The New Year is a great opportunity to take some time to get yourself organized. After all, getting rid of clutter in your workspace is as important as eating well and exercising regularly. As a professional organizer, I can tell you that an orderly work environment not only increases productivity but also will have you excited about rolling up your sleeves and tackling your “To Do” list. Who doesn’t want a space that fosters creativity, enhances peace of mind and allows for you to do your best work? I know all of my clients do – and you will, too, if you follow these easy steps.
First things first, you have to have a plan. Here are a few tips for getting organized that have served me throughout the decades and I hope will help you, too!
1. Clear out drawers and files. Throw away anything you don’t need on your desktop and in your drawers – this also helps you get a sense of what you need to organize and streamline.
2. Create a filing system for your papers and the documents on your computer. I find that upright files and a labeler will work wonders.
3. Use colored Post-Its to help you sort piles into subjects and clearly mark each pile as such with a main heading & file folders names. Post-Its stand out visually, making piles easy to identify and keeping you from having to constantly re-read what is in each of the piles. For example: Auto (main heading tab), AAA, Gas, Insurance, Repair & Maintenance – these are all easier to find when you have them properly marked.
4. Use 1/3 cut size hanging files and file folders, which gives you plenty of space for labels. I like these, which benefit Breast Cancer, but there are plenty of variations, so pick the ones you like best.
5. Get a labeler – it helps keep everything neat and in its place. My personal favorite is the Dymo Letra Tag.
6. Open mail daily to stay on top of what is coming into your office. Don’t ever let mail pile up – you could miss important bills and notifications, and the extra clutter is a hassle.
7. Don’t bite off more than you can handle. Feel free to organize just 3 files at a time if you need to. You have to pace yourself – one drawer can take up to four hours, in my experience. The important thing is to stick to it.
8. I love drawer organizers. When everything has a place, it’s easier to stay on top of it.
9. Hit the floor – literally – tackling the rest. Sometimes we use the floor as extended tabletops, but don’t let this space go unorganized. It’s important to take your entire workspace into account!
Remember: Rome was not built in a day, nor was a healthy body, mind or organized home or office. Allow yourself the time to succeed.
For more information on Linda Koopersmith, check out her site, The Beverly Hills Organizer.