Image source: Flickr user Cory Doctorow
Spring is officially here! The birds are chirping, the ground is thawing, and we can finally pack all that winter gear away until next year. The weather might be changing for the better, but when you take a look around your work space, all you see is the mess you accumulated while you were cooped up all winter long. Piles of yearbook design ideas here, potential templates over there, and you have no idea where that flash drive full of pictures from the holiday concert is, because you haven’t seen it since New Year’s.
Creating a yearbook is a long process full of details and it’s easy to become quickly buried under your own clutter. But messy desks creates stress and as a busy yearbook advisor, you already have enough of that to deal with. But finding the time to dig out from under all those piles can seem even more challenging than just dealing with it.
But lucky for you, there is hope! Cleaning up your work space is not only beneficial towards your productivity, but it can also help clear your mind and give you some much needed motivation to finish up that yearbook as the clock on the school year ticks away.
Here are six tips to help get your office cleaned up and organized in under an hour, giving you more time and space to do what you do best: creating the best yearbook ever!
1. SORT IT OUT (15 MINUTES)Don’t waste time looking through old yearbook stuff! Just grab and sort.
Image source: Flickr user Gregory Bodnar
Grab at least eight bins or baskets and label them as follows, adding more for your own specific needs:
- Trash / Recycling: For everything you no longer need.
- Yearbook Design: Templates, Pinterest print outs, sticky notes of random thoughts or quotes, notebooks of genius design ideas – toss them all in here.
- Yearbook Marketing: Promotional flyers, yearbook sponsors, and advertisers – use this bin to keep it all together.
- Yearbook Paperwork: For all the nitty gritty details of the behind-the-scenes yearbook planning, from order forms to budget spreadsheets.
- Tech – For all those cameras, discs, flash drives, USB cables, and all other techy stuff that accumulates.
- Desk Supplies – Staplers, pens, pencils, thumb tacks, paper clips. Get them out of the way in this bin.
- To Return – Anything that wasn’t yours to begin with.
- Misc. – For all those random things we collect over time like mugs, picture frames, and World’s Best Teacher plaques.
Now you’re going to just tackle anything and everything in front of you quickly, deciding what falls into which bin and sorting accordingly. Don’t stop to read through everything. Don’t get drawn into the trap of looking through photos. It’s tempting, but you can do that later! Right now your goal is to completely clear out your desk, drawers, shelves, and any other space that has clutter and to put it all into those bins!
2. LET IT GO (13 MINUTES)
If you’re having trouble filling up that trash bin, you’re not alone. I have this problem, too. No, you’re not a hoarder, you’re just sentimental. Or so I like to tell myself, anyway. Organizational experts say that we find difficulty in getting rid of things because of our inherent fear of change. Whatever the reason may be, this stuff is all causing clutter and the more you hang onto, the more you’re going to have to put away. Unless it’s absolutely necessary to keep, toss it. Remember, change is what you’re aiming for!
3. SEND IT BACK (5 MINUTES)
The return bin is where you’re going to put anything that can go back to someone else. Staplers, books, supplies, coffee mugs – anything! If you took it from somewhere else, put it back and get it out of your space.
4. WIPE IT DOWN (5 MINUTES)
Now that you’ve got a completely clear space, you’re halfway there. Now it’s time to wipe everything down to get rid of all of the dust and cookie crumbs!
5. GIVE EVERYTHING A SPACE (20 MINUTES)
You have everything sorted. Now, what to do with it? Give it its own space.
Take a few minutes to go through those thousands of pens and pencils you have stuffed in cups and drawers. If it’s low on ink, throw it out. If it’s missing an eraser and is down to a 2 inch stub, toss it! You’re never going to use that highlighter from three years ago, either, so don’t even think about putting it back. Leaving yourself with a supply of 5 pens, 5 pencils, and a few markers and highlighters is plenty. Put them in one or two cups on your desk and you’re done.
Keep a smaller bin suitable to keep in a desk drawer for small things like stapler refills, thumb tacks, paperclips, and rubber bands.
As for all those yearbook papers? Binders are great to place loose sheets of yearbook ideas, designs, and templates. For the things that you need to keep but don’t regularly use, sort them in binders and put them up on a shelf. For the things that you use on a daily basis, sort them in binders and line them up neatly on the end of your desk for easy access. This way, what you need is always in front of you and you never have to go digging for it again.
6. ENJOY (2 MINUTES)
Now, take the last two minutes of your hour to sit back and put your feet up to enjoy your accomplishment. Feeling refreshed and cobweb free, you’re now free to take that yearbook head-on. So, what are you waiting for?
If you find yourself juggling too many tasks and papers, let TreeRing help make your job easier with personalized yearbook pages, handy templates, quick turnaround times, and no commitments!