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How to Organize Your Work Space

May 8th, 2013 Healthy Living

It can be tempting to toss your work into drawers and closets, but that's where organizing tools like filing cabinets and pencil containers really come in handy. To create an easy and affordable workspace, you need only do three things: de-clutter, compartmentalize and minimize.

De-clutter
Do you have a lot of stuff at your desk? The Container Store recommends tossing it out. If you're concerned about personal information floating around, consider investing in a quality shredder to protect your identity.

De-cluttering means removing all the non-necessities - in other words, the things that have little to do with your work and tend to distract you from the task at hand. That being said, you don't have to go crazy. Feel free to hang up interesting paintings or family photos to add something special to your place. Placing your photos on a wall rather than on your desk keeps them within your line of vision without taking up valuable real estate.

Some people keep notes to themselves on small pieces of paper or leave a number of Post-Its sitting on their desks. While these knicknacks can be helpful in staying organized, the physical notes themselves can pile up and move around.The Container Store recommends further that, rather than using paper pads, you make your to-do list and create notes in a mobile phone or personal planner.

Compartmentalize
Having a place for "work completed" and "work to do" can be a time saver when you're used to shuffling through folders and paper piles in order to find a recently printed document or important work file. Reality Times recommends you start the organizing process by asking yourself what work is most important. Doing so can ensure that you perform your work duties in the proper order.

If you don't have an organizational system for your files, a filing cabinet or desk organizer could be of help. Old shoe boxes may be useful if you don't want to spend the money. Just having a central place to put things saves time.

Reserve sections of your desk for the items that you keep in frequent use, such as your laptop, planner, Rolodex and notepad. Making sure there is "a place for everything, and everything in its place" can help you to reduce time spent on moving office items around to make room.

Minimize
Minimize the amount of time you spend rereading documents, looking over old calendar notes or sharpening a pencil by finding a place for supplies and putting it immediately in its proper location. Try limiting the number of filing cabinets or bookshelves you have in the immediate vicinity of your desk so that finding what you need is simple. Also, consider color-coding or doing anything else that will help you keep track of what's important.

Martha Stewart Living recommends freeing up desk space by scanning documents into your computer and having designated folders on your desktop for receipts, etc. Choosing a color theme for the pencil holders, stacking trays and other office supplies kept in your work area can make your desk appear less "busy," and therefore make things less stressful.