How To Keep Your Office Organized And Why It’s Important

Modern white office area

You may think you’re too busy to take the time to thoroughly organize your office, but if you could see the amount of time disorganization costs, you’d reconsider in a heartbeat.

Express Employment Professionals conducted an extensive study, with over 18,000 business leaders. About 60% said they lose six hours per week due to their disorganization. For an employee earning $50,000 a year, it works out to $7,000 – $8,000 in lost time. That’s per employee. Those costs don’t include money lost from missed opportunities. This can be missed deadlines, overdue bills, lost office supplies, etc.

Some other reasons why you should allow time for extensive reorganizations:

  • Disorganization creates stress, which weighs with us at work and at home.

  • Stress caused by disorganization is one of the leading causes of employee retention deficits.

  • Burnout is more likely in a disorganized environment.

  • When the amount of clutter is reduced, the amount of sick days are reduced.

So let’s take a look at some tips to keep your office organized.


All good organization efforts begin with a purge. Embrace it. You’re going to empty every drawer, inspect all paperwork, eliminating anything that isn’t relevant anymore. This includes old scratch paper, reminders, post-it notes, dried unusable bottles of white-out, stale crackers, etc.

Take it one area at a time. If something is broken, repair or toss it. If you don’t use it anymore, then remove it. Evaluate the knick-knacks and decorations, if they’re covered in dust, ask yourself if it’s worth the space it’s taking up.


You’ll probably have a main workspace, most likely your desk. Is there more to your office though, such as a reference area (shelves, filing cabinet) or a supply area (closet, boxes, or shelves)? If there are, keep the applicable equipment and supplies in their proper area. A label maker, for example, should be kept with the filing system you use it with.

In the same manner as establishing zones, you’ll want to keep the supplies you use the most in close proximity. If you print often , it might be worth keeping your printer on your desk. If you don’t, move it (and probably your stapler, too), to the other side of the office, so you can keep tools that are more frequently used nearby.


If your paperwork gets out of control, or piles up quickly, then your current system isn’t working. Consider using an in/out box, or a WOR (waiting on response) folder. Magazine holders or storage boxes may be helpful as well. Many find a colour coded system works well for staying organized.


Art is nice, but a shelf with attractive magazine holders, organizing current paperwork is better. Walls are often underappreciated and underutilized. They’re a great space to hang bulletin boards that will organize your memo’s, or giant wall calendars making it easy to see your week ahead, whiteboards, filing systems, and more. It’s amazing the space you’ll have when you go vertical.


When you finish organizing your office, you’ll feel great; renewed energy, less stress, and more creativity. Keep it that way. Don’t let the mess pile up again, so that it’s costing you and your organization time and money. Scheduling 10 minutes every week is all you need to ensure you’re staying on top of clutter, so you never have to do a huge reorganization project like this again.