Clutter can be a productivity killer because it causes distraction, adds confusion when it comes to prioritizing tasks, and may even cause anxiety for some individuals. Clear the mess on your desk and around the office with the help of labels.
Here are tips for creating a stress-free, organized, and effective office – whether at home or in a corporate work environment:
- Use folders and labels to create a basic filing system that is easy to use, and easy for others to understand in case you are not around to assist.
Depending on the complexity of your business, keep labels straightforward and avoid making folders that are extremely detailed. Start with broader topics, and extra layers of folders as the need arises. Invest in a label maker to keep folders organized, and fonts consistent.
- Color-Code the filing system by associating a specific color to each category, department, project, or theme.
For example, allot red for finance documents and yellow for HR folders. Use green labels on current project folders, and retire old folders with white labels, placing them at the back of the filing cabinet for future reference.
- If incoming and outgoing mail are a big part of the business, designate a space in the office that acts as a mail counter.
Use small bins or containers to label supplies and print out directions on how to use printers, postage machines, meter tape, etc. Keeping these supplies in a specific location clears up clutter and miscellaneous supplies from all around the office.
- Use jars, bins, folders, baskets, and cabinets. Regularly file and replace small items to their rightful place improves the overall efficiency.
Use labels to provide employees with clarity on which items to place in specific cabinets, bins, shelves, etc.
- Create binders that describe and illustrate processes around the office.
For example, if a machine breaks down place a binder in a nearby location that clearly and easily describes what steps should be taken. Or, place a binder with takeout menus in the kitchen for employees who are planning to order out and eat at their desk. These binders will reduce bursts of chaos and confusion, especially if each one is consistently labeled.