By: Lauren Asbell
My mom would be the first to tell you that she never thought I would write a blog about organizing. She loves to tell the story about cleaning my room when I was 5 and finding a half-eaten apple in the bottom of my toy box. Yes, I was a messy child and it only got worse when I was a teenager. My parents would bribe, threaten, and ground me just to get me to clean my room.
As an adult, I think I’ve gotten better. Though there are still areas of my life that are not organized. My friends often threaten to not only power wash the outside of my car, but also the inside. Though my answer to that is if the zombie apocalypse ever happens we would survive in my car. Of course, that’s a blog for another time.
The one area of my life that I work to keep organized is my cubicle and as a meeting planner it can be a full-time job. The amount of paperwork that comes across my desk in a week is mind boggling. 3-ring binders are my best friends. My most prized possession is my label maker. With all that said I still struggle with keeping my cubicle organized. Below are some tips that I have found work for me in my never-ending battle against clutter.
Nothing stresses me out more than piles of paper on my desk. It’s a necessary evil as a meeting planner, but if you keep on top of it, it can be the biggest step to keeping your cubicle organized. Pick one day out of the week (mine’s Friday) to file all the paperwork that has come in. Try to pick a day that is normally on the slower side (I would not recommend Mondays). If you have time to file more than once a week great, but even once a week will make a world of difference.
To Post-It or Not to Post-It
I love Post-It notes. They come in every color under the sun and can actually brighten up your dreary cubicle. They are also a great way to remind you of important tasks. The problem is you can have too many Post-Its. When you start to stack them on top of each other your cubicle can become cluttered and you may also cover up an important task and forget all about it. I find making a To-Do list is a simpler and more organized way to keep up with tasks. That doesn’t mean you have to give up your Post-It notes cold turkey, but save them for the really important reminders (like happy hour).
Send It to Storage
Do you really need to have the meeting folder from the 2002 annual conference at your desk? Or the ribbons for the meeting that takes place in six months? If it’s not something you reach for on a regular basis send it to storage. I like to keep the previous year’s files at my desk since I refer to them regularly. Anything prior I send to storage. Once you take the time to really assess what you need, you will realize how much stuff is just collecting dust in your cubicle.
Just One More Picture of My Dogs
Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our loved ones, so it’s nice to have photos and knick-knacks to remind us of our life outside work. Unfortunately, too many personal items can become distracting, or if you are clumsy like me, a hazard. Keep a few items that are significant to you and take the rest home. Once you simplify, you will be amazed at all the space you have.
One Last Thing
I’m not going to lie, there are days where I am counting down the minutes until I get to go home (we all have those days). But even on those days I like to take a few minutes to straighten up my area before I leave. It might be the last thing you want to do, but it will make the next work day just a little easier. Nothing will take the pep out of your step quicker than coming back to a messy cubicle.
I will never win the war against clutter, but with every battle won I am one step farther from starring in an episode of Hoarders. Happy Organizing!