Member Article: 9 Simple Things to Keep Order in Your Workspace

Member Article: 9 Simple Things to Keep Order in Your Workspace

by Julie Gutman, owner of Simplify Me, LLC

In February, I had the privilege of presenting for the MHYP Education Event. This particular day happened to start with a snowstorm and since the education events are veeeeeery early in the morning, I had no idea it had even snowed until I got up. If there are 2 things I don’t like its snowstorms and getting up early (so I was already in the hole X2 that day).  I cleaned off my car and drove (granny-style) to DU, all the while thinking that no none in their right mind would show up to hear about organizing at 7am on a snow day. When I got there, I could not, for the life of me, figure out where to park (so I parked illegally). With my pants covered in snow to the knee and exasperated from the whole ordeal, I got up to the room and was greeted by a fresh-faced Dan Kobler. I said hello, then blurted out my parking dilemma. I guess he read, on my face, that I was not a happy camper and offered to go park my car for me. I resisted (for about 2 seconds), but my cold feet and my hatred of everything morning prevailed and I sheepishly relented and handed over my keys to Dan. As this was going on, to my surprise, people appeared, out of the snow mass to hear me talk about organizing. Besides Dan and Ira, there were 6 brave souls there, so my ‘journey’ that morning was well worth it!

I tell you this because, out of the presentation came this opportunity for me to reach out to the readers of the MHYP Website with a quarterly article/blog about organizing. And I am pleased as punch (to use an odd yet fun phrase) for this opportunity!

I’ll start by telling you a little about me: I am the founder and owner of Simplify Me, LLC, a Professional Organizing company. I realized, at an early age, that the way to de-stress is to de-clutter. This led me to think that if organizing helps relieve stress in my own life, that it can do the same for others! I love working with people to help them feel a sense of accomplishment when their spaces, and by extension, their lives are finally streamlined and simplified. I know that clutter can creep up on us slowly, but often causes a great deal of stress and certainly consumes valuable time and energy.  That’s why I’ve developed a process of organizing to fit individual needs in the home or office. In short, I help simplify people’s lives by de-cluttering their spaces!  To answer a couple questions that, may be lurking in your mind right about now…No, you don’t have to be a hoarder to use a Professional Organizer (it’s better for both of us if you aren’t)! Yes, I have seen it all, so what you consider to be a ‘mess’ in your home or office, doesn’t faze me, so no need to be embarrassed!

Since we are all professionals, I thought I would write my first article about simple ways to organize the office. Having an organized office is one of the keys to a successful business! If you are spending time looking for what you need to do your work, then you are not being as productive as you could be, and your work suffers.  The following are simple things you can do to keep order in your workspace.

  1. Purge: There’s probably a lot of unnecessary stuff taking up your valuable office space. Go through your office and get rid of duplicates and anything you no longer use/need. If you grab a pen and it doesn’t work, throw it away…it’s not going to magically work the next time!
  2. Keep necessary items within reach: In this electronic age, you probably don’t need white-out sitting on top of your desk, nor does your pen cup need to house every writing implement you own. Align the items on your desk making those that you use most, closest. Things like your phone, computer, stapler, a few pens, etc. should all be within arm’s reach for easy access. Those supplies that you use less frequently can be tucked away into drawers, leaving your desk less cluttered.
  3. Employ a filing system: Piling papers on the floor is not an effective filing method. There are a lot of different systems that work. Some people file alphabetically, some by project, and others by client, but a filing cabinet is key. Find the system that works best with how you think and work, so it will be easy to maintain.
  4. Archive files you don’t need: Files from years ago don’t need to live in your immediate space. Store files you aren’t using in a different location, so it doesn’t clutter up your workspace. If you have a lot of old files, consider using a scanning and storage company to maintain those files at an off-site location.
  5. Keep track of ‘To-Dos’: Whether you are a technical kind of person, or prefer pen and paper, having a running To-Do list is important so things don’t fall through the cracks. Separate your tasks into categories, by project or client, and list out all deadlines and important dates associated with those tasks.
  6. Stay on top of communication: One of the worst things you can do is ignore communication from others. Make time each day to check and answer emails and phone messages. Doing this once in the morning and once in the afternoon gets the task done and doesn’t disrupt your work flow.
  7. Organize your Inbox: Being electronically organized is just as important as being physically organized. Create different folders and subfolders in your Inbox for clients and projects. That way, when a new email comes in you can act on it, then file it in its appropriate e-folder.
  8. Personalize your workspace: Whether you’re in a cubicle, home office, or shared workspace, having touches that make you feel comfortable put you more at ease in your work environment. Put up pictures of loved ones, awards and honors you’ve received and even little knick-knacks. Make sure not to over-do it though, or your space will begin to look like grandma’s house!
  9. End of the day rituals: Coming in each morning to a pile on your desk starts the day off on the wrong foot. When you’re done working for the day, leave 15 minutes to update your to-do list and put the things that you’ve been using in their proper places. This will give you a sense of accomplishment for that day and start the next day off with a clean slate.

Julie Gutman

Check out Julie's Website for more great tips!

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