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Planning of duties, space aids organization of office

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by Ann Bucy

SBJ Contributing Writer

Janet Altiery started organizing things when she was 8 and hasn't looked back. Now the owner of Organization Etc., she got her start by typing all of her mother's recipe cards. "It bothered me that they all looked different," she said.

People utilize a number of tools in the office to help organize, according to Altiery.

Organization Etc.'s most popular items are its mobile file systems. They're mobile because they're on wheels, and they come in a variety of sizes. They're used to hold manila and hanging file folders. And because they're mobile, they can be placed where they are most needed and where they are most convenient to the employee using them.

Another popular item at Altiery's store is a steel shelving unit that can be used as a bookcase, storage space or an entertainment center.

Designed for heavy-duty use, the shelving units can hold up to 300 pounds.

Other big sellers are the Drawing Dolly, which can hold blueprints, and the Auto Exec. The Auto Exec was made with the traveling salesman in mind. The in-car unit has a tray that pulls out on the passenger seat with room to carry folders, writing utensils and other items.

Altiery said she believes the key to being organized is putting things into categories once a day so you know what's left to be accomplished. "Have a list of people to call and a stack of mail to answer, she said. "Prioritize things so they don't keep getting put off."

In addition to organizing supplies for the office, Organization Etc. also offers items for the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, garage and closets.

Altiery said getting organized is a current trend and an area that keeps growing. "There are more products than ever, and the prices keep getting lower. We sell lots of things for under $10."

At Office Plus, owner Bill Abbott said he believes the most popular product with his customers is the Post-It Note, "in all its forms." Other mainstays are systems furniture (cubicles) and insulated filing cabinets for storing items like computer disks.

His tip on getting and staying organized is to plan ahead. "People want things now. If they would just slow down and think ahead, things wouldn't have to be done over. Do it right the first time."

Office Interiors of America sells office furniture, consults on interior design, space planning and floor plans, and sells presentation boards. "The bulk of our business is from panel systems," said Teresa Bradley, one of the company's interior designers and salespeople. When it comes to organizing the office into efficient work areas for employees, there are several options.

Bradley said there is a new system without cubicles. "They're free-standing screens that attach to the desk. They give a lot of privacy without the expense of paneling."

She added that she believes it takes dedication to get organized. "Some people are just better at it than others, but it can be learned. The key is time management."

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