Cut down on office clutter with our favorite organizational tools
An organized office should operate like a well-oiled machine -- everything is in the right place, tasks flow into each other naturally, and the atmosphere is one of productivity, not chaos. Given that modern offices are pillars of multitasking that cover a lot of ground, this is easier said than done, but with the right organizational tools, an efficient workspace is very attainable.
The benefits to an orderly place of work are plentiful. Productivity increases, workers feel less stressed, and key details are kept secure and safe. Before we get into our favorite organizational products, let's go over a few high-level philosophies that cut down on clutter and make your office much easier to navigate.
Purge the junk. Whether you're moving into a new office or improving your current one, purging nonessential junk is the first step toward a more orderly and effective workstation. Ask yourself, "Do I really need three coffee mugs on my desk?" "Do those decrepit pens in back of my drawer even work?" "Have I ever actually read any of those old magazines in the corner?"
It may seem like a daunting task to purge a mountain of rubbish, so start with three nonessential items and throw them out. When you're done, choose another three. Like moving into a new house or apartment, a touch of preemptive consolidation can make things significantly easier down the road.
Everything needs a home. If you've ever wasted valuable minutes scrounging through drawers for something as simple as stamp, you know exactly how valuable organization is. That's why if you aim to streamline your workplace, you need to give everything a designated home.
Minimize "junk," "everything," and "overflow" drawers to one if you can, and use small trays for knick-knacks, paper clips, pens, notepads, labels, rubber bands, and the like. Use stacking boxes or file cabinets for larger items. Color-coding or labeling can be helpful if you need additional organization.
Maximize your space. A cluttered desk is an ineffective one, so instead of stacking materials onto every free corner of real estate, invest in compact storage solutions that keep your workspace clean and clear. Wall racks, stacking boxes, and cabinets offer clever ways to consolidate items and maximize your primary working surface. Your desktop is the most important physical space in your office, so it should be treated as such.
Put it in writing. When you have dozens of tasks to accomplish each day, it's easy for things to get lost in the shuffle. That's why we strongly recommend installing a whiteboard, chalkboard, planner, or calendar somewhere in your office. Not only does physically writing down tasks help encode them into your brain, planners serve as helpful visual representations of what you need to get done. Organize your board in whatever fashion works for you and give yourself general time limits to complete each task to keep yourself on target.
With our basic strategies covered, let's dive into our favorite products for giving you an organizational edge.
Filing cabinet: This is the best way to consolidate small items like documents and notebooks, and while it doesn't have to be stylish, fashionable options can help spruce up your office's overall décor. This lateral cabinet from Tribesigns offers open storage spaces and file drawers in an attractive, easy-to-move package.
Filing tray: While filing cabinets offer outstanding storage and security for important documents, a filing tray is an excellent choice for organizing everyday files on your desk. This six-tray option from Simple Houseware makes it easy to access paper, folders, desk accessories, and stationery on demand.
Wall rack: As we mentioned above, a wall rack is a stellar way to maximize floor and desktop space. Consider Safco's five-pocket magazine rack for a professional-looking solution that's built to last.
Whiteboard: You might think whiteboards are completely outdated in our tech-savvy world, but they're still incredibly beneficial organizational tools, and you don't have to worry about viruses or accidental deletion. This slim whiteboard from OfficePro can help you stay on top of your daily duties.
Label maker: With proper labeling, you can figure out exactly what's inside your cabinets, stacking boxes, and drawers without having to open them. This is a big time-saver if you have a lot of ground to cover, or if a coworker needs to grab something from your office while you're away. Consider Brother's P-Touch label maker for its high-resolution color display and exceptional value.
Andrew Hard is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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