December is quickly passing us by, and as you finish up your holiday shopping, it’s time to start thinking about next year. What will your New Year’s resolutions be for 2016? Are you going to try to be more active? Will you cut your spending? How about getting more organized? Organizing your life is one of the most popular resolutions every year, but it is also one that’s commonly broken. After all, old habits die hard, and many people don’t know where to even begin. We’d like to offer some helpful advice for getting more organized—both at home and in the office.
Getting Organized at Home
Many people focus their efforts on organizing their homes. It’s natural to accumulate some clutter after living in one place for a year, and many people reach a point where something simply must be done about it. Here are our top tips for getting organized at home:
- Declutter: Go through closets and other storage spaces. Sort through those bins and boxes you rarely open. Find items that you no longer need or use, and either donate them or have a garage sale. If you sell them, you may even make enough money for a few renovations in your newly organized home!
- Handle Paperwork: Life requires paperwork. Whether it’s birth certificates, marriage licenses, or simply receipts you can’t throw out yet, you probably have a decent-sized stack of papers somewhere in your home. Go through these papers and shred what you no longer need. Then, organize the paperwork. You can do this with a filing cabinet and tabbed folders, or do it digitally by scanning your paperwork into a computer. There are even some smartphone apps to help you organize your life’s paperwork.
- Simplify: After getting rid of the things you no longer need, it’s time to simplify your life even further. Keep those things you absolutely need and use most often within easy reach. For things that you need less often—like holiday decorations, seasonal clothing, or your grandmother’s good china—store them in an organized place that is out of the way, but accessible when you need it. The more things you can put in storage areas, the less cluttered your cabinets, drawers, and closets will seem.
- Label: For everything you put in storage, put a clear label on it. Knowing whether that storage bin holds Christmas decorations or antique heirlooms is important, and it will make it easier to find what you’re looking for when those items are needed.
- Use Organizational Tools: There are many organizational tools out there, from drawer dividers to stacking dish racks and hanging clothes organizers. Make use of these tools whenever you need to. The same goes for digital tools, like those organizing apps we talked about earlier. Use the tools made accessible to you, and you’ll be more successful in your organizing efforts.
Now that you have everything you need to get organized at home, let’s talk about the workplace.
Getting Organized at Work
Whether you own a business, manage one, or simply work at home, it’s important that your office be organized. Organization directly impacts your work efficiency and can even influence your stress levels. Here are some tools to help you get more organized in the workplace in 2016:
- Clean Your Desktop: This refers to both your physical and your electronic desktops. Remove any unnecessary clutter from your desk, and organize on the files on your computer’s desktop as well. Whether you need to drop the files into folders or simply drag them to the recycling bin, try to remove as much clutter from that initial screen as possible. Having a clean workspace—physically and electronically—will help you to start your day with a clear, stress-free mindset.
- Ditch the Paper: Odds are, paperwork is what is causing most of the clutter in your office. Paper takes up space, wastes time, and simply adds stress to your day. Switch to an electronic document management system instead of a physical filing system. If your office doesn’t have one of these available for you, speak to someone who can help implement the new policy across the board; your coworkers will thank you for it.
- Automate Processes: Manual processes can be confusing and time consuming, and they simply make your work life more unorganized. Try automating as many processes as possible, such as workflows and collecting signatures on paperwork. The more processes you have that are digital, the more organized your life will be.
- The Right Tools: Just like with organizing your home, if you’re going to organize your office properly, you need to use the organizational tools that are available to you. This may include document management software (DMS), a document scanner, a new in-office messaging system, or any other tools that might be useful and relevant to your place of business. Make sure that everyone is trained on how to use these tools, as that is the best way to ensure that new policies are followed and good, organized habits are formed for everyone in the office.
Remember: You don’t have to wait until the New Year to get started on those resolutions. Starting now can help you begin forming good habits so that your resolutions are more likely to stick. So start looking into how to organize your home and office now, and make a game plan for how to successfully implement your new habits.
For more tips on getting your office organized and handling the paperwork clutter, contact us for a free demo of eFileCabinet.