Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

Within 2 days, this beauty was at my door.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

I would normally label containers when organizing clients’ homes, especially containers that are always used for the same item.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

Back to work!  Here are 5 steps in keeping your work desk organized.

  1.  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.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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:

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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.

 

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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. 😉

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

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.

Work Desk Organization in 5 Easy Steps

  • 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.

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A couple of weeks ago, my friend asked me to help her fix up her office space at work.  Her husband owns an automobile business and she was helping her husband with the office work…except, the office didn’t work.  The men thought that the office was perfect.  They thought that it didn’t need a thing changed.  Why mess with perfection? The thing is that perfection looked like this…

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and this…

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These men were so dedicated to the sales, maintenance and growth of the business, that the back office space was just not top priority.  The store front was beautiful and we needed to make the back office match. With the help of IKEA, a screwdriver, and lots of good conversation, my friend and I embarked on a mission.  To prove the men wrong To make the office beautiful.  To create a space that was welcoming and practical. We started by painting the walls with a color called “Cloudy Day” by Sherwin Williams.  We painted the moldings white.  We also purchased white IKEA furniture that would be easy to clean and to customize. Here is the “after” picture of the wall pictured above. Office organization

We chose open cubicles in the bookshelf for binders and we installed drawers in other cubicles for office supplies.  The idea was to leave out the practical and pretty and put away the practical and unsightly. We purchased new filing cabinets, a desk, and the lamp from IKEA.  I found the clock at Target. Office Organization

Of course, we had to add a little “pretty”, while keeping in mind that the office had to remain somewhat masculine.  There went all my washi tape dreams… We decorated with modern, inexpensive IKEA plants, like this one. Office Organization

And this one that I found at Target.  It was kind of short for the cubicle, so I lifted it with a car part.  I am not even sure what it is, but I loved the end result. Office Organization

I love decorating with practical items, such as these little IKEA buckets that hold all the pens and pencils. Office Organization

So one more time…We went from this,

Office remodel

To this,

Office Organization

The men at the office LOVED it and even asked for their own coffee station on top of the new cabinet.  No one misses the dark furniture and my friend is a happy camper. With a little bit of paint, some new furniture pieces and a lot of focus, any space can be transformed.  It’s important to feel comfortable where you work.  Maybe you can’t transform your whole office, but you can transform an area.  Anything to help you laugh while you work.  Actually, don’t laugh, just smile, abrupt laughter could scare co-workers. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and please share with me what is your favorite thing about your workspace.  Is it wall color, your desk, accessories, or your comfy chair?

Until next time,

Maria