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9 ways to trap the paper tigers in your office

tigerYour office is a mess. You’re frustrated and overwhelmed because you want it to be organized but you don’t know where to start, especially when it comes to sorting through all that paper.

Sound familiar?

You’re not alone. Surveys find that we lose at least one hour each day due to disorganization and clutter. That’s a lot of wasted time and money.

So what’s a person to do? The answer is to use a variety of containers to trap the paper pests that are attacking your office. Once you’ve used these tricks, putting paper in its place will be a no brainer.

Here are 9 of the most common paper clutter culprits and the tools you can use to contain them. They’re easy to master and simple to follow.

1.  Paper for recycling

A common predator. Use a basket to trap it. Keep the basket in the area where the paper comes into your office to minimize the risk of having it escape onto your desk.

2.  Reference Information

You want to contain and keep this type of paper tiger. It could be tickets, coupons, gift cards, anything you’ll need to access in the future.  Use a binder to contain it. Tabs or dividers will help to keep these papers organized.

3.  Magazines / User Manuals

Big and bulky, they sit around your office and take up a lot of space. Use magazine holders or clear plastic bins to keep these hulksters in their place.

4.  Meeting Notes

Precious and priceless, these scoundrels are not to be misplaced. Keep your notes in a notebook, paper or digital. If you prefer a notepad, tear the sheets and file them in a file folder that is clearly marked.

5.  Receipts

They’re small, flimsy and very good at hiding under objects. This type of beast is best kept at bay in a small folder until you’re ready to enter or scan the information into your bookkeeping system.

6.  Cheques

Very expensive to lose. Keep client cheques in a plastic envelope and label it. When you’re ready to make a bank deposit, grab the envelope and go.

7.  Mail

The stealth. Mail is so insidious you don’t even know it’s there until you have a bunch of unopened envelopes scattered around your office. The best cage is an intray. That way those pesky rascals can’t hide.

8.  Business Cards

Small and sneaky, they like to gather in drawers, briefcases and under papers. The best container is your digital address book. Either scan them or use Cardmunch to digitize those devils.

9.  Sticky Notes

The fraud. They trick you into thinking they are helping you remember things you have to do.  In reality, they only serve to clutter your workspace. Instead of reaching for a sticky note to write on, put the To Do on your task list where it will be contained until it gets done.

Every office has its own paper pests. These are just 9 of the most common. The trick to containment is to keep it simple. No elaborate or expensive tools are needed. Once you get in the habit of putting paper in its place your office will be back in control in not time.

Call to Action

Look around your office. Can you identify any of the paper pests described above? Which ones are on the loose turning your workspace into a jungle? How do you contain them? Share your insights below and let’s continue the conversation.

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