Did you know the average person spends 38 hours per year looking for lost or misplaced items? Many individuals truly believe they don’t have time to straighten up, de-clutter, or rearrange their furniture or equipment to create a more functional layout. Many times, in business, people believe they will miss out on gaining a customer or a sale by taking an hour or two to tidy up. If you think you don’t have the time to get organized, you’re not looking at what working this way actually costs you. Is it the loss of multiple customers or sales or valuable employees? When you think you don’t have the time, also consider how long it takes to train new people because things are completely disorganized in the office. Those savings alone, are worth your time!
Business owners and employees live in fear of throwing away something important. Maybe you worry you will rearrange stuff and can’t find something you need? When you work in clutter daily, it becomes your new normal and it can be difficult to see what life can look like without it.
In Canada, businesses are required to keep documents for a minimum of 6 years, so depending on what your company policy is, you’re going to accumulate a lot of items during that amount of time. If your company will allow, outside storage is an excellent option to store the items you are required to keep, without filling your office with clutter and boxes to trip over. If you’re afraid of misplacing things, implement an organized filing system and enlist the help of a co-worker or assistant to organize paperwork into boxes, label, and place items in storage that are not relevant at the present time.
Sometimes our mindset plays tricks on us when it comes to business. To many, a cluttered desk can be taken as a sign that the business is booming, sales are happening or a way to show your boss you’re on top of it all and making the most of your time. Many people even feel a sense of pride over a disorganized office space. This justification can lead to decreased productivity and increased stress throughout your day and may even cause you to lean on those around you to help you when you cannot find what you’re looking for.
Whether you work from a home office, a cubicle, or anywhere in between, you need to focus on shifting your thinking from being proud of your mess to being proud of your actual accomplishments. Display a certificate or award you’ve earned, a photo that represents who or why you do what you do, or make a list of long-term goals to help keep your head in the game. Whatever works for you to stay organized and productive.