I know many of you can relate to this messy office: papers and boxes and clutter are everywhere! You can just imagine that not a lot of productive work gets done here.
Overwhelmed and ready for a productivity shift, this client contacted professional organizer Sandee Fahlen with Priorities First to help get things in order. He had just recently moved the office from a residential office to a commercial space. Neither he nor his co-worker were skilled at organizing and their work, and business, were suffering because of it. The solution, however, was quickly clear to Sandee- they needed to make better use of their vertical space. You can see in the photo above, there was an attempt at using shelves, but not a very successful attempt. Sandee and her team revamped the entire space and provided the perfect solutions.
- Contain items. In addition to using vertical space (the shelves) Sandee further sub-organized the items in the office by containing and labeling items in clear plastic bins.
- Vertical sorting. Another solution was a vertical sorter that allows for various paperwork to be easily accessed, but rather than just being piled on a desk or in a box, it is vertically sorted for easy access.
- Work station. The client needed packing supplies available so a work station was set up within the shelving unit.
- Wall to wall. Not only was the vertical space of the wall used, but the horizontal space as well. The new shelves went wall to wall to give as much storage as possible. (You might have been tempted to keep the bookcase shelves you saw in the ‘before’ photo, but extending the new shelves is the not only more visually appealing but keeps things cohesive for work productivity.)
- Work space. The client needed a work space to be able to pack and ship- in clearing the piles off the desks, there is now a great table for working on.
The overall process may seem daunting but if you take it step by step you can do it. First sort everything you have into like categories. Purge anything you no longer need. Determine what containers/shelving you will need. Here Sandee used clear bins to be able to see what is inside. Fill your container, label them and be sure to leave room for additional items may have in the future- don’t stuff them full.
Vertical storage should be considered not only for walls and shelves, but also for your desk work space. I am sure many of you can relate to the mess we see here on the desk located within the office:
The solution was again to go vertical. The simple solution of moving all your paperwork from piles to files can increase your productivity exponentially! Rather than forgetting something that is buried at the very bottom – you can see everything at once glance. Don’t forge to label, of course!
The paper piles were sorted, categorized, labeled and re-filed in the vertical file sorters. Color coded file folders further organized the papers for easy access. (Be careful with color coding- it can add a visual cohesiveness, but can also become very overwhelming if you over do it.)
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