Organizing office supplies such as pens, pencils, paperclips, and envelopes create efficiency and enhance neatness in the office. Keeping all business office supplies well organized and labelled saves time and creates order. It also helps to keep tabs on what needs to be replenished to keep things running smoothly.
This is not necessarily a difficult task. Below are seven steps on how to organize office supplies in an effective manner:
1. Take Stock
The first step in how to organize office supplies is knowing what you have in the first place. It’s futile to try to put things in order when you don’t know what you have and don’t have. Therefore, first, take stock of what you have and what needs to be replenished.
This crucial step will reveal what items are overstocked and what things are entirely missing. To do this, compile a list of all used office supplies. Taking stock involves checking your current stock against your inventory to establish what you have more of, and what you need to restock.
2. Restock System
Once you know which supplies you have in stock and what is missing, create an inventory of all the supplies. This is a great way for how to organize office supplies, because you can restock items that you have run out of. What you need is to come up with a system that helps you keep track of the inventory.
This could be a manual system where people record whatever office supplies they take. It could also involve scanning items using a barcode reader. As each item is scanned and taken off the inventory, the centralized inventory systems update the supplies database. You can automatically generate reports of what has gone out and what is remaining, and what you are about to run out of.
3. Choose the Right Space
Having the right space to store office supplies helps keep everything organized. Typically, a supply closet is used, especially for large offices. Even if your office is small, it’s still a good idea to have a designated space for office supplies. This could be a shelf or cabinet in a corner allocated for this particular purpose.
You will not only avoid clutter, but you will also keep everything centralized. The supplies space should be within reach and not too far from the workspace. Keep it clean and neat at all times.
Office supplies need to be well stored. They should be organized and kept neatly in a tidy place. Cabinets, shelves and bins can be used to store different office supplies. For example, supplies that don’t run out often can be stored in cabinets or on higher shelves. Items that run out quickly and often should be stored close for easy access.
Office supplies such as printer ink and toner should be stored at a safe place to avoid damage and easy unauthorized access by employees. Clear plastic bins and containers are useful for storing items that need to be easily found. These include pens and paperclips.
5. Use Labels
Labelling is critical in making sure everything is organized correctly. Sharp and clear labels help you find out what you need without having to comb through every shelf or cabinet. Whatever storage method you have used, use tags to mark where items are clearly.
For instance, if your cabinets have drawers, each drawer should have a label indicating the contents therein. The same applies to shelves, bins, or containers. Labelling makes it easy for you to find what you need in a jiffy. When doing stock taking, using labels saves time and makes the process efficient. You can label by hand or electronically using a label maker.
6. Keep the Space Clean
A clean space is a neat space. Always keep the area set aside to store office supplies clean. This not only keeps the area organized but also prolongs the life of office supplies such as paper, toner and ink. If printing paper, for example, is stored in a dusty environment, the damage could be irreparable. Keep delicate items such as printer ink or toner away from dust and dirt as these would damage them.
7. Restrict Access to the Storage Area
For order and accountability, restrict access to the supplies space. Access to the area should be limited to the office manager or assistant. This helps in the efficient management of office supplies. Ask the employees to make a requisition for whatever supplies they need. This will prevent anyone from just going in and taking whatever they want without keeping track of what is leaving the supplies store. Restricting access also deters or minimizes theft of office supplies. This helps to maintain accountability and transparency in your office supplies management.
Organizing office supplies is not a difficult task. It’s, however, highly effective at keeping the office running smoothly. Keeping your supplies well-organized increases productivity and efficiency at the office. The tips above work for both large and small offices.