Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Day 14: Organize Your Supply Closet

Back in the real world, we've dealt with desktops, inboxes, desk drawers, file drawers, and bookshelves. When any of these aren't very organized, we can see the disorganization (assuming that you open those drawers). There's still one physical area that can be quite the mess, and it's often hidden behind a door: the supply closet.

Whether you keep your office supplies in an actual closet, or in a cabinet, or in plastic tubs, you're probably already cringing at the idea that you need to do something about this. When was the last time that you went to get something you needed (a pen, a pad, some paper, some push pins, some extra staples, some hanging folders, etc.) and you simply couldn't find them? So you spent money buying them again, and later discovered where you were keeping that particular type of supply. Yes, we've all done this.

The solution: A supply closet purge and re-organization. You can begin by pulling everything out into the open where you can see everything you have. This lets you group together the things that somehow got separated or duplicated.

During this process, look for things that you no longer need, such as extra printer ink for a printer that you no longer own, or a charger for a device that you threw away ages ago. Look to see if you've got rolls of Scotch tape or boxes of rubber bands that are now fossilized and unusable. In some cases, you might have good things that you no longer feel are useful for yourself, but that could be donated to a school or other worthy organization.

Once you're down to the things you really want to keep, you may want to make a trip to the nearest office supply store (or these days, to an online office supply site), and find organizational boxes, bins, and baskets that you can use to keep like things together. If you don't already have one, get a label maker (I'm a big fan of the Brother P-Touch) so that you can label the fronts of the boxes and bins as to what's inside.

Put the things you use the most on the shelves at eye and arm level, and the things you use more rarely on the floor or on the top shelf. Make sure to leave some space for things that you might acquire in the future.

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