If you’re not naturally an organized person, then keeping your business organized can become a very time-consuming chore. Fortunately, there are some basic techniques and tools you can use that will make it easier for you to keep everything in order, and focus on growing your business or taking a well-deserved vacation.
3-Ring Project Binders & a 3-Hole Punch
Make sure that all documents related to a project are stored together by using large 3-ring binders for document storage. This will help you reduce the number of random paper piles you have around the office and make it easier to find project-related documents later. When a project ends, check that all the documents are in the binder, and then move the binder to an archive cabinet or box.
The 3-hole punch is an essential accessory to the binders because you need to be able to add document to the binder in a semi-permanent way. Take the time to punch the holes and slot the document into the binder rather than simply stuffing it in.
Part of organizing is knowing when to throw things away. Take the time to shred and properly dispose of old documents that are clogging up your filing cabinets and drawers. Make sure you know what you need to keep for legal reasons, but don’t be squeamish about getting rid of old papers, especially if you haven’t looked at them in years and you can’t remember their purpose.
If you want to make a big statement, then skip buying a little desk shredder and go for a commercial shredder that multiple people can use. Then have a shredding party where peoples share their most random document and then shred it.
A Coat Rack or Coat Hooks
If you live somewhere that gets cold or wet during the year, then you and your employees are bringing clutter to work with them every day. Use a coat rack or a mount coat hooks to give employees a place to store their outerwear. This will also lead to them feeling less cramped if they are working in cubicles where space is at a premium.
Lockers worked great when you were in school and they can work just as well for your business. You can assign lockers to employees or have sets of lockers specifically to hold certain items like A/V equipment or banners for conferences. Lockers will give you a secure place to keep things until they are needed and help you maximize space.
You can also use smaller cubes or “cubbies” for this is you need to save space. They work just as well but you lose the ability to lock them.
Incoming/Outgoing Mail Trays
This is an old school trick, but it still works like a charm. Set up an area in your office where you or others can place things that you need to look at, and a place to put things you are done with.
This works for handling mail, but you can also adapt this approach to deal with any documents you’re handling: use trays to sort documents by urgency, by who needs to see it, or by the department that it belongs to.
Keep Organized By Giving Everything a Place
All these tools come back to having a specific place to put things and knowing what you need to keep. If you keep those two things in mind, then staying organized will become easier and you won’t have to spend as much time worrying about.
Jessica Kane is a professional writer who has an interest in keeping things organized and in order. She currently writes for FlexCon, a leading vendor of corrugated plastic bins and boxes.