* 8-10 large cardboard boxes for sorting
* Sticky notes
* Sharpies or other marker
* Project Organizer or poly Velcro envelopes
- Use marker to label cardboard: Donate, Recycle, Trash, Shred, Supplies, To Do, To File, To Store, Belongs Elsewhere.
✓ You may also need boxes for Books/Reference materials, or Samples/swatches this will depend on the type of work you do in your office.
- Sort contents of office into boxes
✓ Force yourself to make a decision and apply one of these categories to each item.
- Donate any excess office supplies, books, etc. to a local school, charity, or library.
✓ Donate extra laptop cases or portfolios to Dress for Success.
- Recycle any excess supplies that can’t be donated including paper.
✓ DO NOT PLACE SENSITIVE FINANCIAL INFORMATION IN THIS BIN.
- Trash and non-recyclable waste.
✓ Toss any loose extra supplies collecting in the bottom of your desk drawer.
✓ This is the place for any sensitive information.
- Supplies should only be saved if you absolutely need them and plan to use them within a year’s time.
✓ If you have a tiny office, remember that work is first and foremost. It’s better to limit your supplies to those you will use in just a few months rather than sacrifice work space.
✓ Put just enough supplies in an organizing tray on top of your desk or in your desk drawer.
- To Do items should include legitimate projects that you are working on sort them into clear poly envelopes, or use file folders or task clips
✓This is the perfect time to use decorative file folders. It will set apart your “To Do” items from your “To File” items.
✓It couldn’t be too important if you’ve been meaning to do it for two years, items like this are better left undone and out of your “To Do” pile.
- To File items will need to be sorted into file folders.
✓ For now you can label the folders with sticky notes, later create printed labels using word processing software or your neatest handwriting with a felt tip pen.
- To Store items should be primarily financial records, and a few edited keepsakes.
✓ Contact your CPA or look on the IRS website to see how long to keep records.
✓ Save as much as possible to a DVD disk and store with your tax return.
✓ Limit keepsakes to 1-2 See Jane Work Art Boxes. I store my children’s artwork and other mementos. If they get full I go through and edit.
- Belongs elsewhere items that have found their way into your office, but really don’t belong need to be removed from the office.
✓ If at the office return things to storage room or your car to take home.
✓ If at home enlist family members to help you quickly clear out the box, return shoes to closets, etc.
- Organize odds and ends.
✓ Manuals can be found online, no need to store these.
✓ Donate rarely used books to the library. You’ll know where to find them if you need them.
✓ Organize fabric swatches or other oddly shaped items in clearly labeled storage boxes.