If you’re that person that can never find a pen when you need it, it’s possible that you’re just out of pens. But it’s also highly likely that your office supplies are not organized. If your supplies are always buried under paperwork, it will cost you time and make you inefficient.
It also doesn’t help to have supplies bursting from your cabinet. Just because they are in the cabinet doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be organized. There are methods you can use to end this problem. Take the stress and anxiety out of your workspace by organizing your tools. Let’s look at how to organize office supplies for efficiency and optimal productivity.
1. Get Rid of Clutter
The first and most important step is to clear out all the supplies you don’t need. What haven’t you used in a while? Do you still need it? If it’s broken, can it be repaired? Some pens don’t work anymore and other supplies may be unusable. Check them and dispose of what you don’t need. Keeping only the items you can use will avail you more space and make the organization work a lot easier.
2. Buy the Right Desk
When your desk is organized, your whole office will be organized as well. A desk with ample storage space will help you keep your supplies organized, especially if you have a small office space. Don’t just stuff the drawers anyhow. A couple of drawers with dividers can store some of your supplies neatly. If your desk doesn’t have drawers, there are other storage options but it helps to have a desk with storage.
3. Use Wall Organizers
Wall organizers are perfect if your desk doesn’t have drawers, but you can also use them for additional storage. Wall organizers can be made from steel, wood or fabric. They typically have large pockets which store various office items like bills, mail, files, scissors, pens, staplers. It’s best to keep each category of items in the same pocket so that you can easily access it when the need arises.
4. Use Bins and Containers
If you have plenty of office supplies, you can store them in plastic bins and containers. They come in various sizes and can store several office suppliers from files and folders to highlighters, paperclips, and pens. Don’t just pile them in a mess. Put them in the bin neatly and label the containers so that you can easily find what you need.
5. Use a Supply Cabinet
Using a supply cabinet is not just a matter of dumping your supplies in there and shutting it. You should be able to access any item from the cabinet easily. Take stock of the items so that you can monitor their usage. You can choose to place a category on each shelf. For example, one shelf might have computer supplies like toner cartridges and disks while another shelf has desk supplies like pens and paper clips.
6. Keep Them Separately
You don’t have to keep all the items in a cabinet. Keeping them all together is great for monitoring and accountability but you can also keep them separately to access them easily. For example, you can place reams of paper next to the printer or keep the stationery in the desk drawers and the office cleaning supplies right under the sink.
7. Keep Supplies in Order of Usage
Keep the items you use every day closer to you, like on the desk or desk drawers. The items you use once or twice a week should be kept in the cabinet. They don’t have to be on or in the desk but should be easy to access. Supplies that you use once in several weeks should be stored farther away to avoid clutter until you need them.
8. Have a Designated Person for Supplies
If you work in a busy office environment, it helps to assign one person the responsibility of monitoring the office supplies. If there are too many people taking supplies from the cabinet and stores, you won’t be able to keep track of them. The person responsible for the office supplies will be in charge of organizing, issuing them, monitoring their usage, and ordering for more when they are soon running out.
9. Use a Desk Organizer
A desk organizer is shaped like a tray and comes in different sizes. It has various compartments in which you can place supplies like pens, pencils, tape, paper clips, stapler, sticky notepaper, and more. This tool will keep your supplies organized and easy to access. It will save you time and help you work efficiently especially because it stays on your desk. You won’t have to ask ‘where is my pen?’ ever again.
10. Put Items Back Where They Belong
When you’ve finished using the office supplies, commit to putting them back where they belong otherwise you’ll end up back in a mess. If you don’t put the stapler back in the desk organizer, you’ll need it again and won’t know where to find it. Then you’ll waste time looking for it.
11. Clean Your Office Regularly
Cleaning your office regularly will in most cases lead you to organize it. Don’t attempt to clean the whole office at once as it will overwhelm you. Instead, clean it in phases by working through each area thoroughly one at a time. You can start with the cabinet by removing all the supplies a shelf at a time, clean the shelf and then put the items back neatly. Then move to the desk, the wall organizer and so on.
Whether you’re in a home office or shared workspace, office supplies keep the workplace in motion so they must be well organized. If you can’t find a stapler, pen or printer cartridge, work will come to a standstill and you’ll be frustrated. With these tips, you now know how to organize office supplies. An office with organized supplies will help you work efficiently and improve your productivity.