Cleaning up the Clutter

Piles of paperwork stacked on every free surface, a bulletin board layered with curling pieces of faded paper, post-it notes peeling away from the sides of every object, pens and pencils buried here and there — and no room to work! If this describes your workspace it’s time to tackle some Spring cleaning at the office.

Work is busy keeping up with appointments, phone calls, details and deadlines. Often the very place you depend on is neglected the most. And the more time you spend searching for a misplaced file, a pen that actually writes, or a phone number jotted on a scrap of paper, the less time you have to devote to productive work. Most people agree that an organized work space is far more conducive to productivity than an unorganized one. But where to start? You need a plan, some time set aside, and motivation to just get going on the path to creating a better workspace.

Sharon Donahoe, a sales representative with Royal LePage in Belleville, finds herself in this dilemma. Being on the road with clients and showing houses leaves her with little time in the office. While there she is busy with paperwork, emails and phone calls. Donahoe is extremely professional and successful, (she is the six-time recipient of LePage’s Award of Excellence), yet admits to being a procrastinator. Organizing her office is something she wants to tackle but has never set aside the time.

Donahoe’s office is about 8’ by 10’ and outfitted with a long L-shaped desk that runs along two walls. The desk houses computer stations for herself, an assistant and a co-op student. She has files organized in vertical stands for easy access, but has little desk surface. Under the desks Sharon has already installed three filing cabinets, making great use of that storage space. Opposite the long desk is a tall cupboard with doors. While the cupboard holds and hides a great deal of office supplies, it is not being used to its fullest, as the shelves are messy.

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Faith Woodland
Smiling woman. By Gabriel Silverio of

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