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A tidy workstation – office organisation takes care of itself

Whether you’re one of those people who love to be tidy or you're a sloppy creative type: you should always make sure you have an orderly desk and neatly sorted documents. This will save you time looking for stuff and help you to stay on top of things during stressful times. You should therefore do everything you can straight away to ensure that all items and documents have a set place.

Why is a tidy workstation important?

People often make assumptions about how somebody works by the look of their workstation. Even if you are in control of your own creative chaos and can work with it really well, it will not make a good impression on your boss, your customers or your competitors. An untidy desk implies inefficient and chaotic working methods and is frowned upon by companies.

If you have a tidy workstation design, you will be doing yourself a favour. After all, whether you're studying or doing your job, it will help you to maintain an overview, find important documents again at any time and therefore work efficiently. If you’re working on longer customer projects or studying for a bachelor's or master’s degree, having the right system for keeping your desk tidy will be worth its weight in gold. Summaries, invoices and notes all have their own fixed place and so you will be able to lay your hands on them at any time. 

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10 tips for a tidier workstation

  1. Get yourself a filing system and divide it into the categories current, ongoing and completed. This will help you to sort incoming documents into the right compartment and you will know immediately what the current processing status is. Your filing system should be adapted to suit your own work processes in the best possible way.

  2. Labelled files for individual projects will help you stay on top of things and find important documents such as receipts quickly. With “Flat Clinch” stapling, you can staple your documents flatter together, saving more space in your filing cabinet.
  1. Keeps the same type of documents together in one place. Set yourself up with a drawer, for example, for office equipment such as scissors, notepads and staples.

  2. So as not to lose track in the jungle of digital documents, you must also have a good digital structure. Set up project folders, which you can arrange as required.

  3. With the daily flood of emails chaos can quickly ensue in your inbox. A categorised filing system also makes sense here, which you can divide for example into projects, customers or days of the week.

  4. Regularly sort out items you never use.

  5. Store completed project files in a filing cabinet and organise this according to customer and year. Documents you no longer need should be safely disposed of straight away. Use document shredders for this to avoid data theft.

  6. Use a planner, instead of individual notes, to write your to do list. This will ensure you don’t end up with an untidy heap of notes and helps to keep all your important notes in one place.

  7. Use the time just before you finish work for the evening to have a little tidy up session. Clear all the items you no longer need into a roll container or cabinet. File documents away and then write your to do list for the next day. This will ensure you are well-prepared for the new day.

  8. Work using the 5S method, which we have already introduced you to. You will then ensure more order at the workstation in 5 steps. 
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Ensure order with the 5S method

The 5S method is a simple system you can use to ensure a permanently orderly workstation. The method originally comes from the production industry and was developed to keep workstations tidy and well-ordered. It should allow work processes to run as smoothly as possible. Using the 5S method, you can ensure more order at your workstation: 

The 5S method for more order at the workstation

Sort: Sort out all items such as writing utensils and documents, which you no longer need. All the things that are not relevant to your work are set aside.

Set in order:  Develop your own personal system for order and arrangement on your desk. The items you use often should be kept nearby. Everything that is used less often is stored tidily away in a drawer.

Shine:  Keep your workstation clean by regularly wiping away dust and cleaning. A clean workstation will not only have a positive effect on you, it will also make a good impression on others.

Standardise:  Create standards, which can be used as a guideline, and take these into account in the design of your workstation. Defined labels, markings and systems save time looking for things.

Self-discipline & improvement:  Stick to the rules you have set yourself for keeping things tidy! Regularly check and optimise your system standards. This will help you and your team to make progress. For the best results, you should repeat the 5S method regularly.

Overcome your inner chaos

As it is so simple, the 5S method is suitable for all types of system and is always applicable. Our 10 tips for a tidy workstation will also help you to overcome your inner chaos. This will not only help you to achieve the ideal conditions for efficient work, but you will also be more relaxed in the long run as you will be keeping the chaos at bay. If you also implement our time management methods, you will be perfectly equipped for the working day.