Back to School Is the Perfect Time to Organize One’s Office

The other day I received a $10 Staples reward and a $5 Staples coupon. For me, this is better than being a kid in a candy store.


Photo by Cynthia Price

I couldn’t get to Staples fast enough. I was giddy with anticipation. Should I buy more Staedtler colored pens? What about some fun file folders? Did I need a new desk organizer? Yes to all!

The irony is that I likely have enough pens and notebooks to last me until well, forever. It doesn’t stop me from wanting new ones. I have found ways to control the urge to buy, although it’s always a challenge this time of year with back-to-school sales.

The beauty of this time of year is that it’s the perfect time to organize one’s work space or office. Here are a few suggestions to do so –

Corral your pens and pencils. I have one container, and if they don’t all fit, I need to get rid of some. Obviously, toss the ones that don’t write. For those that work fine but you know you will never use consider donating to a senior center or after-school program.

Clean your desktop – both your desk and your computer. Remove everything from the surface of your work space and wipe it down. Don’t forget to clean the keyboard, too. It’s an amazing feeling to then begin working with a clean desk. I also make the time to clean off my computer desktop. I’m always amazed how files accumulate. For me, it’s often laziness. It’s easy to save a file to my desktop rather than thinking about where I should logically file it for archival purposes. Knowing I frequently save to my desktop, I force myself at least once a quarter to organize my files. Once I do, I find my productivity increases.

Shred your files. When is the last time you pulled a piece of paper from a file? If it’s been months, maybe it’s time to purge some of your files. I’m working toward having zero files. If someone gives me a paper document that I will need, I ask for it electronically or I scan it and save it on my computer. At least once a quarter I work to eliminate one or two file folders. It helps that I had to move my office twice in the past year. That really led to decluttering.

Order the necessary supplies. Nothing is more frustrating than discovering you have run out of sticky notes or staples. I check my supplies and order what I need for the next six months. That way you don’t run out and you don’t waste time each month placing an order.

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