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Office Storage Ideas: How to Organise Your Work Desks and Papers

Organising office desk

 When it comes to your office, you want to create a space where your employees can focus and work efficiently. Maximising productivity is the aim of any manager, and having a functional and organised space is vital to achieving that goal. Having a desk that looks like a bombsite, with piles of papers, books, stationery, and equipment to dig through just to find a particular document adds a lot of unnecessary stress to the workforce.

If you see this situation on a regular basis, then it’s probably time to give your office a revamp and get organised. Read on to find lots of fantastic office storage ideas, including great ways to sort your documents so you can always find what you’re looking for. Even if you think your office isn’t too cluttered, we’re sure you’ll still find a way to improve your organisation even further. In this article, we’ll cover:

How to declutter your office

Before you can properly organise your office, you’ll want to declutter it. This will allow you to get rid of things that aren’t needed and find a new home for things that are taking up valuable space. Having a workspace that is completely free of clutter and nicely organised will allow your employees to complete their work without the stress of a messy room. Whether stuff just seems to pile up, or you haven’t optimised the space as well as you’d like, decluttering is the first step to organisational bliss. Here’s how to do it.

Figure out what you actually need

Start by creating a list of the office essentials: the things that absolutely must be in there. For anything else, you need to question whether there is somewhere else it could be stored away, or whether you even need it at all. The fewer things there are in the office, the fewer things that need to be organised, and the easier the whole process will be.

Move and donate

Once you know what you want to keep, you need to deal with everything else. There should be two main groups: things you want to keep but store somewhere else, and things you want to get rid of altogether. It’s important to be as ruthless as possible, as this will help to keep your workplace as organised as possible. But don’t just throw things away.

Old equipment can be very harmful for the environment, so it’s best to give them away or recycle them where possible (just make sure to wipe and important data beforehand). Many groups, such as Collect Eco, will help businesses donate their old furniture and equipment to school, charities, and the NHS. If you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, it might be worthwhile hiring an environmentally friendly skip. Recycling Lives is committee to 100% recycling rate.

Rearrange your space

Once you’ve reduced everything down to the bare essentials, you’ll be able to look at your office in a new light. Could the space be used in a better way? Do you need more shelving or storage units? Think about how your furniture could be rearranged to get the most out of the space. If you seem to have a lot of things laying around, you’ll want to invest in more storage and shelving. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that everyone has the things they need close by.

Find a place for everything

Once you’ve decided on how best to use the space, you want to make sure each item has a home. This is important, as it means there is no excuse for allowing things to pile up — simply put them back where they belong. This has the added benefit of allowing everyone to always find what they need. We will be discussing a fantastic range of storage solutions later on in this article.

The basics of office organisation

The key to getting your team organised and, more importantly, helping them stay organised is to have plenty of shelves and drawers where they can store their belongings. You want to optimise the space you have available, so it’s worth taking the time to get this right. The key is to choose a good mix of different types of office storage. Ideally, you want to have shelves for books, magazines, and ornaments; boxes for files, papers, and documents; drawers for pens, stationery, and other useful items; and cupboards to hide bulkier equipment that you only use from time to time.

Adaptable storage systems

Installing adaptable office shelving is a fantastic way to maximise the space you have, especially in a smaller office, as it can be expanded and altered as your needs change. This kind of open shelving looks great in any office and provides easy access to everything your team might need, while also allowing you to display books and ornaments.

The downside of open shelving is that you have to keep things neat and tidy or your office will start to look cluttered. If you have a lot of office items to store, or things you don’t want on show, it’s a smart idea to keep them hidden away in cupboards. Alternatively, a good option with open shelves is to use labelled or transparent boxes to keep items tidy but also easily accessible. What you decide to go for will ultimately depend on what you need to store in your office, but it’s wise to think about what you can store away, rather than having out all the time.

Office furniture

Part of being organised is ensuring that your office furniture is designed around the needs of your staff, with plenty of storage options for them to use. A key part of any office is the desks, as this is where the vast majority of work will take place. You want spacious desks that can support the everything your staff need, but you also want to provide them with every opportunity to be organised themselves with plastic storage drawers, stationary holders, and cork boards.

Depending on the size and shape of your office and what your employees’ needs are, it might be worth getting some bespoke furniture built. Whether this is worthwhile will depend on your specific needs, but it’s worth thinking about if you require certain specifications or need furniture that fits into odd-shaped corners. There are now many businesses out there, from furniture manufacturers to specialist joiners that can work with you to design and then build office furniture to perfectly fit your needs.

Cable clutter

You’ve got plenty of shelving, some fantastic furniture, and everything has its place. But the sight of cables alone can make the office looks messy and disorganised. Whether it’s from computers, chargers, or lamps, disorganised cabling can be a real pain. But these cables are a necessary annoyance, so the best bet is to hide them as well as you can. Many desks have in-built components to keep cables tidy, typically by channelling them all through a hole in the desk and down to the socket.

If you don’t have this option, it might be worth installing cable shelves the fit under the back of the desk and allow you to store you cable and extensions. To make them look neat, you want to group all the cables together. The easiest solution is to use cable ties, but they have to be cut every time you want to add or remove a cable. For a more convenient and aesthetically pleasing option, cable sleeves are a great choice.

Storage boxes for the office

With the huge number of items you’ll likely need to keep in your office, from stationery and papers to spare cables and equipment, it’ worth investing in a great selection of versatile storage options. Having everything organised into its own box will make your life a lot easier, when it comes to both filing things away, and finding them again. Here’s a breakdown of which plastic storage boxes are ideal for offices.

Plastic archiving and filing boxes

Papers can accumulate very quickly in an office and, while many of these are no doubt useful on a day-to-day basis, many of them can quite easily be archived away for future use. At Plastic Box Shop, we have a fantastic range of plastic archiving and filing boxes that are stackable and ideal for storing away loose papers and ring binder files. We also have storage drawers that come with organiser trays, which will allow your staff to store stationery alongside their documents. We have boxes for all universal paper sizes, and we offer those boxes with lockable lids, which help to guarantee stability when transporting documents.

The best way to minimise the problem of excessive paper is to try and digitise as much documentation as you can, and only print things out when absolutely necessary. Make it easy for staff to share documents with each other, either online or via your own intranet, and make sure they have plenty of computer storage to keep what they need.

Paper storage boxes and drawers

If your office relies on paper products, from business cards to A3-sized sheets, you’ll need the right kinds of boxes to keep them flat and protected. We have a great range of paper storage boxes and drawers that are ideal for all kinds of paper, with clear options that can help you identify exactly what’s in each box, which can save you a lot of time when you’re looking for something specific.

We’ve got coloured boxes, too, and these can be used to create a colour filing system — or they can just add a pop of colour to your office. We’ve also got a fantastic selection of stackable plastic box drawers, which are ideal for anything from storing pens to various sizes of paper. Whether you’ve got loads of stationery to keep organised, paper and notepads that must be kept nearby, or you just need some extra storage, these are really handy!

Office bins and recycling bins

If you want to keep your office nice and tidy, you’ll want to have an office bin that fits nicely with your décor. All of our bins are consistent with the design of our other products, including paper trays and storage boxes. Whether you prefer an open basket-style, one with a lid, or a pedal bin, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re more environmentally conscious, we’ve also got a great selection of specialist recycling bins. These are colour-coded red, blue, yellow, and green, and you can use each bin for whichever recyclable material you wish.

You now know how to declutter your office, revamp it to fit your needs, and keep your desk and papers tidy going forward. Stick to the tips outlined in this guide and you’ll never lose a document again.

If you’ve been bitten by the organisation bug, you may be interested in some of our other fantastic guides. Why not learn how to declutter and destress your home in our home organisation tips guide, or even revamp your kitchen, garage, and wardrobe?

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