5 office organization tips for when your small business is in a small space

By Anita Ginsburg

If your small business is starting to outgrow its startup space, that is a reason to celebrate. However, until you move into a larger space, if that’s your plan, you will need to find creative ways to reorganize your workspace. A little organization can help your office accommodate everything needed to successfully keep your business running smoothly. The following tips may help you to optimize current space without having to move to a larger location, which will save time and money up front.

Add shelving

Line the walls of your small business office with wire shelving units to add extra storage apace. Wire is lightweight compared to wood, and it has a clean and modern look and feel. It’s also easier to keep dust-free, which means you can get more work done instead of using that time to clean the office. Wire shelves come in see-through designs that open up the shelf spaces to keep the walls visible and accessible if needed. They can also help the office feel a little more open.

Stack upward

Stack cartons and supplies upward on top of each other rather than letting them sit in piles around the work area. Neatly-stacked bins or boxes can be managed temporarily by placing them on top of each other against the wall or in the corner where they are still available when needed but not underfoot.

This is also useful for desk organization. Instead of letting files spread across the desktop surface, stack them carefully to the side, out of the way. When you need them, they’ll be close enough to find easily without making a mess of your workstation.

File away

Organize your files and folders chronologically. Put older records in bins or storage containers, and take them to a safe area in your basement or attic. Some small business owners use the garage or shed, but make the sure the containers are pest-proof and mold-proof when storing them outdoors or in unheated buildings.

Label files and folders clearly so you can find things when needed. You should also label the exterior of the containers as well as the files themselves. This way, you’ll be able to find the correct files quickly and efficiently, rather than having to waste time sorting through old boxes.

Go digital

While you probably have many company records in electronic format, which saves storage space, convert more forms and documents to electronic formats where they can be kept on a computer. Stationery, including letterhead, as well as templates for invoices, reports, and receipts can be uploaded online so you don’t have to stock these supplies physically in your small office area.

Make sure all your files are backed up somewhere. This can prevent a major catastrophe if something happens to your computer.


Take time to sort through furnishings, supplies, and inventory to get rid of things you no longer need. Donate or sell the extra chairs no one uses. Cleaning supplies can be stored in an adjacent area. You can probably remove several items that will open up workspace in your small office area.

With some time and thoughtful rearranging, your cramped office area can expand to offer more usable space. With less clutter, even a small office can suit all your business needs perfectly well.


Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.

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