Nothing kills productivity more than a cluttered office. When you have to shuffle through mounds of paperwork and dig through drawers and file folders to locate information you need, you’re wasting valuable time – time that could be better spent on increasing sales and growing your business. But what can you do? Isn’t this just par for the course for a busy property manager? Not when you employ these tips. Here’s how to de-clutter your office and get organized so you can get focused on more important matters.
Set a goal
Understand that the process of de-cluttering an office usually doesn’t happen overnight. Allow yourself time but set a specific goal that you can work toward, a little at a time, until you’ve got things under control and more organized. Schedule time each day to tackle a task and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a relatively short period of time.
Stay on top of incoming mail
Get rid of junk mail as soon as it comes in – from the mailbox straight into the recycle bin. That way it doesn’t end up piling up on your desk and taking up valuable space. All other mail should be opened and sorted promptly. Resist the urge to dump it on the corner of your desk for later; otherwise you’ll just end up with a pile of paperwork that’s unmanageable.
Set up a system
Sorting through mail and other paperwork is much easier when you’ve already got a system in place. Get separate bins for each category, such as items that must be signed, things that are to be reviewed and other, less important items. As you open your mail, separate it into these individual bins and then set aside time (preferably once a day, but at least a few times a week) to go through each bin and clean them out.
Of course, the easiest way to get rid of clutter is to transition to a paperless environment. This will also help you to stay more organized and will save you money on things like paper, ink and toner and storage fees. (If you’re not sure where to begin or need help getting started with this initiative, check out our 5 tips to make the transition to a paperless office a smooth one.)
Hire an organizer
If you’ve tried all of these things and still can’t seem to dig your way out from that imposing mound of paperwork, you may want to consider bringing in a professional. There are plenty of expert organizers who can come in and work with you to help you achieve your goals for getting your office cleaned up and running more efficiently. (The National Association of Professional Organizers is a good place to start.)
With a schedule that would make most people’s heads spin, getting organized and reducing the clutter within your office is probably the last thing you want to concern yourself with. But too much paperwork and an unorganized office can make an already chaotic job even more overwhelming. Not to mention the time and resources you’re wasting on a daily basis. Make it a point to put these tips into practice and before you know it, you’ll be operating your clean, organized office like an efficient, well-oiled machine.
Find out what more you can do to boost the productivity of your property management business. Download a free copy of The Property Manager’s Guide to Maximizing Productivity.