Please review our Privacy Policy, which was changed on 4/10/2018 and can be found by clicking here.
By navigating the website, you agree to the terms of the updated privacy policy



Basic Organization Made Easy

Organizing your home or your office is important for a number of reasons. It might seem like it’s not such a big deal if you are unable to figure out what you did with last month’s electric bill until you look around and realize you aren’t able to find anything at all! Once you decide that you want to be more organized, you can develop a plan. We’ve come up with three steps to start you off.

Tackle the Physical Workspace
It is best not to start putting things away until you have cleaned. A good cleaning routine is to find three large boxes. Label one box “keep,” one box “get rid of” and the last box “not sure.”

The things you will put in this box should be quite obvious but will range from your kid’s school project to your favorite novel. If you think you will miss the item or you may be looking for it tomorrow it should go in this box.

This box is for the items you are certain you don't want or need any more. It’s helpful to ask yourself a few questions: why do you have this item in the first place, when was the last time you used it and can it be easily re-used for something else? If you don’t know, you probably can get rid of it. Consider using a shredder to destroy any documents with sensitive or personal information and keep identity thieves at bay.

Not sure
It's best if you can try to keep the not sure items to a minimum.  When you’re done sorting tape this box shut and store it someplace out of the way. If after a few months you didn’t need anything out of this box you should feel safe and confident throwing it all away.

Also, while cleaning you’re likely to come across things that aren’t even yours! Returning the things you borrowed may help you eliminate more than you’d think. Now, you are all set to put things away. Working from the biggest to smallest can help you feel more accomplished as you move through the organization process. Take inventory of the room as a whole. Are you making the best use of the actual space? Place furniture logically and try to lump things into groups. If you are likely on the phone while at your computer, place them next to each other. When tackling smaller items, put away anything that you don’t use regularly. When your drawers or desktop starts to fill up don’t forget about the floor and ceiling. Put in file cabinets under your desk, and install shelves up high to give you more open space.

Put Yourself on a Schedule 
A good next step is to find a way to add structure to your day. Create a to-do list and keep it where you’ll see it, on your phone or in your daily planner.  Basically, you want to give your day an agenda. It will simplify your tasks and helps you to develop a routine. Do you deal with particular tasks at certain times of the day better than other times of the day? Breaking days down into hour blocks gives you the most control. For example, you may want to set aside a specific time to check email or a specific time to return calls. This will be easier than trying to squeeze these activities in throughout the day. Also, don’t forget to leave yourself a little bit of time at night to put things back in place so you will already be organized at the beginning of each day.

Be Diligent
Finally, you have to be able to take action. Do not develop interim solutions such as saying “I’ll just put this here for now.” Find tools that make staying organized easy for you. Look for binders that are transparent, or have indexes or customizable spines and covers so you can easily identify what is inside. The Wilson Jones® View Binder with View-Tabs is perfect for long-term work projects and the Poly Expanding Brief is perfect for keeping track of documents at home.

You also need to be prepared for unfortunate events. Take inventory of what you have in your home. If you had to file a claim would you know how much things were worth? Use your smart phone or video camera to create a virtual tour of your home for insurance purposes. Narrate by pointing out the things in each room that are most valuable and why. Do not neglect the items that preserve your most cherished memories such as an old photo album. Keep a list of these items and invaluable documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, passports, insurance policies, etc. in an organized and safe place. Group items together in binders or file folders that clearly identify the documents and attach a list with contact information of the people who can help in case of an emergency such as close family members, attorneys, accountants or insurance agents. Most importantly, keep originals of these papers separate from your everyday monthly bills and records. You want to put them someplace more protected, such as a fireproof safe or a safety deposit box.

Keeping your home or office cubicle orderly can seem like an endless chore but once you tackle the basics it is actually pretty easy.  Go through the “keep it,” “toss it,” “not sure” routine quarterly to stay in control and the rest will fall in line. 

Share this page

Sign up to receive the latest Wilson Jones news, solutions & offers us us

Thank you

© 2019 ACCO Brands. All Rights Reserved.