An impeccably organized office space makes a perfect starting point when dealing with mountains of work and the never-ending deadlines. It is much more efficient when it comes to getting things done since you know where everything is, and there is no mess to distract your thoughts. The uninterrupted workflow also means higher productivity.
The benefits of an organized office and workspace, from the mental health point of view, are also numerous. When our workspace is a mess, we are always thinking about it, whether we realize it or not – it’s another chore for us and one that we dread. This results in anxiety and unnecessary stress, which is not conducive to a healthy work environment.
Now the question is where to start? The answer is right here, dear reader! Here are 51 tips and ideas to help you organize your office space your way. Pick one or pick all…
1. Get a Good Labeler
In a space filled with important files, resources, and equipment, a Labeler is your best friend. Clear labels on everything from small materials to archived documents, in an even font, helps us ascertain the position of a number of things in just a glance. So get yourself a good labeler and save the time you spend in looking for one thing or the other.
2. Revise Your Filing System
An obsolete filing system can be a big problem, especially if you are dealing with hundreds of documents every day. So you need to constantly update it by separating archived files with those in progress and the ones related to upcoming projects. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money and effort on it, just take out enough time to sort these things out weekly or bi-weekly.
Also, in the present times, more and more workplaces are adopting a digital system, since it’s easy to store thousands of documents and share them with team members. But even in digital filing, you need to take care to sort out different files based on the priority. And don’t forget to back-up regularly!
3. Purge Your Office
Hoarding is never good, and if it’s in a space where you handle important projects and assignments all the time, it’s even worse. Because when there are a lot of things around us, it’s easy to lose sight of the more important ones.
So get rid of anything you don’t need in your office space, whether old documents, used stationery, or the knick-knacks that have no other function than cluttering your workspace. It’s important to de-clutter. After all, without the old going out, how can there be space for the new to come in?
4. Use Storage Boxes & Containers
From files to office supplies and anything you might need while working, everything can be stored as long as you have durable storage boxes, and they don’t even take much space. Just label them and stack them one upon the other, on shelves or under the table. You save money, space, and everything is stored in nice, little groups and can be taken out anytime you need.
5. Organize Your Desk Accessories
Our desks, more often than not, are full of various files, stationery, and even mugs in addition to our computers and other devices. Your desk is your main workstation, and if it’s crowded, it can hinder your workflow and productivity. Not exactly an ideal situation, is it?
So organize your desk, make space for things that are important or you need at the moment while removing anything you won’t be using that frequently while working. You can sort out your essentials like papers and pen and binder clips etc. via small organizers that don’t take up much space.
6. Have Inspirational Reminders
When you are neck-deep in work and struggling with one deadline after another, it’s easy to lose motivation. At such times, when it’s hard to keep your goal in mind, it is helpful to have a couple of reminders.
So when you organize your office space, make sure there is a wall or at least a corner for inspirational reminders. If it’s a place easily visible to all, it would be even better. Having inspiring quotes, or even just a few pictures to cheer you up, in your vision field works like a charm for almost everyone.
7. Organize Office Drawers
Oftentimes, when we clear our desks, we just shove whatever in our drawers in a haphazard manner. While at that time, we might not pay much attention, but later, when we need something from the drawer, it’s a hassle to find it among all the miscellaneous things. Not to mention time-consuming too. In this case, it’s beneficial to divide the drawer into segments and organize your stuff accordingly.
Such segments can be made from anything like small plastic containers or cardboard or even old boxes. Keep your pens in one segment and notebook in another while small knick-knacks like pins, rubber bands, and paper clips go to a different slot. Never waste time rummaging through the drawers again!
8. Place Your Waste Basket Within Reach
It’s a common sight to see used paper strewn messily on the floor near the workstations in the offices. Common, not ideal. Not only is it visually non-pleasing, but it just wastes more of our time to clean it up. Keep your wastebasket within reach, so you may drop anything unneeded in it without littering the floor first. A clean office space is a good office space!
9. Always Tidy Your Office Space After Work
A five-minute quick clean up after work, where everyone clears their desks and puts all the supplies right where they belong – it’s something easy to do and saves a lot of time when it’s time for you to start working the next day. And since the first thing you see in the morning is a clean workspace and not messy surroundings, your mood automatically improves, and a better mood means better efficiency.
10. DIY Keyboard Tray
Though most of the time, we work on our laptops, there might be other times when your work needs you away from it. You might need to go through a file or sort out documents, and if your desk is a small one, it might be difficult to fit everything in it.
In that case, a DIY keyboard tray under your desk works wonders. Here you can place your electronics or a file you don’t presently need, avoiding over-cluttering your desk. Well, you can buy one from the store too, but we say DIY because it’s relatively cheaper as well as easy to make with any extra office supplies that might be available.
11. Hang a Pinboard
This is my personal favorite and a really useful idea when it comes to organizing the office space. A pinboard doesn’t really take much space, and it can be as big or as small as you need. You can pin all the important dates, deadlines, notices, and reminders on the board for everyone to see and keep in mind.
It saves time by making the information accessible to all at the same time, and also the important dates and deadlines will keep everyone sharp, decreasing the chances of a mistake. Remember those inspirational reminders? You can place them on the pinboard too and keep everyone’s morale up!
12. Hide the Wires
There is hardly anyone who would like to see a web of wires crawling around their workspace – it’s unsightly and inconvenient. So make sure to hide those wires for a better-organized office space. A lot of desks nowadays come with a number of cord channel segments to pass the wires through in an orderly fashion. Even if your desk doesn’t, it’s very easy to keep those pesky wires in check, and with the help of just a couple of cable ties or binder pins.
13. Go Paperless
Dozens of different sheets of paper strewn around your desk, each with some kind of information or a different detail… not only is it a hassle to work with so many different notes, especially when you need a lot of information at hand, but also to organize them and then go through them all again if you need one single detail. Thankfully, there are a lot of apps and features on our devices nowadays that facilitate note-taking.
Digital note-taking is faster, hassle-free, and doesn’t consume a lot of space like using different pen and paper every time. Also, it’s easier to share and to search through. So not only the physical space in front of you is organized, your notes and information are well-organized as well.
14. DIY Cord Labels
The cords of your different devices mixing up and entangling together is a common, though annoying occurrence. Sorting out these cords every other day is not only time-consuming, but it affects your workflow too. But the solution is just as easy as the problem. Just label the different cords to keep them from mixing up!
You don’t need to go out of your way either, and you can just use a few different colored tapes or papers to make these labels and write on it with a marker. They are cost-effective and good at keeping the cords away from becoming a tangled mess.
15. Get Functional Furniture
Okay, this is really important if you want to make the best out of the available space while making it seem a little spacious too. Use multi-functional furniture! Whether stackable storage boxes or an organizer that can double as a decoration, there are many options when it comes to functional furniture, and they are good for keeping things organized and neat looking.
16. Utilize the Wall Above the Work Table
The wall is your canvas… well, not really, but it can sure be an extension of your work table! Making use of every available space is the first thing to do when organizing your office space for convenience and aesthetics.
You can hang your own small pinboard on the wall to keep up with your deadlines or to-do lists, a shelf over the desk sounds good too, and not to forget those hanging wall baskets that can be used to place a number of items. In short, there are a number of ways to utilize the wall above your work table while keeping it simple and organized.
17. Glass Monitor Stand
Using a glass monitor stand helps in three ways. It elevates your screen to a level making it easier for you to work on it without putting much strain on your neck and eyes, the space below can be utilized to keep some office supplies, and since it’s made of glass, it really helps brighten up the space and make it look a little bigger. So if your workspace is a bit cramped up, you can use a glass monitor stand to fish out some extra space while keeping up the visual aesthetics.
18. Segment Your Desk
Segmenting your desk helps you make the most out of limited space. Since everything is placed neatly in its own corner, without encroaching upon the other areas, it’s easy for you to see where everything is at a glance while keeping it orderly. There are a lot of products these days that can help you segment your desk, or you can just use small plastic or wooden boxes.
19. Mouse Pad/Desk Pad Organizer
Using a good quality mouse pad or desk pad organizer can help in a number of ways. It not only makes your workspace look more organized but also helps in segmenting your desk. It provides a smooth and comfortable work area for your computer and protects the desktop surface at the same time. And they come in dozens of different styles and designs. You can choose the one that goes with your preference or the overall theme of your office space and make it more visually pleasing.
20. Elevated Desk Tray
Using an elevated desk tray saves a lot of space while also helping you organize your workspace better. The different compartments can store a multitude of office supplies and reference materials, keeping them accessible to you but without making your desk seem too crowded.
21. Tether Your Cables
There is another way to handle the mass of cords and cables underneath your desk. Using zip ties to bundle them up together is an easy but effective way to keep things organized and the distractions at a minimum. After all, handling a bunch of tethered cables is much easier than dealing with a tangled mess.
22. Create a Charging Station
With our numerous devices in the mix, it’s easy for your workspace to feel cluttered or disorganized. Not to mention they all come with their own chargers and all those extra cords that just take up more and more of space. The best way to deal with this is to create a common charging station for all these devices behind your computer. It can be done easily with a few adjustments, and it makes your workspace look more organized.
23. Sort All Papers and Categorize Each Pile
Shopping bills, medical bills, telephone bills, electricity bill, water bill, cable bills, gas bills, warranty papers, manuals, insurance papers, passports, passport photos, certificates, extra envelopes… phew! On any given day, there are at least a dozen different papers to handle, and if not done promptly, they just add to the chaos and make your workspace more disorganized.
The way is to categorize them all into different piles and put them there from the get-go, instead of waiting for a number of them to pile up. You can use different boxes labeled with what documents go there or even hanging wall baskets to sort it all out. It makes it easier to look for a certain paper when you need it and keeps your space clutter-free.
24. Make a Dedicated Collection Box for Regular Mails and Expense Bills
This ties up with the previous point in a way, but I am putting it here separately to emphasize how important and useful this is. Instead of unopened mail littering your desk, keeping them all in a separate collection box really simplifies the things. You can make sure you aren’t missing anything out while also sorting them into the right pile after reading. This saves both time and space and is especially useful when you deal with a lot of papers on a regular basis.
25. Use Silicone Cupcake Liners to Organize Small Objects
The tiny office supplies like binder pins or paper clips and push pins as useful as they are easy to misplace. For this, you can use silicone cup liners to store them and keep them in reach for whenever you need them. These cups don’t take much space, and they look cute to boot!
26. Use a Clamp-On Task Lamp to Maximize Desktop Space
A clamp-on lamp takes much less space than a desk or floor lamp and isn’t much worse than them in regards to function. So why waste the precious space on your desktop? Moreover, these lamps make a good addition to our workspace and make it look neater.
27. Keep Decorative Items Like Plants Off Your Desk
Your desk is meant for keeping the resources and supplies you need the most while working, so you don’t have to get up to find something every other minute. But at times, the desk can become cluttered too and hinder your work. So remove everything that you don’t actively require while working from your desk, and that includes the numerous decorative items.
Fake plants or miscellaneous trinkets – you can just keep them in their own display cases, and somewhere you can see them but still work without them getting in the way or making your workstation cluttered.
28. Hang a Shelf Over Your Desk
You can’t keep everything on your desk, but at times you need to refer to a number of materials while working. The best way to have everything you need at an accessible distance without cluttering your surroundings is to install a shelf above your work station. It’s a good way to utilize the space available to you while keeping it organized.
29. Mount Boxes on the Wall Instead of Shelves
If you want to try something new, you can swap the shelf above your desk for a box. It’s just as easy to use and provides a visually creative look to your workspace.
30. Use a Laptop or Monitor Riser for Extra Storage and Surface Area
A laptop or monitor riser doesn’t have to be glass to provide you with extra space and comfortable work experience. It can be solid wooden or even durable plastic. You can go for any of the hundreds of choices according to your preferences and needs, and your workspace will still be just as organized and pleasing to the eye.
31. Maximize the Space Under Your Desk
The space under your desk can be utilized in a number of ways as well! You can add more drawers or a keyboard tray; storage boxes and baskets can go there as well. Anything from tiny shoe racks to a footstool for resting your legs can be placed under the infinite cosmos under your desk. It not only opens more space on the desktop but looks well-organized as well. Don’t overdo it though; overcrowding never works, whether it’s above or below the desk surface.
32. Use a Pegboard for Decoration and Organizing
A pegboard is a versatile tool, and you can use it to help utilize your wall in a number of ways. You can hang storage tools or tiny organizers there, along with other tools and, of course, decorations. You can even hang a magazine holder to it and keep your books or magazines there. Though the one-inch hole remains consistent in all pegboards, you can choose its thickness and material according to your needs.
33. Use Clamp-On Organizer
This small useful organizer is clamped to the edge of your desk and goes underneath it. It can swivel 360 degrees and easy to open and tuck back in. You can store a number of things in it too, and it doesn’t take much space while keeping your desk organized and neat.
34. Use Printer Stand
Just like a monitor stand, a printer stand provides extra surface area and makes the space look more open. You can place it anywhere – the side table or a platform or even under your desk! It’s compact, and that means it doesn’t make the area look cramped while providing enough space for both your printer and the stack of printer paper.
35. Use a Utility Bar
A utility bar can be a lifesaver when it comes to organizing. You can place it in a corner or an empty crevice, and hang all the small organizers or pots and baskets from it. It saves a lot of space while providing a fresh look to your work or home space. You can even put a number of them one above the other, and it still won’t feel cramped.
36. Use Ice Cube Tray to Store Small Items
You can use an ice cube tray to store small items like paper clips, rubber bands, binder clips, buttons, and pins. You can put this tray either on your desk or in your drawer. Ice cube trays are easily available, and you might even find one extra lying around your home. But it’s a good way to keep everything together for whenever you might need them.
37. Clip-On Desk Organizers
An easy DIY and really effective, you can use clip-on desk organizers to attach your writing tools and other small office supplies to the side of your desk. It saves space, of course, but it is also pretty neat to look at, especially if you use it to store things like flowers or plants.
38. Make Some Wall Files to Sort Paperwork Until You File it Away Permanently
It’s easy to lose important receipts and bills when you are working, and your attention is divided. But adding wall files to your office space can help you with this problem. Creating these files is easy, and according to the design you choose to give them, they can be classy, funky, and elegant. They use little space but are a big help when it comes to storing important papers and in your line of sight too. Here’s an easy blog post to follow along to make your own wall files.
39. Add a Desk Side-Cart to Save Space
If your desk is on the smaller side, adding a desk-side cart beside it might be just what you need. The side cart can be a trolley or a small side table with levels. You can put any extra files, office supplies, potted plants, and decorations on it while keeping your work desk relatively clear and organized.
40. If You Don’t Have Enough Space, Install Open Shelving
Open shelves not only make it easier for us to access the materials and resources but also save a lot of space and are more elegant looking. They give a feeling of openness to the place and look better organized. So installing open shelving might just work for you if you are working with a relatively small space. It’s even better if you are someone who moves around a lot or has to multi-task often.
41. Clearly Organized with Transparent Plastic Pockets
Another tip for storing the tiny office supplies! By using transparent plastic pockets to keep tools like paper clips, stationery, or thumbtacks, they are held together in groups and become easy to spot, among other things on your workstation. And they won’t roll out and fall off the desk, so you won’t need to spend time searching for tiny pins all over the floor!
42. If You Can’t Mount Storage on the Walls, Lean a Tall Organizer
It’s not easy to put shelves on the wall on your own, especially if you are not used to it. A lot of nails can also ruin the walls somewhat, so you can instead try out a tall organizer that you can lean against the wall.
They are just as space-saving as shelves, but unlike the shelves, they can be moved easily from one place to another. And since these organizers come with a lot of compartments, you can easily store most of your things in it, including decorations, books, and other office supplies.
43. Don’t Overlook Any Space
Clever use of the space available to you can brighten up your office and also make it seem well-organized. Even a tiny space between two corners can be used, and not to forget the space between cabinets, under your space, and even under the furniture! If it’s there, it can be used, whether to place plants or a tiny decoration or storage boxes. Of course, that doesn’t mean to over-crowd the space.
44. Create Levels of Storage
So you must have guessed by now that vertical storage is the way to go when dealing with organizing and saving up on the available space. Creating levels of storage is another part of it. Creating levels via shelves, segments, or storage boxes and baskets helps us in organizing our office space better, and it doesn’t look bad at all. And based on how you do it, it can even give a classy or vintage look to your workspace!
45. Color-Coded Hanging File Folders
Easy to use and organize. Well-organized, color-coded hanging file folders are not only visually pleasing, but their efficiency is great too. It doesn’t take much space and utilizes the wall while also making it easier to go through the files as they are categorized by different colors.
46. Labeled Next Steps
When it comes to organizing office space, one of the most important things is to clearly identify and categorize the progress of different projects at different times. This is where this idea comes handy.
You have an organizer where you keep different files. Just label the different pockets of the organizer according to the files you want to keep there. Sort out by categories like ‘Waiting for Response,’ ‘In Progress,’ and ‘Upcoming’ among others. You can also come up with your system of labeling, as long as it is clear what goes where; it’s all good.
47. Color-Coded Binders
Binders are always helpful when storing papers or sorting them. Color-coded binders make it even easier to ascertain which documents are where. You can keep them upright on shelves or a dish drying rack for easier access. It also looks a lot better and helps in keeping your office space organized.
48. Push Accessories Off to One Side
Minimalism is the way to go… especially when it comes to what you keep on your desk. Apart from the absolutely necessary items like some stationery, your devices, and a couple of office supplies, remove everything from your desk.
Unnecessary things strewn about your desk will just distract you, so you can keep them on a side table or a place where they won’t hinder your work. A neat, well-organized desk and work station is the key to productive and stress-free work.
49. DIY Mason Jar Utensil Holders
But no matter what one says, accessories and aesthetics are important to a degree too! So why not use some accessories that double as useful holders? These Mason Jar Utensil holders look good, come in different styles, and can hold all your pens, pencils, and other necessary stationery and small office supplies. It’s very easy to make them too, with just craft paper, chalkboard tags, and twine!
50. Sticky Notes All the Way
Though a lot of people say that sticky notes just add to the chaos, I digress! In fact, having these little colorful reminders can help us be better organized, and they add a little something to the otherwise monotonous workspace. Write anything you want on them and stick them anywhere. After its use, just throw it in the wastebasket I told you to keep within reach at some point in this article.
Easy right? Organizing an office space doesn’t mean you have to do things only a certain way. You can choose what works for you and what doesn’t, which brings us to our last point…
51. Sky’s the Limit!
Don’t let the fact that all these tips and ideas are for an office or professional space hinder you. Let your creativity run wild and paint this space in your own colors! Think out of the cubicle and keep trying new things even if you fail to get a good result initially. Keep trying till you find what’s the most suitable for you, the ideas you are most comfortable with.
After all, it’s you who is going to work for long hours in this space, and it is you who knows what’s best when it comes to your work style. The sky’s the limit to both your creativity in crafting your own space and in your prospects at work. So keep it organized one way or the other, or even not at all… as long as you are happy, it’s enough.
In the End…
So here we are! At the end of our list of 51 tips and ideas to organize office space. Most of these ideas can be implemented very easily without going out of the way, and the ones that do require you to put some effort… well, let’s just say it’s worth it.
We need to take the initiative and take care of our surroundings and workspace more because a healthy work environment and well-organized office space is important for us to work with a healthy state of mind and body and reach our true potential.
Without it, we would just be going through motions day in and day out, but with it, we can truly enjoy what we do, and I think that it’s the most important thing in life. So pull up your socks and get working… you have at least 51 things to try out!