If your office space is cluttered, dirty, unkempt, or a pig sty, there’s a good chance that you’re keeping far too many physical company or personal records. All of the paper required to keep your office organized is more than likely doing just the opposite. Even if you keep an organized record of all of your files, you’re still taking up incredible amounts of space.
Between the cabinets and lockers required to hold your documents, coupled with the folders and dividers needed to keep your papers properly organized, there is a lot of space being taken up unnecessarily, when there is a plethora of less space consuming ways to organize documents. A cluttered office could put you in the risk of being seen as inefficient and this could potentially cost you a promotion. As such, there’s a need to make your office clutter-free.
The most basic way of reorganizing your entire office to reduce clutter and maximize space, is to put all of your documents on a data file, that is, on your computer, or computers which run your office. There are several ways of doing this, but the most basic would be to begin to record all data by computer as opposed to on paper. In this way, you have all files in one unit from which you may also print, so you can have physical copies when required. However, the documents you already have would be way too hard to simply copy into your computers database.
Thankfully, there are certain products like scanners that aid in processing paper to digital documents, and organizing them within your computer for you.
[Recommended read: How to Name Your Computer Files Properly]
After all of your files have been converted and stored onto your home office or work space computer, the next issue is how to organize your files. If you have an extreme amount of data being converted onto your personal computer (PC) you may want to find an external location to store your data, so that you do not slow down your computer hard drive, potentially causing it to crash and leading to the loss of your files. This can be accomplished several ways with external drives. External drives include storage devices like external hard drives, Compact Disks (CDs), flash drives, and even old floppy disks, even though they are seldom used. These devices are small, compact, and hold a certain amount of data, although the majority of them can hold more digital documents than an entire filing cabinet could of real paper. This makes storage of your files much easier, and gives you much more room.
Cloud Storage Services
As previously mentioned, there is the possibility of data loss. While you may not be ready to trade in your small business phone service for VoIP service, there is still some technology upgrades that are not so intimidating. Just as an office fire might accidentally burn your documents to ash, a computer crash can reduce your entire database to nothing. Thanks to modern technology, however, it is imperative that you back up all of your data. Certain services such as the “Cloud” store all of your data in a base accessible via the internet, so that files that you may lose can be retrieved. This would be a worthwhile investment for your worst case scenario, however if you do not back up your files, you may be able to retrieve some data by taking your unit to a computer technician. This will cost you a steep fee and you may not be able to resurrect every single file you lost. When it comes to data that is necessary for you and your company, it is best to play it safe, and have all of your files insured.
Using the modern computer and associative applications, you can easily cut a massive percentage of office clutter by bringing your data to digital, and removing the space consuming physical.
[Now read: How to Set Up Your Home Office System]
[Image credit: Karen Green, Flickr]