How you organize your business matters. Disorganization can result in production delays and errors that damage your bottom line. Yet, a lot of workers have a natural tendency toward disorganization when they’re performing tasks or rushing while trying to meet deadlines. Employees can learn to curb this impulse if their work environment contains reminders and tools that help them to maintain good organization habits. Effective storage is one of many critical tools. To organize for more storage, follow these four business organization tips.
Remove Every Piece of Clutter
Clutter usually makes employees less organized. For example, office workers who have a lot of dusty, personal items on their desks are prone to adding more similar items to their work areas over time. Eventually, desktop storage tools like document trays and pen holders disappear behind these items and then workers start leaving piles of paperwork and pens on their desks at the end of their shifts. Another example: Piles of paperwork, equipment and furniture often stacked under desks and in corners and closets reduce the amount of potential storage space for items that workers use regularly. To fix these types of problems, consider creating an employee work area policy that limits personal desk items to two or three small items per employee and selling or recycling anything that’s unused and taking up space.
Reduce All of the Paper
Although paper is often a source of clutter in a business, the bigger problem with it is the volume of well-organized files and documents that take up storage space in filing boxes, cabinets and closets. Business owners can reduce the space used for storing important paperwork by scanning hard copies of certain files and documents, such as outdated account files and sales receipts, and then saving them electronically to a cloud server and a handheld, portable storage device that takes up little space. By fixing this problem you not only improve available storage, but make your business more eco-friendly. Shred and recycle the hard copies. If you must still keep some paperwork stored offline, mark anything that you don’t need to keep forever with a recycling date and set an email paper recycling day reminder. Also, free up office space by storing the paperwork in a secure, off-site storage area.
Make Better Use of Existing Storage
Business owners typically have enough storage space, but they fail to use all of it. Beyond clearing out closets and opening up space in specific rooms by removing clutter and reducing paper, check how you can improve upon every type of existing storage in your business. For example, retailers often never use the shelves in cash wrap units directly under computers and registers because these shelves are too deep or blocked by cables. To make better use of the space, they merely need to place an object, such as a box, at the back of each shelf to prevent items from drifting too far into the unit and use zip ties to pull the cables together and out of the way, respectively. Another example: Office workers often don’t use drawers efficiently. Instead of placing one organizer tray in a drawer to store paperclips, pens, sticky notes and other office supplies, they can make better use of the space by installing tiered, sliding trays so that a drawer can hold more items.
Add Efficient Combo Storage Solutions
Some business owners hesitate to install bookshelves, cabinets and other shelving-style units because these storage solutions take up a lot of wall space. Additionally, they believe that shelving units tend to only work well for storage of large and bulk supply items. Open units like bookshelves also quickly become dust collectors. To organize your business with a shelving unit that creates more storage in an efficient fashion, invest in a design that combines different types of storage solutions so that you need less overall storage. For example, you might invest in a large storage cabinet that features pullout bins of varying sizes like the styles found via this hyperlink. Since a cabinet has doors, you don’t need to worry about a lot of dust. The bins make it possible for you to store small loose and packaged, large and bulk items efficiently in one spot.
As you can see, you don’t need to reorganize your entire business to gain more storage. You merely need to reconsider how you use the space available to you. You don’t need to change everything at once either. You can start small by picking an area of your business to target for reorganization and creating a schedule for the week that puts aside a little time each day for employees to focus on improving that space. If you don’t have time this week to tackle a spot used by everyone, move forward by at least emailing organizational tips to employees and making new policies that prompt them to clean up and organize their work areas.
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2