than to spend hours on it at the end of the month.

2. Process your email

As soon as you open it, handle it right away, attach it to your to-do list, delete it or file into one of your folders.

3. Work on your to-do list

Keep a running to-do list. Make a to-do list every night before you leave work. You will know exactly what you need to do when you arrive to work the next day. This process will keep you on track with your day. You will become more efficient and productive when you utilize a to-do list.

4. File

Have a filing system that is in arms reach. Categorize and color code if you must. If you are asked to find a file, you should be able to locate it in less than 10 seconds. Keep files that you utilize on a daily basis next to you. Files that you use less frequently, you can keep in another area of the office.

5. Pay bills

Stay on track with your bills. Incorporate into your calendar to remind you to pay.

6. File your business contacts/cards

Whether it is through electronics or good old rolodex, or a binder with clear card inserts. There are many options for this. You should stick with whatever works for you.

7. Handle phone calls and voice mail

Set aside time to retrieve and return calls. Keep a message pad/notebook for your messages. Utilizing a book will allow you to refer back to important dates, conversations and phone numbers. Try not to keep sticky notes or loose message papers on your desk.

8. Keep your desk in order

Have a place for everything at your desk. Only keep items you use on a daily basis on your desk. At the end of the day, your desk should be clear. Have an organized pile that you need to work on the next day with your to-do list on top of the pile.

9. Try not to have a corkboard at your desk with too much information pinned to it

Less is more. Keep it contained to a binder or stored on your computer. Do you event need the information that is pinned to it?

10. Follow-up with clients

Utilize your calendar to remind you to follow-up with clients in a timely manner. Clients will have more confidence in you if you are organized.

Most importantly, I can’t stress enough that the systems have to work for you. What works for your co-worker may not work for you. Many offices I go into have made attempts at getting organized, but the systems have failed and a new attempt at another system was never made. Once you have your working organized systems in place, you can focus on how you flow through the day. Your time management skills may need tweaking once you are organized. Having great working systems in place will make you more efficient and more productive, saving you time and money in turn increasing your revenue. 

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Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. Kristin spent several years working in retail management, medical offices, and was even a successful certified personal trainer for 4 years. She discovered that in each of these fields she had a natural ability to streamline spaces and processes. Through her organizing ability and her passion for motivating others to achieve their goals, Kristin created Organizing in RI. Kristin has appeared on air on and Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio. Her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. She is also available for organizing workshops.


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