Why having an organized office is important
An organized office makes your employees’ work life easier and could even improve the overall health of everyone in the office. Some benefits of an organized work space include:
Reduced stress levels
Clutter can impact overall stress levels, leading to anxiety and restlessness. Plus, once a desk or work area starts getting cluttered, this can cause even more stress, which creates a vicious cycle.
Easier access to important information
When time is of the essence, fast retrieval of important information matters. An organized desk helps you access what you need exactly when you need it.
Clutter can distract employees from essential tasks, making it much harder to focus. Organizing the office helps everyone concentrate on work and get more done.
A professional look
Whether you’re inviting clients over for in-person meetings or participating in video calls with coworkers, an organized office gives your work area a professional look.
When your work space is cluttered, it’s hard to keep everything safe and secure. Important documents might get left out where someone without access can see them, and not knowing where everything is makes it harder to track when something goes missing.
20 tips for office organization
When you’re ready to clean up your office and implement some desk organization ideas, there are plenty of ways to reduce clutter quickly. Depending on your organizational structure, you may be able to implement ideas throughout your entire office or encourage employees to keep their personal work areas tidy. Here are 20 great office organization ideas to help improve your work are.
1. Create an efficient layout with work zones
Establish specific areas in your office for working, storing supplies and keeping reference materials. The office manager can determine the best locations for different supplies and should encourage employees to return items to their proper zone whenever they are no longer needed.
2. Develop clear pathways for employees to move through the office
Maintain enough room for people to pass around desks and work spaces. Reduce crowding by replacing bulkier furniture with sleek pieces that provide you with more floor space to walk. This type of open, uncluttered design also improves office ergonomics and encourages employees to get up and move around during the work day.
3. Put essential supplies within easy reach
Items that aren’t often used should be removed and put into storage, while commonly used equipment, such as a copy machine or shared computers, should be placed where everyone has easy access.
4. Streamline your office
Get rid of broken equipment, supplies you don’t use anymore and shabby-looking decor, such as artificial plants or desk sculptures that are gathering dust instead of bringing you joy.
5. Hide wires and cords
Utilize the wire management grommets in office furniture to keep wires hidden, or set up a peg board system behind your desk and attach extra cords with zip ties to get them out of the way.
6. Label everything
Purchase a high-quality labeler and put labels on bins, shelves and drawers to help employees find items and know where to put them once finished a job.
7. Rethink your filing system
Consider whether all files need to be on paper or if you can store some digitally. Develop a backup schedule to ensure that your digital data doesn’t get lost.
8. Declutter employee desktops
Have employees remove everything from their desks to do a thorough cleaning once a week, then ask them to keep only what they actually need.
9. Arrange necessary supplies in a desktop organizer or in containers
There are plenty of desktop organizers and trays available for keeping small items contained and accessible. Provide a variety of containers and organizers for employees to use to arrange pens, paper clips and other essentials on the desk top so there is less clutter throughout the office.
10. Use hidden storage to keep supplies out of sight
Undershelf baskets and bins that slide beneath furniture let you store items out of sight until you need them. You can also set up a charging station inside a cabinet so employees can charge company-supplied devices at a central location instead of at their desks.
11. Organize drawers
Share desk organization ideas with your employees and provide desk dividers to help them arrange items effectively. In common areas, keep items that are used together in the same drawer. For example, put stamps, address labels and envelopes in the same place.
12. Replace unneeded tools with technological alternatives
Smartphone apps have made some traditional office equipment obsolete, such as paper calendars and bulky clocks. Replacing these items helps you free up desk space. Multifunctional devices, such as machines that copy, scan and print, can replace multiple single-task items in your office.
13. Sort through your piles
Piles of papers, files and mail are a common source of clutter in the office, so make it a habit to regularly sort through piles and get rid of anything you don’t need. When you tackle your pile, immediately decide whether each item should be scanned, shredded or stored and take care of it right away instead of leaving it in a pile for future consideration.
14. Consider going completely paperless
Switching over to a paperless office can reduce clutter, but you need to make sure you have reliable digital backups if you decide to halt paper use entirely.
15. Get bigger trash cans
Small trash cans get filled up quickly, which means that papers and other rubbish that should go into the bin end up set atop a desk or tossed onto the floor. Bigger trash cans solve this problem, and they are a visual reminder to clear away trash at the end of each day.
16. Automate recurrent tasks
Scheduling meetings, booking clients and updating inventory can all generate paperwork and physical reminders, such as sticky notes, that clutter up your space. Automating these things using software programs helps save time and eliminate mess.
17. Utilize mobile storage
Storage carts and filing cabinets on wheels let multiple users share supplies without having to place separate bins at each desk. Simply roll the cart or cabinet where you need it and move it back to a centralized location when done.
18. Discourage multitasking
Working on one project at a time helps keep things organized because only the items related to that project need to be available.
19. Create a timeline for discarding items
Set specific deadlines for getting rid of items such as receipts and mail. Items that must be kept for a specific length of time, such as financial records or legal documents, should be stamped with the date when they can be discarded so you don’t keep them around longer than necessary.
20. Schedule a quick cleanup each afternoon
Before everyone leaves for the day, they should make a quick sweep of their work areas and get rid of any accumulated clutter. Keeping the office tidy on a daily basis ensures that messes don’t accumulate over time.
Office organization FAQs
These frequently asked questions provide more office organization ideas that can help you create the kind of work space you envision:
How do I maximize small office space?
Compact desks, wall-mounted peg boards that serve as storage and multi-purpose equipment that does more than one job can all help conserve space in a small office. Keeping your work area tidy also helps you do your job efficiently in a smaller office.
How do you brighten up an office?
Brighten up your office with plants, lighting and color. Adding lamps or keeping blinds open on your windows gives your office an airy, open feel. Plants help clean the air while offering visual stress relief. If you’re renting office space, you may not be able to add color through paint or other permanent changes, but you can bring in chairs and decor in bright hues to add excitement to your space.
How can I make the office more welcoming?
An organized office is more welcoming than a messy one, so tidying up helps make visiting clients and associates feel more at home. Artwork and decor that fits in with your company’s branding also adds a welcoming touch. If you have the space, a comfortable chair or small couch helps create an inviting vibe in your office.