‘Getting things done’ is the mantra for any working mum, which means ‘keeping things tidy’ can often fall by the way side.
Follow these ten top tips to get your office back under control.
1. File daily. It sounds simple because it is. Spare a little time each day to prevent a colossal build up by the end of the week.
2. One thing at a time. We all know working mums are multi-tasking experts and that can often result in working on three or more tasks at the same time. This can only result in sprawling clutter. Attempt to focus on each job separately, compartmentalising the task and the associated paperwork by filing it away on completion.
3. Create a system. Invest some time and stationary budget in developing a storage (and retrieval!) process that will work for you. Whether it be box files, manila files, arch lever file – go crazy with the labels!
4. Make the move to paperless. Slowly wean yourself off the trees and search for technological solutions for your scribbling tendencies.
5. Analyse your hitherto ‘un-file able’ pile. By the end of the first week you will still end up with a pile of papers that doesn’t belong in any file in your great new system. Force yourself to make categories for these seeming anomalies otherwise they will only breed.
6. Resist the urge to fill the space. As the wont is to fill a handbag to its capacity, clutter seeks to cover surface areas. Keep some free.
7. Leave as you’d wish to find. Each night get the office to the stage in which you’d like to find it in upon arrival. It is easier mentally to maintain a clutter free environment than it is to start the day tidying.
8. Force yourself to have meetings in your office occasionally. As much as the café down the road beckons, this is the same mentality that reigns if you know you have friends coming over for coffee; it will motivate you to keep the place clean and mess free.
9. Give yourself a standard. The day that you create your system and get everything looking amazing – take a picture and put it on your notice board. Hold all future days up against this goal and allow no corners to be cut.
10. Finally reward yourself. If, by the end of the first week your office still looks like the picture you snapped, then give yourself a treat. If you follow this rule for the first three weeks, you’ll have had a few nice treats and a habit will have been formed.
Becoming clutter free and organised may seem like a very tedious goal for a working mum to aspire to, but it is incredible the positive mental effect walking into a streamlined office can have. By working smart, in a few minutes every day the clutter can be tamed, removing the need for the habitual and depressing spring cleans.
What is your favourite way to ditch the office clutter? Do share your tips below and don’t forget to visit Coaching Mums to view our latest FREE resources for helping you achieve more balance in your life. If you’d like a little inspiration and support delivered free to your inbox, click here to sign up for my free ezine; Inspire.