End The Clutter!

by Julie Barnes

Nothing stresses me out more than clutter. The sight of paper piled high and folders stacked up are frankly a buzz-kill for my productivity. I would spend hours every few months reorganizing my office. I had to end the madness. So, I came up with a plan to finally get organized and more importantly to say organized. Here’s what I did…

1. Created a mobile file cabinet – I purchased a personal file tote, hanging files, and file folders from Staples. I then created hanging files for the current projects that I’m working on, along with individual file folders. I filed any projects that were completed in my archives box. I also included files for the business side and for upcoming projects and ideas. The great thing is… if I need a change of scenery and want to work from Starbucks, all I have to do is grab my laptop and my portable file cabinet and I have everything I need for an afternoon of work.

2. Stop printing – It’s pretty simple. The less you print the less paper you have to deal with. I must admit that I picked up a bad printing habit while working in corporate America. I had to print everything and then file it. Argh!! Now I only print what I absolutely need. This also saves me money in ink, gas, and time. Since I was always running to Staples for ink and paper.

3. Office Supplies - I organized three shelves in a closet my office supplies. The top shelf is for art supplies and stuff I do not use on a daily basis. The middle shelf is where my printer sits, so that it’s out of my way. And the bottom shelf is where I have trays for incoming mail, archived files, and copies of magazines for research. I also created a drawer that contains printer paper, file folders, etc. and a small drawer for pens, pencils, and other small supplies.  So when I’m done working for the day, I just close the drawers and cabinet doors and everything is neatly organized and put away. And that signals the office is closed for the day, which is great when you work from home. J

4.  Books ­-   I love books of all kind. I prefer the old school print, but I like the digital versions as well. I have books for reference, books for research, and books for fun. My bookshelves were busting at the seams. So I purged the books that I don’t use on a daily basis and put them in my storage area. Now I purchase most of books digitally, unless it’s a reference book. I like to flip through then and make notes.
Now I’m finally organized…how’s your clutter?
Julie Barnes is a Freelance Writer traveling the great USA full-time in a 42 ft RV.  Her newest book “How They Did It…36 Entrepreneurs Tell How They Launched the Business of Their Dreams” is available here. Visit her website at http://www.onewhowrites.com/. Follow Julie on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juliebarnesusa

Julie Barnes is a regular contributor to the Secrets of Success blog.

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