10 Spring Cleaning Tips For Your Office Space
If you want to get started organizing but feel overwhelmed by everything you need to do, pause—take a deep breath. It will take far less time than you imagine, and anything is manageable when taken in bite size chunks. Here are some steps toward maximizing your desk and storage spaces in order to improve your desk and storage spaces.
- Start with a deep purge.
All right, you inner (and not-so-inner) hoarders out there—it’s time to shed a few layers of stuff. What haven’t you used in a really long time? What files are so outdated they’ve just been living in a manila folder collecting dust? Do you have and silly desk toys or decorations that are taking up too much space or aren’t relevant to your personality anymore? Get rid of them! Be sure to recycle where you can, but it all needs to go.
Literally. Remove everything off the surfaces of your space. Pull out your Windex, your disinfecting wipes, and your computer monitor cleaning solution, and get cleaning. If you feel like getting really crazy with it, clean inside your drawers as well. When was the last time you did this, anyway?
- Define areas.
Before you put everything back, divide your workspace into different zones where different activities will occur from now on. For example, your main workspace will probably be at your desk where your computer is, your information zone will be all your files and folders of reference information, etc.
Make sure that the things you use the most, from your computer to your stapler, are within close reach from your usual position in your workspace. There’s no need to overexert yourself finding an item you need regularly.
- Organize your storage spaces
Time to put everything back on your desk in your pre-determined zones. Within your zones, organize everything so it is clean and accessible—try using filing folders, trays, and boxes to keep your papers neat and out of the way. Use your storage spaces wisely, organizing your drawers so that each one contains similar items—have a supplies drawer, a personal drawer, etc.
- The dreaded catch-all drawer.
You know that one drawer that you use to just get things out of the way and out of sight? Time to confront it. You probably don’t even remember everything that’s in there anymore. Try grabbing some drawer dividers and compartmentalize it! You’re wasting a very valuable organization space. Revisit it every so often, too. We know you’ll throw more stuff in there again.
- Organize your computer desktop.
Your actual desktop isn’t the only one that needs de-cluttering. Look at all those icons all over your screen! Random images you’ve saved and forgotten, all kinds of documents, file names that don’t mean anything to you anymore. Time to sort through them all and either delete them or move them to their appropriate folder. And if you don’t have a folder for it, make one!
- Revise your files
Are you still storing files on paper that can be stored digitally today? Are there still files that are necessary to keep on paper? Whether digital or physical, make sure all your files are necessary and relevant and aren’t just taking up space.
Delete duplicates and misprints, and backup all your files online to an external hard drive or other backup location (this is very important for ensuring nothing is ever lost, even during a system failure). Organize your files into folders with easy-to-navigate titles so you know exactly where to find everything.
- Hang-up hooks
Coats, scarves, jackets, and purses will quickly take over your workspace without their own designated area to go to, especially in the winter. Try posting some hooks on the wall to have a designated space for all your outer-wear, so you and your colleagues don’t have to step over a million personal items to get to your space.
The key to staying organized and preserving all your hard work is to do a little self-maintenance every day. At the end of your workday, take a few minutes to clean up and put away everything you used that day. Make sure you didn’t leave any paper scraps or food crumbs, properly file your documents, and maybe even give your computer a quick wipe-down. If you do a little every day, you can keep your desk the way it was always meant to be—organized.
There are few people who genuinely enjoy the acts of cleaning and organizing—most feel that it takes too much time, devotion, and patience, qualities we all struggle with from time to time. But in reality, the time that we waste searching for items in cluttered spaces amounts to so much more time than it would ever take for you to clean your space. Additionally, having a clean and organized office space reduces personal stress levels and improves your image at work.