Back To School Is the Perfect Time To Organize

20170307_084141Walking into an office supply store is always an expensive endeavor for me. I can’t help myself: the pens, colored notebooks, shiny folders. They all want me to take them home. And as they say, “Resistance is futile.”

August and September are especially challenging because of back-to-school sales. I can’t help but be tempted, especially when I can find items on sale or have a coupon.

This time of year is also the perfect time to organize for the coming year. It’s always been that way for me, and now that I work at a university, my need to organize in late summer is even stronger.

Here are a few suggestions to organize your work space of office:

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. 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. And knowing that the files are saved to the cloud or a backup device lets me sleep at night.

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. I’m down to one small file drawer.

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. And maybe you avoid going into the office supply store and buying another notebook! (But that’s a post for another day.)