Getting organized, and staying that way, can be one of the most profitable and simplest things you can do in your business ...


My articles tackle real problems and real questions from my clients and newsletter subscribers. In this article, I'll address Steve's question, the same question many of you have, about how to begin the organization process.

Question: My office is a wreck! My desk is nowhere to be seen, my email inbox is overflowing, and I haven't been able to close my filing cabinet for 6 months now. Where do I begin?

Signed: Steve in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Answer: I always recommend beginning with the area of your office that will give you the most relief. You need to decide which area of your office is causing you the most overwhelm.

If you spend more time in front of the computer you might want to start with your email. (If this is the case see my archived e-zine from 2-21-08). But, if you spend most of your time with messy file-working at your desk, you might want to start with the filing cabinet.

I'm guessing that if you had room in the filing cabinet it would go a long way to helping you clear off the desk.

Start small and go through half of a drawer. Throw out or shred what you don't need. If you haven't been in there for six months, chances are a lot of the files are obsolete at this point and can be tossed. If you have difficulty deciding whether to keep or toss some of the papers, set them aside. Make a pile of the 'difficult decisions'. Don't agonize over it now.

Make the easy decisions first. This is important for a couple of reasons.

Reason 1. If you make the easy decisions first and you feel some relief from the overwhelm, you will begin to build momentum. Momentum is very important when you're working on this type of project (one you'd rather not be working on). Once you gain momentum, the difficult decisions sometimes aren't so difficult anymore. (You'll have to take my word for it until you see for yourself.)

Reason 2. When you set aside the difficult decisions, oftentimes once you get into the project further the answer will
present itself. For example, as you proceed you come across the papers that supersede the ones you were concerned about tossing. You may realize you have six versions of the same thing. There are so many scenarios for Reason 2 that I will save the rest for a future article.

Once you get started try to spend some time on it each day until you have completed the project. Keep breaking it up into manageable chunks until you're done. Keep me posted, I'd love to hear how it goes!

Happy Organizing!

Author's Bio: 

Beth Flarida is the owner of Get It Together, a company which has been providing Professional Organizing Services for businesses since 1991. Beth is a Professional Organizer for Business and a member of NAPO, the nation's leading and most prestigious organization for professional organizers. Visit the Certified Professional Organizer and sign up for her free weekly newsletter, Answers From The Organizer®. Ready to get started right now? Claim your 20-minute "Problem Solving Strategy Session" and jump start your organizational goals!