I asked Chris Hall of Bluegrass Go2Girl to share some organizational tips for your office. She is the queen of helping people de-clutter, create a system and stay organized. Here's the great advice she had to offer:
There has been quite the clamor this first month of 2012 of customers looking to get organized. They are specifically looking to get their office/work space streamlined. These clients understand the importance of getting on “top” of their clutter at the beginning of the New Year. This one task will help them with productivity and stress reduction for the entire year.
The first step and probably the most important one is to get everything OUT of the office space that is not necessary to your daily work tasks. This can often be problematic due to space constraints. Lack of space is quite often the reason for the clutter to begin with. If lack of square footage is your problem it becomes even more important to have a clean, orderly system to work from. Once you determine what needs to be out of your office separating into shred, toss and store piles is the next step. Containers for your “store pile” are often determined by where the information is being stored. I am and have always been a huge fan of the banker box. They are inexpensive easily stacked and labeled. However if moister is potentially an issue you may want to consider plastic containers which you can find at most office supply and discount stores.
Once you have cleared your work space out the next step is to create a system to help you maintain a clean space. Each business is different as far as what information they need to keep for their own daily operational functions and tax purposes. I like to keep it as simple as possible for referencing and for end of the year collection. This is where color coding can be helpful. In my business the personal and business information never co-mingle but if space is of a premium different colored hanging file folders help to separate business from personal. For further simplicity I have sub-folders within my hanging folders, i.e. expenses hanging file folder, sub-folders gas, meals, printing etc. If the system is set up at the beginning of the year it makes it simple to follow and nearly effortless at the end of the year. If your business does a lot of credit card sales you may need 12 folders for each month so it is easy to reference a receipt and again a much easier process at the end of the year.
The biggest problem most people have is not having a plan for success. If you can implement a system now at the beginning of the year and take ownership you will be amazed at the lack of clutter and the inevitable end of the year scramble to put together your information for tax purposes. You and your CPA will be grateful for the early planning to streamline your business and your life.
Chris Hall can be reached through http://bluegrassgo2girl.com/default.htm or by phone at 859.230.2298