7 Tips for Organizing the Visual Person's Desk

By
Home Stager with Transition Stage LLC

7 Tips for Organizing the Visual Person's Desk


Ever tidy up your work area - or have it tidied up - and then feel totally baffled and out of control because you can't find anything? Does your desk generally have layer upon layer of papers, scribbled notes, and so on - and you swear you can find everything just fine?

Perhaps you're a visual person, which just means that for you, if it's out of sight in a folder, in a desk drawer, you tend to forget about it. This can cause a feeling of panic, coming from a sense that things are out of control.

Now, I'm not saying that you're better off going with the pile of papers, because eventually you won't be able to find what you're looking for. And the sight of your desk will make you feel like leaving the room to do just about anything else but work there.

What to do? Here are 7 tips that can help.

1. Replace scribbled notes with a To Do list
 - Use a computer file if this works for you
 - If you need to have it on paper and check off items physically, print copies
   of a lined To Do page on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper, punch holes in it to fit a
   3-ring binder and keep them in this binder. Label the front and side of the
   binder and place it on an easy-to-reach shelf near your desk.

2. When outside your office, jot all follow up info in a small notebook
 - There are electronic alternatives you can easily use - and upload on your
   return to your office - but if you're most comfortable using paper, keep all
   notes together in one notebook. Any time you're tempted to use a loose
   piece of paper, reach for your small notebook instead.

3. Every day, check your To Do list and notebook for action items
 - As the last work activity of the day, write out tomorrow's To Do list. This
   will clear your mind and allow you to transition to your non-work time.
 - Every morning, start your day by checking your To Do list for what you
   have planned to get accomplished that day. Of course, some days other
   things will come up and you'll add those to the list. Carry forward any
   items that still need to be completed to the next  day's list.
 - Give yourself the satisfaction - and visual verification - of checking off or
   lining through each item as you complete it.

4. Invest in a label maker
 - Most stationery stores, as well as Staples, Walmart, etc., carry inexpensive
   label makers. These make every file easy to find. You can also add labels
   to drawer fronts and shelves.

 

Color-Coded File Folders


5. Organize papers you must keep into color-coded file folders
 - Determine which color will logically - for you - hold which types of files
 - Be sure to name the files logically for your use, so you can easily find the
   information

 - To make sure you keep track of data in your file folders, type up an index
   to your color coding, and tape it onto the inside cover of your To Do binder

 

File Folder Organizer



6. For files you need every day, file them in a stacking plastic file organizer
 - Plan to have only the most important 3-5 files in this organizer
 - Put this organizer where you can easily see it and reach it every day

7. Include some personal items in your workspace, such as
 - A photo or object that reminds you of a place that makes you feel relaxed
 - An object or saying that inspires you
 - Something that celebrates your uniqueness and sense of fun

Above all, remember that your desk and workspace should fit you and the way you work. Unless you have to share the actual desk with someone else, set it up so it helps you find what you need, in any way that works best for you. If you constantly feel that you have to adapt to some other person's idea of organization, it will make work that much harder, if not impossible, to complete.

Need some assistance organizing your desk in Connecticut? Contact Transition Stage at 203-889-8556 - we provide non-judgmental organizing that is customized to how you work best.

 

7 Tips for Organizing the Visual Person's Desk

Comments (26)

Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Norma - There's just so much paperwork with everything we do! Someday...  ;-)

May 04, 2011 12:41 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Judy,

Great list! We all can benefit from your timely tips!

May 04, 2011 02:39 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Dorie - Good evening to you! I'm so glad you find my list helpful!

May 04, 2011 03:03 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

These are great tips, Judy.  I definitely need to get more organized.  I'll have to put that on the "to do" list.

May 04, 2011 10:36 PM
Peter Schattenfield
Turning Point Estate Services LLC - Wilton, CT
Estate Dissolution and Preparation (203)388-8092 CT.

Judy, I know some people who need some "non-judgemental" help. I wll let them know you are out there. Though, some should really seek the guidance of a medical professional as well. I ALWAYS keep a small notebook in my top pocket. Thanks for the information.

May 04, 2011 11:21 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Debbie - Thanks! I hope this helps.

May 05, 2011 01:10 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Peter - That sounds great; thank you!  Yes, once things get to hoarding proportions, a mental health professional is definitely required.

May 05, 2011 01:12 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Valerie - It's the fear so many of us - me included - have, so setting up systems that help rather than hinder is really a good thing. I'm glad you liked this - thanks for Suggesting.

May 05, 2011 01:14 AM
Gary S. Thompson
RE/MAX Masters - Cottonwood Heights, UT
Broker Associate, Realtor, CRS, SRS, SFR, e-Pro

Nice thanks for the tips, yes a label maker is a great idea, I invested in one after reading David Allen's "Getting things done" and I love it! Thanks for sharing

May 05, 2011 02:30 AM
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker

Judy,

Thanks for the tips. I use some of them already. my desk is always a mess. That just means that others really don't like the sight of it. But, I know where everything is.

Brian

May 05, 2011 03:42 AM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

These are really good tips and I really know what I must do. I just know that I have a couple of "organizing books" under the third pile on the left.

May 05, 2011 03:48 AM
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Hi Judy--I am very visual and also like to be very organized.  So I'm working more and more on getting everything electronic from to-do lists to follow-up items recorded on the phone.  Still like my piles of paper; but less and less of them. 

May 05, 2011 04:05 AM
Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

I am totally visual but I can't stand clutter so these were great tips for me.  Keep the organizational stuff coming.

May 05, 2011 05:59 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Gary - Those label makers do a great job - every label is easy to see and and to read. Thanks!

May 05, 2011 06:47 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Brian - Glad you liked them! Yes, sometimes the key to one person's organization is to accept that it won't necessarily appeal to others. That only becomes an issue when your desk is in a publicly viewable space, or the person objecting happens to be the one who pays you!

May 05, 2011 06:50 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Sandi - Great - I'm glad you found these helpful. Sometimes, it helps to start with something small, such as one small pile of paper.

May 05, 2011 06:56 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Janet - Reducing the amount of paper will certainly help to keep spaces organized. Sometimes, visual people have a hard time without that tactile reminder, though.

May 05, 2011 06:58 AM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Liz - Thanks! I'm so glad these tips are helpful. I'm working on a couple of other organizing topics and will post them soon.

May 05, 2011 07:00 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hi Judy,

What a great post! I'm definitely going to click suggest! Your opening grabbed my attention. I felt like you were writing that post just for me. Great work! I appreciate it it and I'll bookmark it too!

Patricia

May 05, 2011 01:23 PM
Judy Klem
Transition Stage LLC - Shelton, CT
Home Staging, Senior Move Management, Fairfield/New Haven counties

Hi Patricia - Thanks so much! I always love it when a post resonates so strongly for those reading it. I'm really glad you found this helpful.

May 05, 2011 01:58 PM