Whether you have an overhead cabinet above your workspace, a credenza next to your desk, or an office supply cabinet that is shared by many, you can take some practical steps to keep things in order. With some careful planning, a chaotic office cabinet can be a thing of the past.
Here are four tips to help you organize your office cabinet at work:
Identify the function of the cabinet
To make the most out of your office cabinet, you’ll want to identify exactly how it will be used in the work setting. How will the cabinet will be used in future? Will the cabinet be used to store client files, office supplies, company awards, back issues of magazines, or perhaps something else entirely? Will the cabinet have one main function, as in storing office supplies, or will it be a combination of functions such as office supplies and current project files? Who will have access to the cabinet? Will the cabinet be used by one person or many? Will cabinet materials be public, or will they contain sensitive or confidential items? Your answers will help influence the final layout of the cabinet.
Layout the structure of the cabinet
After you’ve identified the function of the cabinet, you’ll determine where specific items will be stored within the cabinet itself. You may find it helpful to sketch potential layouts to find the best fit for your office’s needs. Dedicate materials to specific shelves, drawers, and trays. Broadly speaking, frequently used items should be located at eye or arm level, while infrequently used items should be located either above or below. You’ll also want to take care when balancing materials within the cabinet. Heavier items should be placed towards the bottom, while lighter items should be placed towards the top.
Organize cabinet materials
Next, you’ll want to spend time organizing materials to be contained inside the cabinet. Remove existing items from the cabinet to create ample space and gather any additional items to be stored. Assemble like materials with like, such as office supplies with office supplies and files with files. You can replace items into the cabinet as is, or you can use storage solutions like upright holders, folders, trays, cups, boxes, to keep materials organized and contained.
Prioritize regular cabinet maintenance
Keep your office cabinet in tip-top shape by practicing regular maintenance. Just a few minutes’ worth of maintenance can prevent clutter and disorder from taking root. At the end of every day or week, inspect the cabinet ensure all materials are in order. This is an excellent time to replace, refile, realign, or reassemble items as needed. Finally, you should avoid using the cabinet as a “catch all” or dumping ground for office materials. Store only those items that belong inside the cabinet and consider finding suitable alternative storage solutions for other office items.
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