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10 Tips to Stay Organized to Start the New Year

By Madison Knopik:

Have you ever spent twenty minutes looking for a piece of paper? Now, wasn’t that a waste of your time? Having an organized workplace can help you find those important papers in seconds and may also reduce stress. Now, neither rearranging piles occasionally nor hiding your mess in a desk drawer counts as getting organized.

A relatively neat and orderly workspace clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time. Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive task. Get started and break yourself of those bad habits in this new year with these 10 tips to stay organized:

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1. Declutter your Space

Go through one area of your desk or workspace and declutter, empty, shred or toss anything you don’t use or need anymore. Check to see if your products work, need to be sent out for repair, donated or recycled. This goes for furniture, electronics, supplies, etc.

This also goes for your digital workspace. It’s time for you to purge your desktop of any apps, photos, documents, etc. you don’t need or use anymore. These are making your screen and or files look messy and hard to navigate.

Use this time to gather and redistribute things that may just be taking up space but don’t belong to you or in this space.

Don’t hold on to things that aren’t of any use to you or you haven’t used in the last 6 months. If it’s started to collect dusk, it’s time for it to go!

simpsons gif

2. Tackle your To-Do Pile

You know that pile you’ve been avoiding for the past few weeks but it keeps getting bigger and bigger? Or perhaps the digital folder that keeps adding more and more things? Would you call it your to-do pile? WHAT ARE YOU DOING? These are things you’ve probably been wanting to do for a while but claim you don’t have time for.

Sort through your pile or folder and prioritize these tasks. Next, come up with an organization system to keep you on track of where things land. Finally, start with the first task!

Alladin gif3. Designate your Areas

Designate the areas of your office or desk for what type of activity should happen there. Your space is most likely made up of a main workspace (your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

Make sure the most used items are located in an easily accessible area. Place the appropriate equipment and supplies in the proper area as much as possible.

Monsters Inc. gif4. Learn to Label

Invest in a good label maker that’s simple to use. Take some time to label your storage places. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

label maker gif5. Revise your Filing System

In today’s digital world, it’s no secret that paper files have almost completely gone away. Most likely, you’ve moved to storing most things in a digital space. Whether you use Google Drive, Dropbox or any other service, a proper filing system is necessary to make your space workable.

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Now, everyone is different so what might work for your co-worker might not necessarily work for you. Don’t get worried if you have to switch things up in the beginning to find the best fit for you.

Check out some tips on organizing your file here.

Filing system gif6. Keep your Desktop Clean

This sounds simple, right? Then why is your desk dirty?

Start by removing everything, cleaning it thoroughly and put back only the things you need. Next, organize it! Get containers or tray to have a home for everything you have on your desk. This can be done in conjunction with decluttering your desk.

Clean desk gif7. Organize your Drawers

Get yourself some drawer organizers for little items you have floating around in your drawers. Put like items together and arrange them in an order that makes sense to you.

organized drawer gif8. Organize your Inbox

A busy professional may have hundreds of emails coming in a day. It can add up even more if you miss a few days of work! Create labels or inboxes for people or situations you deal with regularly. This will help you respond in a timely manner and track down those emails quickly.

inbox gif9. Filter your Emails

Some emails are important to read and others are just not that important.

Use the filter system to label different types of emails, so you know their priority and which ones you should reply to first.

Most email platforms have this feature tucked away in their settings.

loading inbox gif10. Schedule Discard Days

Every piece of paper isn’t important enough to keep indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

Some legal or financial documents must be kept for a specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

get rid of it gifDo you have a favorite organizing tip? Tweet us @RedBranch and let us know!