Organizing the Cluttered Office

The last twenty minutes have been wasted digging through papers to find a list I needed for an article. While my desk has been de-cluttered – to some extent – the paper still remains lost. This is just one more reason to stay organized. Clutter and chaos steal your time and for a freelancer time is money.

If you had seen my office space, my home, or even my life just a few short years ago then you would be amazed by the changes. Despite my fear of breaking out into song, it is a whole, new world. 😀 But it isn’t where it needs to be yet. If it was, I would know where that list was (and what I had written it on).

Ideally, I would have my own office space. Reality dictates that I only get the corner of the kitchen. Since my job requests are increasing daily and my two year old has taken to “working” with mom, I have to figure out a way to better utilize and organize my space.

1. Filing System. I do have one, but it could be better. Last week I made folders for due dates (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Weekly, Month end, Daily, Rush Job). I make a folder for the client and put it in the due date. Any correspondence should go directly in the folder.

a. Problem – I don’t have enough file cabinets. Boxes (if they are the right size) make great temporary file cabinets, but I still don’t have a place to put the boxes.

b. Problem – I have a bad habit of just sticking things in file folders and setting them in the storage bin next to the computer. That bin is over flowing and most of the stuff is completely foreign to me.

It’s time to purge and purge hard. Any of the books and items that I don’t use regularly has to go. Everything needs to be put away AND LABELED. Time to get rid of the bins I have sitting around. It’s just space waiting to be filled.

2. Space. I can only steal so much of the kitchen before my husband starts to complain. Instead, I need to get rid of some of the stuff taking up my shelf and drawer space and re-evaluate my needs.

3. Consistency. All the best laid plans won’t do me any good if I don’t use them. I had my filing system in place before I wrote that missing list that started all of this. I just didn’t put the list in its folder. Now I’m half an hour behind schedule and no closer to a solution. If I’m not going to follow through when I clean and organize then I’ll just be back to this point in a month (or less).

Most people think of organization as something that is over stated or just plain wrong. The truth is that organization can save you thousands of dollar each year, make your life run smoothly, and help you keep up with those lists that are so important.

Try a little organization in your life. You are sure to find that no only do you like it, but you have to have more.

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  • Staying on top of your papers is a challenge in this day and age where all the gadget are supposed to keep us more time efficient. Your article is right on track and I enjoyed reading it.

    All the best,


  • Gadgets tend to make my life more clutter, not less. It’s taken me a few years to figure that out. Now I’m working on downsizing.