Everyone has experienced running out of supplies. Sometimes, it happens at the worst moment: When you need to print that report right away but the printer is out of ink; when you've just spilled water all over your computer and don't have paper towels; when you've just offered coffee to a visiting client, then realize there isn't any left in the breakroom. Having everything you need, when you need it, is part of what keeps your workplace running smoothly.
Here are some office organization tips to ensure you never come up short:
1. Audit Your Current Supplies and Usage
Organizing your office starts with performing an inventory of what you already have, while gaining a clear understanding of how much of that inventory you'll use and on what timeline. It may be valuable to audit your core consumables, like ink, paper and breakroom and office supplies, before setting any plan in motion right away. In a one-month span, measure how much of each supply your staff uses. That will help you know the approximate amount you need to keep on hand at any given time.
2. Create a Master Order List
After you're aware of how much you use and what you actually have available, it's time to make a detailed and organized list of company-approved supplies. Don't forget to list the brand, item number or any other relevant information for easy ordering in the future. To save yourself additional work, mark down your current stock and ask employees to indicate on the list if they use any of the items. Also, require them to put in order requests if they know they'll need extra of something or an item in bulk.
3. Set a Location for Your Stock
The easiest way to keep track of your supplies is by storing them in one central location. If closet space is limited, buy a cabinet for overflow supplies — this is especially handy if you buy in bulk to take advantage of discounts. Then, be organized with placement. Put similar materials together and clearly label everything. This will help you more easily scan your supplies and place orders before you're out of any items.
4. Schedule Routine Stock Checks
Who's going to be in charge of your stock closet? This isn't a task that everyone in your office can help with — except for reporting when they take supplies. Make sure you designate a person who is detail-oriented and able to take on the task, and then schedule a regular check-up in their calendar. Depending on usage, weekly or monthly reviews of your consumables should be enough to know when it's time to order.
5. Automatically Restock Your Supplies
If you want to lessen the work involved, consider an auto-restock program. Your vendor's auto-restock programs can assist you in ordering, without you — or anyone on your staff — doing a thing. Set a schedule, and the coffee and paper arrives regularly, without you needing to place an order. You might also try using smart products, such as printers that automatically place orders when ink or toner gets to a certain level.
Office organization is easy when you set up systems to keep an eye on your supplies. Make sure everyone has what they need, and you can help your team keep working at their best.