Winner Gets an Organized Office in Ottawa with Second Set of Hands!


Happy 2015!

Hope everyone’s New Year is starting off in a healthy and happy way!

Second Set of Hands recently had a contest where we wanted to gift 3 hours of our service to someone in need. This is our way of giving back to the community. After receiving the nominations, we are pleased to report that we did not gift our services to one lucky winner, nor to two, but to 3 lucky winners. It was just too hard to choose! So far, I have had the pleasure of working with one of the winners, and with her permission, here are the before and after pictures!


Office Organizing Before


Office Organization Before


Office Organization After


Office Organization After


This particular client had recently moved into her new home and was thrilled when we were able to transform her office into a functioning, clean, organized space. We won’t take all the credit though, because the after picture is partly her vision too.


When it comes to organizing offices, there are lots to consider. Here are 20 Office Organizing Tips!

  1. Is your office organized, clean, functional, welcoming, and stress-free? If not, you will be more productive if it is!
  2. What systems do you have in place now? What is working for you and what is not?
  3. Do you have items that do not belong in your office? If so, remove and put away in proper spots
  4. Do you have too much paper? If so, can some of this paper be shredded or recycled?
  5. To prevent too much paper, date future papers with removal dates *Shred at year end, recycle at month end etc.
  6. Do you have a systematic filing system? Most important and here is a Quick Tip, Colour Code your file folders!
  7. Do you really need that many supplies? (pens, pencils, markers, erasers, rulers, paper, binders, etc.)
  8. Can you find your files and supplies in 30 seconds or less?
  9. Are you using desktop or drawer organizers to help keep your items organized and easily accessible?
  10. Is your equipment and supplies within close proximity?
  11. Are your items categorized? Are the related items put together? (stamps with envelopes, paper clips, binder clips, tacks, push pins etc. altogether, empty duotangs with empty file folders, pens and pencils close to white-out and erasers)
  12. Do you have a “To Be Filed” folder? If you can’t file right away, then I recommend putting it all in one folder and filing at the end of the week, or sooner if you can. Try not to let it pile up.
  13. Keep a “Pending” folder and be sure to go through it regularly. (every day, every second day, at the end of the week; it will depend on your work load)
  14. Have a “To Be Read” folder handy, rather than having magazines lying around. Another alternative is to scan the articles you would like to read.
  15. Create a Missed Calls Log or Journal and write down and date all your voice mail messages and key points of your conversations. You will have a record of all your calls in one spot to reference back to.
  16. Label, label, Label – Label files, drawers, bins, baskets, shelves etc.
  17. Organize your drawers, bookcases and shelves. Purge by donating and recycling if you can.
  18. Use unusual spaces for storage solutions. Small spaces can sometimes be used for storage shelves with baskets, or another solution for small spaces is floor to ceiling bookshelves.
  19. Furniture with rollers are handy! For example, moving file cabinets is much easier when they role.
  20. Clear your desk and leave just a few essentials at the end of each day.



Organized brown desk

I recently moved into my home and my office is still filled with boxes. I am far from organized and I can relate to how my clients feel, because I feel overwhelmed when I step foot in there. Unpacking and organizing my office is my goal; my project to work on. I think part of my hesitation is because I moved into an older home and I would like to completely renovate that room, but that is not going to happen anytime soon. My kitchen renovation is going to happen first, so in between seeing clients, I might as well tackle my office, and get organized!

Can’t wait because it will be really exciting when it is done!


woman and man unpacking office

What are you doing this year to get organized? Do you have any special projects that you would like to work on? Do you have a basement that needs decluttering? Kitchen cupboards that need to be reorganized? Or like the client above, and myself, do you have an office that you would like to tackle?

Start the New Year off right, and start with one area. You will feel great when it is done!

All the best,



Kathy McEwan is a professional organizer and a Senior Move Manager specialist (cSMM), and owner of Second Set of Hands. If you would like help with organizing, decluttering or downsizing, contact Kathy.

Kathy@secondsetofhands.ca or 613-454-5706. www.secondsetofhands.ca www.facebook.com/secondsetofhandsconciergeottawa


Kathy McEwan, Professional Organizer






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