Clean desk = Messy cabinets!

23 Mar


Okay, I must say, I do a great job shielding my cluttered, disorganized cabinets and drawers from most of my co-workers.  My desk always appears as if I have things going on, meaning note pads and documents lying around, but for the most part it is pretty clean.  It’s behind the scene that is another story!  Point in case, this picture of my main cabinet:

When I look at this every morning, I find it amazing that I’m able to keep an efficient and productive work life!  You probably can’t tell, but every stack of paper in that cabinet is placed at a unique angle so that it sticks out from the stack below it.  Who am I kidding!?!?  This is no way to live every day at work.  I have got to get better at organizing this mess.  It’s only a matter of time before the wrong person sees this embarrassing pile of documents!

Why is it that I’m so prepared in meetings, always hit deadlines, yet can’t seem to take the 5 extra seconds to “file” my documents in a clean, organized manner?  Am I the only one that struggles with this?  I find that hard to believe.  I wonder if there is a class out there on how to keep documents well organized and easily retrievable.  Wow, it seems crazy that I would even consider taking a class like that!  Talk about turning such a simple concept into such a problem. 

Does anyone out there have any good processes or systems they use to continually file their work and documents?  Obviously, I need to take the time to do a onetime clean up and organization project, but I need some guidance on how to prevent this mess from piling up again!



3 Responses to “Clean desk = Messy cabinets!”

  1. Beth Newns March 30, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    I like folders with tabs. I like to get the colored manilla like folders, and I label them with general terms. I work with a lot of RAD stuff (RAD stands for radioactive, not “totally cool”), so I tend to label my folders by isotope or client. You could label yours by product, or client. When I have things that fall into more than one category, I make copies and file them under both. This may seem like more paperwork, but it is easier to find. I date everything each time I use it and give stuff 3 months. If I don’t reference it in those 3 months, or use it in some sort of fashion, then I have a folder I put it in labled archive. I give everything in my archive folder 1 year, then throw it away. I chose a non-busy time to clean out each folder (generally beginning of the month for me). I know this seems like a lot of work, but organization is work, and if you think about it, what you are currently doing (sifting through tons of paperwork searching, or constantly making sure you are turning things at the right angle) is work also. Whatever you decide, I just find that bi-monthly or tri-monthly cleanouts help tremendously!

    • experimentalchristine March 30, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

      Beth – You are my inspiration! I love your archive process. I’ll have to adapt the time periods to be better suited for my work, but the overall concept is great. Thanks for sharing! Now, to find the time to do the one-time overhaul…yikes! Everything you said makes perfect sense though.

  2. Becca April 1, 2011 at 12:16 am #

    My office at work went paperless about 3 years ago. I work for a law firm so we still have to keep hard copies of everything file stamped from the courts, but I would recommend “paperless” to anyone! I scan in any document that comes in, link it to a case page or person in our database, and file the hard copy in an accordion file (we do one a month). I can’t tell you how much easier it made my life. I used to have your cabinet times 5 on my desk and finding anything was impossible. Now I recycle most papers and never have a problem finding anything. I know scanning isn’t convenient for everyone in every situation, but I’d be a mess without it. Now if I could just get everyone to communicate via e-mail and get rid of the fax machine I’d be the happiest assistant on earth :). Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: