If you’re like me, papers can start growing into piles in no time. Staying on top of the clutter is a constant battle. I recognize that I need more systems to prevent that from happening. What do I mean by systems? Systems are methods you use consistently to get a desired outcome. In this case I mean organization methods.

First off, there must be a place for everything in order to have everything in its place. Right? If your space is limited, this will take some creativity. I’ve found many “pins” on Pinterest that address being organized in small spaces. If you need some inspiration, click on the button below to see my Pinterest Board for a place to start.

Regardless of your abundance of space or lack thereof, it takes finding a place for everything. As you set out to organize your “stuff,” here are a few questions to ask yourself to come up with your best plan:

1. How often do I access this item?
If this is an item or a “pile” that you regularly go to throughout the day, it should be considered a high priority item. It needs to be the easiest to access. Other, less frequented items, can be stored in a less convenient location.

I have Quick access items filed or placed on my desk. Next I have drawers in my desk that house the items I need, still frequently. Then I have a filing cabinet and storage cabinet that contain the rest of what I need to keep, but not retrieve on a regular basis.

2. Does this item need to be contained in a box, a file or something else?
This question will determine how it is stored, which will probably also determine where. It’s nice to keep all of your files in one place. Then you could stack some box organizers on a shelf. However you decide, make a plan.

  • sheri.curran1
  • Sheri Curran
  • @CurranSheri
  • pinterest.com/curranbookkeeping
3. Which items need to be stored together, or grouped?
If you have sections, or divisions to your business, if would feel more organized if items are stored with other items pertaining to the same thing. For instance, you could keep bills and vendor information in one location and invoices and clients information in a separate location.

4. Is this an item I really need?
While you are going through everything and getting organized, it’s a good time to de-clutter. We all have things we hang on to that we really don’t need. Decide what things you will use, what things you need to keep for records, then everything else is questionable.

  • sheri.curran1
  • Sheri Curran
  • @CurranSheri
  • pinterest.com/curranbookkeeping
This is a really good time to talk about the “cloud.” Record keeping can be the biggest use of our space. All those receipts and statements! If you haven’t already, think about keeping those stored digitally. Most likely, you are paying bills and receiving payments online already anyway, why not keep everything digital. In fact, as I am maintaining transactions in Quickbooks, I keep an image of every receipt, statement, contract, etc., right along with the transaction or profile it pertains to. How perfect to have it right at the location that it’s needed.

There are many other trustworthy cloud options that I’m sure you’re already aware of: Google Drive, Drop Box, Box. This option is also very helpful if you are collaborating with others in your business. It gives everyone access to the information, if needed. Just remember, the same principles of organization apply. Keep files and folders in an organized manner and grouped as necessary.

What a sense of satisfaction you will have when everything has a place. But even better than that, is being able to maintain it. If you find that to be too big of a challenge, try to schedule organizing time into your day, week or month. It will help you to be more productive when you can find things more easily and work without the distraction of a cluttered workspace.

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