Whether you have a home office or work in a traditional office setting or have both, the organization of your space is an important key to working efficiently. A clean, organized space can contribute to a calm, organized mind. Not only is it more pleasant to work in a neat, clean office space, but tidiness can contribute to productivity.

By following these simple steps, you can create an office space that is neat and organized and that works for you.

1. Group like with like

Start by going through all the “stuff” you have in your office. Organize everything into piles or groups, placing like items with like items. For example, any billing materials should go together; tools such as scissors and staplers should go together; sticky notes and labels should go together; stamps, envelopes and Dymo address labels should go together; and so on.

This will allow you to see what you have so that you’ll know how to organize it all. Additionally, this step gives you the opportunity to purge anything that you don’t really need.

2. Organize and file your paperwork

It’s easy to fall into the habit of accumulating a pile of miscellaneous papers. The problem with this is that when you need a particular item, it’s very difficult to find. Filing, then, is important. Many experts recommend color coding your files, so that invoices to be paid are in one color, any instructions manuals in another color file, and so on.

3. Use furniture with wheels

When you used a wheeled chair, filing cabinet, or even a printer stand, your life becomes easier. You can move pieces where you need them for the moment, then put them away easily when you are finished. For example, you may want to wheel over a small filing cabinet to your desk while you are doing paperwork, then roll it away to a corner so that it’s out of your way when you are finished.

4. Back up your files

Losing data on your computer can cost money and valuable time. Be sure to back up your entire computer at least once a week. Many newer computers can be configured to automatically save or backup all files to a cloud. This is a great option because you don’t have to spend time or effort backing up your files yourself.

5. Purge rather than hoard

Of course, it’s wonderful to make full use of the storage space you have available, but when you are at capacity, don’t overload. This means that if your bookshelf is full, buying a new book means you should get rid of an older book. When you try to pack too much into any space, it becomes difficult to stay organized and find what you want.

6. Use space creatively

If your office space is limited, make the best use of all the space that is available to you; find creative storage solutions. A wall area above your desk may be a good place to install shelves for books. The back of a door can often double as a storage area.

7. Don’t place your home office in your bedroom

Even if you don’t work from home full or part time, you may have a home office for household tasks like paying bills. It’s best not to have your home office in your bedroom. Your bedroom, obviously, should be conducive to sleep.

Carrying your work or even just your bills into the bedroom can negatively impact the sense of a peaceful haven you need to create in your bedroom. You don’t want to try to sleep while worrying about work or other matters associated with your home office. For these reasons, it’s best to keep it out of the bedroom.

8. Clean up for tomorrow at the end of today

As you wind down your work day, spend time straightening up your office. You will thank yourself the next morning when you walk into a neat, tidy space. This will make your office space feel welcoming each morning and will allow you to sit down and get right to work, rather than having to spend the first part of your morning cleaning up from the day before.

It’s easy to allow your workspace to become cluttered. However, clutter does not contribute to efficiency. Use these eight easy steps to create a workspace that is workable.

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