Office Decluttering and Organising
A friend recently got in touch asking for advice for her and her colleagues who were in the process of decluttering and organising their office to make room for new people. Here’s what I said:
First things first – everyone needs to be on the same page is terms of what’s happening and what needs to be sorted, organised and then decluttered.
– Are you aiming for paper free, or as paper free as possible?
– Are there folks who like lots of personal items and some who have none?
– Are there tables, chairs, office equipment that aren’t in use or broken and can be passed on?
It might be a good idea to start the declutter day agreeing some ground rules so that everyone is signed up to a vision and agrees with what is happening. One person’s idea of what is clean, tidy and decluttered can be very different from the next.
Other things to think about:
1. Do you need to get rid of a lot of paper and files? I have a confidential waste contract with Simply Shredding 0191 558 0000 who will dispose of large quantities of paper quite cheaply. £6 a bag. It means that you won’t have loads of paper in the office waiting to be shredded etc.
2. Encourage people to keep as much electronically as possible and get rid of as much paper as possible.
3. If this doesn’t happen already, keep similar items all in one place such as stationary rather than people keeping their own supplies at their desks. Also works for publications so have communal copies stored in one place rather than everyone having the same one.
4. Think about hot desking or desk sharing to save space.
5. Don’t keep furniture that “might” come in useful – get rid where possible.
6. Think how you can free up the meeting room – why is it overcrowded? Too many chairs, table too big? Look on pass it on or freecycle to get furniture that fits the room and pass on what you don’t need.
7. Are there any other storage solutions for your boxes of sanitary products or anything else you may need to store? Elsewhere in the building, budget for additional storage facility (unlikely I know) or kind staff member with short term extra space???
8. Labelling keeps things organised. So if you do consolidate and rehome things that everyone uses, make sure drawers and cupboards are labelled so that people know where to put things.
9. Office bins take up a lot of room and clutter the place up. If everyone has one, could you lose the bins and have a couple of big ones in central places – may cut down on any cleaning bills too.
10. Finally, remind everyone to respect their neighbours. Sounds cheesy but in order to squeeze more people in, existing folks will need to give up some space and work more flexible. Generally people don’t like doing this (that’s how wars start) so ask everyone to work towards the bigger goal of a tidier office that is nicer for everyone to work in (even if there are a few more of you!!).