If you’ve ever found yourself overwhelmed at work because you couldn’t find the specific document you needed, didn’t have space on your desk to take notes, or because the pile of mail was just getting too high, then we’ve got some tips for you.
An organized, decluttered work space can not only make your job easier and more enjoyable, it can allow you to get more done without even realizing it.
Here’s how to organize your cubicle at work.
Start with the clutter. If you’ve been at your job long and need to organize your cubicle, chances are you have a lot of items in drawers or on your desk that don’t need to be there. Empty the drawers and cabinets and sort everything into three sections: things you need at work, decorations, and things you don’t need at work.
The things in your “Don’t Need” section need to be sorted. You’ll find papers you can shred and recycle, a few personal items you can take home, and maybe extra pens, staples, or other work items you can pass on to others who need them in the office.
Organize Your Desk
A variety of common organization tools make it easier to get your desk in order. You can get these at office supply stores, or even dollar stores. They include drawer dividers, which are containers that fit into a desk drawer and have separate compartments where you can keep things like rubber bands, staples, paper clips, pens, and pencils. It’s either that or have all those items get mixed up and messy in your drawer.
It’s also easy to sort writing implements on top of your desk by putting them into cups.
For mail as well as current paperwork, get stackable paper trays. You can stack three or five on a corner of your desk and use each level for a different type of document.
Organize Additional Files
There’s a lot to be said for the paperless office, and we encourage you to strive for that ideal by scanning documents instead of saving physical copies. If you have a lot of paperwork that needs to remain in hard copy, get a short filing cabinet you can put beside or behind your desk. (This can double as a stand for some of your decorations!) Ask your supervisor if they can provide a filing cabinet before you go out and spend your own money on one. You can then file paperwork by name, type, or date, whichever works best.
You may have books related to work. Perhaps you’re a programmer or network administrator and have a small library of computer books, or you have several folders filled with important work procedures. If you don’t have upper cabinets attached to your cubicle, ask if you can have one or two added for your books. Or, you could get a small bookcase to put next to your filing cabinet.
Your cubicle needs to be set up so you can work efficiently, and personal items can get in the way. That being said, they can also bring a sense of comfort and homeliness. This can put you in a better mood and help you work smarter. So, don’t fill your free space with personal items, but don’t eschew them completely. We suggest having a few as accents.
Hang a few photographs of family or other loved ones. If you can’t hang pictures on your cubicle walls, put a framed picture or two on your desk. Just make sure you have space to sort files, take notes, and so on.
Other nice things to have are a calendar that reflects one of your interests, a few of your favorite vinyl figures, action figures, small dolls, or simple toys, and a personal coffee mug. Here, it’s all about making your cubicle truly yours.
It may take a day or so to get this done, but once it’s finished, we think that you, and your manager, will find the change worthwhile.