10 Minute Office Tidy Tip 11: Garbage, Recycling, and Shredder Within Reach

by shannon on December 3, 2014

The title of this tip says it all! It is really important for productivity flow that you have the garbage can, recycling bin and shredder all within easy reach of your desk chair. The idea is that if you decide you don’t need a particular piece of paper, with a swivel or roll of your chair, it is easy for you to quickly get rid of it. Otherwise, we have a tendency to hold onto that piece of paper for longer. And be sure to empty your containers before they start to overflow!

If you do need the paper, report, or project you are holding in your hand, it is important to decide in that moment what the next step is: does it need to be filed? If so, use this rule: if it takes less than a minute, do it now. Really, this will save you lots of time later. Take the time to file it right then and there while it is in your hands. If you procrastinate and allow all the things that need to be filed to pile up, what will you end up with? Piles! Realistically, it takes less than a minute to file a piece of paper, so do it now.

If your office doesn’t have a shredder, consider getting one. Shredding papers with important information, such as account numbers, signatures, or credit card offers is necessary to protect you, your clients, and family from identity theft. I recommend that you purchase the most expensive shredder you can afford, as this is an important piece of office equipment that will make getting rid of papers easy. Like in many cases, paying less will lead to paying more because cheap shredders have a short lifetime and are cumbersome to use. All shredders should do crosscut confetti shredding and be able to process credit cards and CDs.

Be sure to oil your shredder occasionally with shredder oil or lubrication sheets, available at office supply stores. It is also important to turn off or unplug your shredder if you have dogs or small children in your home, as shredders can be dangerous if not used for their proper intent.
If you work in a large office with a communal shredding bin, be sure that you have a designated bin for papers that need to be shredded so that they do not get mixed up with the recycling.

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