Fall is upon us and that means it’s also Fall Cleaning Time! For many of us, the weekend will be filled with decluttering, dusting and dumping in our homes, but don’t forget about the other space you spend so much of your time in, your office. It doesn’t take a research company to prove that there is a direct correlation between productivity and clutter, although the National Association of Professional Organizations has done just that and determined that paper clutter is the number one problem in offices today. Studies suggest that the average person wastes over four hours per week just searching for papers. How could this not add to the stress level of your workplace?
So whether you’re working from your home office or in a cubicle, here 6 tips for creating a more productive, clean, and organized workspace.
Divide and Conquer. If you are faced with an extremely cluttered office space, you may feel overwhelmed when you attempt to clean. Instead of tackling the space all at once, divide the area into different sections to make Fall office cleaning easier.
Leave What You Need. Experts say that the only items that should be on your desk are the items you need most frequently. Any other supplies or materials are clutter and can be distracting.
Sort and File. Divide your workspace into specific zones and create a filing system. Choose a system that works for you, whether it’s metal stacking trays or baskets. Be sure to pick a method that you will stick with. A good rule of thumb for deciding what deserves the best real estate space on your desk it that the items you need often, pens, a notebook, should all be within an arms-reach.
Declutter. Get rid of old papers, magazines, and other unnecessary items that have been lying around your workspace. This also includes taking those empty coffee cups and Diet Coke cans to the kitchen to wash or recycle.
Paper Trail. While many offices are attempting to become paper free, the truth remains that paper is still a daily struggle for most businesses. To avoid clutter, create a system to keep paperwork organized. While participating in Fall office cleaning, go through the large piles of paper that have accumulated over the past months.
Sort through the Junk Drawer. This gets its own number aside from the overall “Organize” because let’s face it, this is most likely the worst area of your office, and possibly, there’s more than just one. While you may want to put off your “everything” drawer at the top of your desk that should be the first place you tackle. Use some type of divider to prevent your desk drawers from becoming cluttered and unmanageable. Toss those dried ink pens, sort through the post-it notes and try implementing a system just for these drawers.
Organize your Desktop. Fall-cleaning your workspace isn’t just about the tangible items that are cluttering up your space. Organize your desktop icons, documents and emails. Organize your inbox like you would your paper files using folders, flags, or other functions available through your operating system.
Dust and Disinfect. Use a microfiber cloth and disinfecting cleaner to wipe down all of your hard surfaces, including desks, chairs, tables, and shelves. Don’t forget about the phone, keyboard, mouse, printer, fax machine, and computer screen.
Pleasure vs. Business. Many of us have the pleasure of telecommuting for work in today’s corporate world and it’s important to keep that home office free of distraction. Have a designated space for work mail and research tools and encourage housemates or family members to respect your space and keep their items out of your area.
Happy Fall-Office Cleaning!