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The look of your office can affect your work as well as people's perception of you. An unorganized office saps motivation and slows you down. It also gives outsiders a bad impression and might cause them to doubt your competence and commitment. But an organized office will boost your mood and make you more productive. It shows you're a planner and you approach the job prepared, in control, and ready to succeed.
A Savvy Set-up
Consider everything you'll do in your office. Allot ample space and create a zone for each activity, positioning relevant items together. For example, your work zone may include your desk and chair with a computer, printer and waste basket. Your reference zone might hold your shelves, binders, professional journals and a table for organizing documents or viewing blueprints. Make sure you have the necessary furniture, equipment and supplies to do your job correctly. You shouldn't have to drag your lamp or chair around the office to make your workspace functional.
Design a document management system that keeps papers off your desk. Start by listing the types of documents you deal with -- such as invoices, files, bills and reports -- and choose a storage solution for each. If you plan to keep different documents in the same place, devote a slot or drawer for each type of document. If you store documents in similar containers, use different colors or designs so you can easily find what you're looking for.
The Small Things
Have a place to store loose items that you need within close reach, like stationary, pens and paper clips. These things need to be organized whether you keep them on top of your desk or in a drawer. One big container is not a real solution. A multi-compartment organizer can do the trick, but you can add personality to your office if you develop creative solutions such as decorating jars of different sizes and shapes.
Make Your Wall an Asset
Hang a bulletin board to organize items you want to be reminded of like bills, post-its and employee requests. But don't limit yourself to wood and cork. On her website, Martha Stewart suggests livening up your board by covering the surface with fabric and placing it in a matching frame. And if you have a lot of items to post, keep them organized with various colored clips or clipboards so you can easily identify the documents you're looking for.
Ban Electronic Disarray
Conserve shelf space by stacking electronics on top each other, but remember to use plastic spacers between them to prevent overheating, professional organizer Tom Nevermann advises on HGTV.com. Use wireless electronics to reduce the number of cords in your office, and keep the remaining cords out of your way and tangle-free by only unbundling the portion you need. Label each cord and use zip ties to bundle related wires together, such as those from the computer and monitor. Confine the cords behind furniture and mount them neatly along the baseboard or beneath your desk.
- Jessica Isaac/Demand Media