Your office space is prime real estate for storing things that will help you get your work done each day. However, it’s difficult to concentrate and stay focused on the work at hand when you’re surrounded by paper piles and scattered post-its, and you have trouble finding what you need. Here are a few simple things you can do to get your office organized and ready for a productive day, every day.

Clear Off the Surface of Your Desk!
Give yourself lots of room to work. Every piece of paper on (and around) your desk needs a home. Turn your piles into files by first sorting into categories and then by creating three separate filing systems for 1) your Reference Papers, 2) your Current Projects, and 3) your Action Items. Store your Current Projects and Action Items within arm’s reach of your chair. Store your Reference files away from your desk in a filing cabinet or credenza, or even in another room. Have a lot of post-its cluttering up your desk? Get rid of those, too, by incorporating them into your Action Item files where you’ll be able to find them again when you need them.

Store Office Supplies Close By.
For greater efficiency, keep frequently used office supplies in reach by storing them in a desk drawer. To keep things neat and tidy within the drawer, consider installing a drawer organizer. Bigger items like staplers and 3-hole punchers (one of each) can sit up on top of your desk, as long as they’re out of the way of your work surface. Extra supplies and things you don’t use very often can be stored on a shelf or in a cabinet a little bit further away. To make it really easy to keep up with your filing, keep some extra file folders and clear tabs on hand.

Eliminate Distractions.
For better focus and productivity, make sure everything on and around your desk relates to work only! Get rid of the clutter by sorting things into piles of Keep, Trash, and Donate. If your Keep items relate to work, find a place in your office to store them. Otherwise, move them to another location. Do you have a lot of photos? Choose just one or two favorites to display and take the rest down. The less you have in your work space, the easier it’ll be to concentrate on the task at hand.

Invest in Proper Equipment.
Since you spend so much time in your office, it’s important to make it a comfortable place to be. Every office needs a good quality chair, a big enough desk with drawers for supplies and files, a computer and printer (of course), proper lighting, a label maker (for labeling files), trays for incoming and outgoing mail, a trash can, a recycle bin, and a shredder. Taking time to find the right equipment that works for your office needs is well worth the investment!

Put Things Back in their Place.
Take a few minutes at the end of each day to clear your desk and put things away. This will help you start each new day with a clean and organized work area, a clear mind, and a great attitude!

Copyright © 2010 Always Organizing. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Amy Brueske is an organizing expert and owner of Always Organizing, specializing in residential and small business organizing services, serving the San Francisco North Bay Area (Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties).

Amy is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and subscribes to the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization (NSGCD). Amy has written many articles on the topic of organizing and publishes a free monthly newsletter offering valuable organizing tips and solutions. To sign up for her newsletter and receive a free 7-page report, “Top 20 Organizing Strategies for Simple, Stress-Free Living,” visit