Is a Paper Monster Eating Your Desk?
I was recently approached with the following organizational issue and question - with multiple piles of paperwork on the desk, do I purge and file which would take days or just buy a bigger desk. I think it's easy to guess what my answer was.
The two big reasons why I told this person to purge first were because:
- A bigger desk may not be needed. And more importantly...
- The reason behind the piles isn't being addressed without a proper purge first.
Now, this could be a simple problem of desk not meeting needs but I knew it wasn't because if that were the case then the question would never have been asked. More likely, papers need to find a new home not on the desktop - whether it's files, binders, or the trash/recycle/shred bin.
When a paper monster has taken over your desk it's important to asses the situation.
- Every room needs a goal and everything in that room must go towards that goal. Does everything in your office and on your desk meet the needs of your goal?
- Has everything that needs to be filed away or tossed out been filed or tossed?
- What is left? Does it have a home? If not, where should it be. At this point if there isn't a way to neatly contain it THEN you can look into a larger desk. However, would some shelving or file cabinets better do the trick?
If you need to make more room in a tiny space, think vertical. Years ago while I was doing events for a nonprofit, I had the teeniest of work spaces. My event load grew from 60 to 80 events a year, but the area I had to plan them in did not. Adding a couple of shelves to the wall above my desk helped immensely and best utilized the limited space.
So before you go in for the quick fix and potentially waste money buying bigger because of "stuff," address the situation. You may learn that your space is just right after all.
Need help getting control over the paper monster or organizing things in a more efficient way? I'm only an email away: firstname.lastname@example.org.