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You had me at label. You all know that I love a good container, a good notebook, a good planner and lastly, a good label maker. I use all of those to create systems in my home, in my clients’ homes and for my organizing business. Once an area is organized, the goal is to keep it organized or at least have a great system for getting it back under control with little effort — those systems usually involve labeling.
Besides the blog, I have an organizing business that I need to keep tabs on – literally. When you are a small business (in my case, only me) it is easy to get overwhelmed with record keeping and all the necessary papers that go into having a business. I want to share with you my best tips for keeping your desk organized and your small business under control. For this project, I used the DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Bundle Pack.
This LabelWriter has been on my wish list for a while since I have seen so many people using and loving it. The first place I saw it was at my son’s school, where they use it to create name tags for visiting parents. I ordered my DYMO LabelWriter online from Staples but I encourage you to check HERE since selected stores do carry it.
Within 2 days, this beauty was at my door.
And all these goodies come along with it. I purchased the bundle pack so it brought A LOT of labels in different sizes, the software CD and the corresponding plug and cable for the LabelWriter.
I was able to install it in a few minutes. Since I have a MAC, I had to download the installer file online (there is no CD-drive in Mac desktops). Although the main purpose that I wanted this machine for was to organize my business files, I thought I would try it out for labeling the pantry. I just opened the DYMO app on my computer, selected the label that I had inserted into the machine, and typed away all the items in my pantry. Also, there were custom labels to chose from with over 60 different label styles and layouts.
I would normally label containers when organizing clients’ homes, especially containers that are always used for the same item.
Back to work! Here are 5 steps in keeping your work desk organized.
Clean and organize your desk.
I know, sounds silly and obvious but a messy desk can make you feel drained and overwhelmed even before you start working. I like to start with a clean slate and then slowly add the items that I need. Go ahead and discard all those pens that no longer work and give away the ones that you don’t like. There is no need to give precious real estate to items you no longer need and love.
2. Create a Filing System
I have a filing system for personal and a different one for business. Actually, I have one for the blog and then another for the professional organizing business. Here is my personal which I color code:
I have another one for each business that is not color-coded. On my desk, I keep the business files that I am currently working on and also the receipts. After those files are no longer necessary to have on hand, I file them in the cabinet. I know myself and I would not have the discipline to open the cabinet every time I had a small piece of paper to file, so the small system on the desk works for me. It is important to know yourself. No system will work if it isn’t suited for your living or working style.
I created these files using the DYMO which literally took minutes. Each folder is dedicated to an aspect of my organizing business and I can file things immediately without allowing them to stack up on my desk.
3. Keep essentials at hand
Although you don’t want a bunch of visual clutter, it is important to have a spot for all the items that you use and reference daily. For me its these books, calendars, tape and stapler and a few other essentials that I keep close by.
4. Make lists and keep one calendar
I make lists about making lists! Seriously, lists keep me from feeling like I am out of control, especially on really busy weeks. I keep a master list and check it off as the day progresses. I am also a fan of planners that I can write in. I like the sense of accomplishment in crossing a task off with a pen. Whatever planner/calendar works for you is fine but keep just one. I keep 2 but only because one is solely an editorial calendar for the blog. If you have a digital calendar and then a physical calendar, things can get confusing and you can end up missing an appointment. I do use my phone for reminders but I log everything in my one planner.
5. Sort mail immediately
This is huge! One of the largest contributors of a messy desk is mail. I have tried to unsubscribe to as much junk mail as possible but somehow it keeps coming in. If you cannot sort the mail the moment you walk in, then don’t come in with mail in your hands. The moment you bring the mail inside separate it into files or bins that read: To File, To Read, To Contact and discard the junk mail ASAP.
After working on my files, I decided to use the address labels that came in my bundle for my business holiday cards. Of course, yours would actually have a real address. 😉
This machine has earned a spot on my desk and it is now considered one of my essentials! Here are a few details about what makes this LabelWriter unique:
- Eliminate the waste and hassle of sheet labels – print precise quantities without difficulty.
- Customize and print address, shipping, file folder labels, plus name badges and more – all from your PC or Mac®*
- No need to buy ink for this printer (we all know how expensive ink is) as it is a thermal transfer technology.
I can’t imagine this machine being any better, but there is also The LabelWriter® 450 Turbo that is available, taking the outstanding performance of the LabelWriter® 450 to another level. The Turbo prints up to 71 labels per minute…wowzer! It eliminates the waste and hassle of sheet labels by printing precise quantities without difficulty. It also allows you to print USPS®-approved postage stamps directly from your desktop, taking the outstanding performance of the LabelWriter® 450 to another level.
- Be sure to go check back every week for Staples Daily Deals for special deals on your favorite DYMO LabelWriter® products including DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Bundle, LabelWriter® 450 Turbo, and LabelWriter® 4XL Turbo!
Walking into an office that is neat is not only welcoming but it encourages you to build your business. Why? Because visual clutter becomes mental clutter.
Enjoy your clean desk and let me know what are your favorite tips for keeping your office under control.