Depending on where you live it may not look like it outside; but it is now officially spring. For many of us, that means spring cleaning our homes or apartments, so why not use the new season as an excuse to clean our workspaces too. Here are some tips to help your work area look spotless this spring:
1. Part with your papers
Sometimes it seems like papers on your desk multiply overnight, and it doesn’t take long for them to overtake your workspace. That’s why it’s important to try to organize them as you get them. This may mean creating a filing system where you can put the papers away depending on their importance or subject. Another way to file them (if you are not required to keep a paper copy) is to scan the papers and then save them in files on your computer. If you don’t need the papers, then recycle them. Another thing that works great is to keep a shredder near your desk so you can take care of them right away. This will cut down on the endless “need to shred” piles that take up valuable work space.
2. Keep some distance from your stuff
Many professional organizers suggest only keeping your most important items within arm’s reach; so anything you need to use on a daily basis. This may include your computer monitor, keyboard and mouse, phone, etc. Anything you don’t use all of the time, maybe your stapler or tape, should be put away in a drawer to help reduce the clutter on your desk. If you’re like me, you have enough pens at your desk to last until retirement, and they can quickly mess up your desk. Choose just a few you need and put the rest in your desk or get a separate under desk pencil drawer so they are in close reach just in case you need that free pen you got at your bank in 2002. While you are de-cluttering your workspace, don’t forget to look under your desk too. Unkempt, knotted up wires can be a distraction too, so you’ll want to find a way to keep them neat and tidy, whether through a system you’ve concocted or a wire management system.
3. De-clutter your digital desktop
Sometimes we just focus on cleaning up the physical work space in front of us, and then we sit down in front of a digital disaster. You’ll want to take some time to clean your computer desktop and email inbox too. Cleaning your desktop and filing things away in an orderly fashion, will make things easy to find at a second’s notice, and emptying your inbox can actually provide a big weight off your shoulders. Plus, trust me, it’s much easier to clean out a hundred or so messages instead of thousands, and you’ll avoid that dreaded “inbox is almost full” message.
4. Give your desk a deep clean
Once you straighten your desk and have a nice, visible workspace, this is the best time to give everything an actual deep cleaning too. Wipe down and disinfect everything, clean out your keyboard and give everything a good dusting. It’s amazing how much better a clean work space can make you feel.
5. Amp up your ergonomics
It’s just as important to make your work space comfortable as it is clean. You can do this by making sure your traditional desk or height adjustable office desk area is ergonomically correct. We’ve made that process easy through our guides that explain how to make both your sitting and standing work spaces ergonomic. Following these guides will help prevent many health concerns and, since you’ll feel better, you’ll be more productive too.
- Guide: How to set up an ergonomically correct office space
- Tips on setting up your standing desk ergonomic work station
6. Make it a group effort
We are all busy, so sometimes clea
ning our work space just doesn’t seem to fit into our calendars. So, why not set aside a designated time when your whole office can come together and clean. This will allow you and your co-workers to focus on the task at hand, rather than feel like you have to find time to add yet another task to your day. Since a “cleaning day” may not scream fun for many people, there are things you can do to make it an enjoyable experience: make it a potluck, play music to get people motivated, or maybe even give prizes for the cleanest work space or “the most improved.”
7. Sing while you spruce up your space
I think music can make chores much more fun. The Huffington post released their “Best Songs To Clean Your House To” playlist, and I think these songs would work perfectly for cleaning your office too. Click here to access their playlist. If these suggestions aren’t quite your style, then pick your favorite songs… and straighten away!
8. You could leave it to the professionals
If cleaning really isn’t your thing, or you’ve tried and tried to get things tidy with no success, maybe it’s time to leave it to the professionals. There are many professional organizers out there who can help you get a grasp on your situation and teach you the best ways to get organized. If this is ok with your boss and you do decide to go this route, make sure you are hiring someone reputable. You can check to see if he/she is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, or turn to family and friends for recommendations.
9. Add cleaning to your calendar
Once you have your work space clean, try your best to keep it that way. Take a few minutes each day to re-tidy everything and even block out the time on your schedule if need-be to make sure to stick to it. It’s a lot easier to spend a few minutes picking up each day, than having to set aside large blocks of time to make things look neat after letting them pile up for months. Before you leave for the day take a look at your work space and ask yourself “does it look professional?” And while day to day devotion to keeping things clean is great, you may also want to come with a plan of how you can keep things neat and organized over the next year… which may include planning more group cleaning events.
There are many things you can do to keep your work space clean and tidy. Not only will this keep you looking professional, it should make you feel less stressed. This in turn will allow you to do the best job you can, and look forward to what spring can bring (instead of cleaning).
Do you have a go-to cleaning playlist? Or do you have a great idea of how to get a group together to clean? Feel free to share them in the comments; we’d love to hear what has worked for you!