What does disorganization cost you and/or your company? The Wall Street Journal published a study indicating that the average employee wastes nearly six weeks a year looking for information and things in their office. Multiply six weeks by the salary and then the number of employees and that is a lot of money!
The cost of being disorganized is not only monetary. Other costs that are compromised include your stress level, peace of mind and feeling overwhelmed.
Some of you may have seen our kitchen and office organizing makeovers featured on Evening Magazine a few weeks ago. The response we received to the office segment was truly amazing. So many people could relate to what they saw. Some even were inspired and took action.
Can you relate to any of the following organizing misconceptions? If you can, you’re not alone.
If I file it, I’ll never find it again.
The key to a great filing system is the ability to “retrieve” the information when you need it. The act of “filing” the paper away is simple – the critical step lies in how you categorize it so that you and others can access it.
If I hire an Office Manager / Office Assistant – they’ll get me organized.
Many managers and business owners I’ve worked with in the past, contact me after they’ve hired an Office Manager or Office Assistant because they are frustrated that this individual has done very little to help them get organized. In order for this individual to be successful, there must be systems and processes that they can follow on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Typically, this person is not the individual that will “create” the systems or processes but rather “maintain” them. In many cases, the individual hired to work in this role may not have the background to develop those processes or systems for you – yet they are excellent at using the systems. It is critical that the Manager or Business Owner play a key role in the development of these systems because most likely they will be the ones using them long after the individual hired to help them has moved on.
Being organized stifles creativity.
We’ve all heard of “right brained” vs. “left brained” individuals. Those that are “right brained” tend to be more creative and thus disorganized. The fact of the matter is that those that are “right brained” tend to be more “visual” and therefore they like to see what they are working on – and thus much of what they work on is out in the open. There is no right or wrong way to be organized – it’s really about creating systems and processes that the individual can maintain to be efficient and productive. The work can be out in the open, as long as it is done so in an organized fashion so that when the information is needed – it can be retrieved.
Organization is not in your genes.
This just might be the biggest excuse I hear! I am here to testify that it does not need to be in your genes – after all, I was adopted and I can guarantee you that many of the organization skills I learned at a young age, I learned from both of my parents. Instead of playing the blame game, be proactive and seek help.
Being neat and tidy is the same as being organized.
It’s easy to take a clean sweep off your desk top into a box, bag or desk drawer. This puts a Band-Aid on the problem, but doesn’t find a solution. In most instances, people desire solutions. The clean sweep may be a temporary solution, but at some point you must face the underlying disorganization.
Clutter in your office, whether on your work surface or on the floor, can be extremely distracting. If you’re used to working in this kind of environment, you may not even be aware that the clutter is distracting you. It also causes unnecessary stress, because the items lying around often represent unfinished business. Having a system and a place to put things in your office will help minimize the distractions and eliminate extra stress. Here are a few tips to help you declutter your office:
1. Magazine Holders – use them to store directories, software manuals, packages of computer software labels, folders, user guides, packages of computer photo paper. When placing on a shelf, you want to see the back of the holder instead of the contents – it gives a clean look.
2. Computer Software – If you do not have an IT department that stores software and the user manuals for you, you’ll want to set up a system in your office so you can put your hands on when you need it. Empty the contents of the boxes and keep the software and manual. Be sure you also keep the Product Key if not on the CD case or CD itself. User manuals can also be store in a magazine holder, in hanging file in your filing cabinet or even in a decorative box that sits on a shelf. Software can be stored in a binder or a box designed for software.
3. To be Filed – Establish a location in your office for papers that require no additional action but just need to be filed. Don’t allow this location to accumulate items that need action.
4. Receipts – Create a place for receipts you must keep. Make a decision immediately if you need to keep it. Most likely, if it is a business expense, you’ll need to keep it. If you file an expense report – keep an envelope for the period where you can place the receipts until you file the report – so you don’t miss out on being reimbursed for expenses. If you have your own business, be sure to label the type of expense immediately – it will save you hours of time later at tax time!
5. Names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers – Establish a location in your office where you’ll keep these pieces of information until you have time to record them in your contact management program or address book. Use a folder that you keep close by or a small container into which you toss the information. Better yet, record it immediately and discard that piece of paper.
6. Bookshelves – When placing books on bookshelves, try grouping them by category. Instead of standing them all upright, try laying groups of books flat and stacked on top of each other. Bookshelves don’t need to be full of books from one end to the other. In between the groups, you can display a photo or special treasure to break up the sections a bit.
Not sure where to begin? Just pick one small area to start – and complete that area. You’ll have a wonderful feeling of accomplishment and then you can move on to other areas of your office. It’s never too late to enjoy the numerous benefits of working in an organized office.
Office Organizing Special - 2 Free Hours with Margaret, Christine or Tina
We realize the Office is one of the most time-consuming areas to organize and we want to help you realize the benefits of an Organized Office.
Our Offer: Receive 2 Free Hours of Office Organizing with Margaret, Christine and Tina with a full 8-hour day Office Organizing Session. The 8-hour session must be completed on the same day. That means, you pay for 6 and receive two hours at no charge. This can be a savings up to $180!!!
Please book your appointmentsprior to July 6th to receive the offer, however, you have until September 1st to complete the sessions at the special rate. This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers. There will be no limit to the number of appointments you can schedule at this rate.
Product Special - Captio CollegeCase - Offer Extended to June 30, 2007
Receive a FREE Eliminate Chaos Journal Book with Pen with your purchase of a CollegeCase
Leaving home for college means cutting the cord. Suddenly, students have to pay bills, find health care, deal with emergencies - all on their own. Count on a smooth transition to campus with the CollegeCase organizer. What-if and how-to advice combined with a flexible organizing system help students succeed at Life 101.
Features Eight Life Topic Sections
Banking: for statements and financial activity
Bills: for monthly payments and budgeting
Employment: for resume, references and applications
Health: for medical history, insurance and doctor information
Property: for warranties, car info and insurance
School: for academic records and dorm room contracts
Travel: for travel resources and trip plans
Other Stuff: for sports, activities, dates and more
Just $29.95 for peace of mind! Makes a wonderful graduation gift.
Click here to purchase and receive a free copy of our Journal Book - a $7 value.
Enter Coupon Code: ECCC which is good until 6.30.07
We can also ship directly to the recipient for you so you don't have to - just let us know when you order.
If your son or daughter isn't heading off to college next this fall, but will be applying to colleges in the near future, you may also want to look at our Captio Applicase - same price and we'll also include one of our Journal Books with purchase. Use Coupon Code ECCC which is good until 6.30.07.
In the Media: Garage Article Featured in the Seattle Post Intelligencer
Check out our article "Trash or Treasure" to be featured in the June 23, 2007 issue of the Seattle@Home insert of the Seattle Post Intelligencer.
After reading the article, you may think differently about how you can use your garage space. You will also see a list of many of the products we use to maximize the space in garages - some, you may have never seen before.
Not sure what to give that loved one? Don't want to give them any more "stuff" they may not need or want? Gift Certificates make a great gift - enable those you love to take control of their time, their space and their stuff. Contact our office for pricing. 425.670.2551
"A big thanks to Julie and Terri for helping us to clear our clutter from our workshop and craft area in an effective, easy, non-judgmental way. My husband was blown away by the transformation, and we are liberated by the extra space and less "stuff". Thank you again, EC!" -Joyce and Marshall Rafferty - Seattle, WA .
A great way to try us out and get some organizing done at the same time! For a limited time, we are offering an amazing NEW client organizing special. If you are not an existing client this is a great way for us show you how we can eliminate your chaos.