Spring Clean Your Office

According to a recent survey, 57% of people admitted to judging a co-worker based on the cleanliness of his/her office. I know I’m guilty (of both the judging and the messiness). So, since we’d all rather be judged on the quality of our work, let’s talk about some spring cleaning tips for the office—ideas to de-clutter both individual offices and your company premises as a whole.

Anyone organizing a workspace should begin by asking themselves, “What do I want from my office space, and is it meeting my needs?” So says organization expert Peter Walsh. Efforts to de-clutter won’t do any good if the space encourages people to be messy. Identify places that tend to get messy very quickly. Does mail pile up quickly on your desk, or on the counter? Reclaim your horizontal surfaces by designating a specific place for everything that clutters up your space. Put the “place” in a convenient location for what the “thing” is. For example, if you have to walk all the way across your office to retrieve client files, of course they’re going to pile up on your desk. Sometimes there’s only so much you can do about this, but do your best to make adjustments where you can to de-clutter your office.

Do you feel that you don’t need spring cleaning tips so much as a spring cleaning box of matches? I joke. Spring is a great time for tackling those files from six years ago that seem to be bursting out of the cabinets. Begin your organizing by setting a goal for the process. Decide which parts of your office could benefit from some spring cleaning tips, and commit to organizing those areas first. The second best advice I can give: ask for some help. Most efforts to clean out files aren’t rocket science—even a new hire can follow a list of “save this,” “pitch that,” “scan that.” Remember, converting to digital as much as possible will save future headaches like this. Speaking of…

In addition to physical workspace, it is important to de-clutter digital workspace. A desktop full of icons, or an overflowing email inbox can be just as stressful (and probably judgment-worthy) as physical clutter. Spring cleaning tips for organizing your digital space include: organize your email inbox by folders, keep your computer desktop icons to a minimum, and set aside one afternoon every three months for organizing (read: deleting) old files that you don’t need. If you are concerned about losing data, talk to your IT department about archiving your files in a safe space that is not your desktop.

What spring cleaning tips do you have for the office? Let’s get some good ideas… because the idea people shouldn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting. Right? Right?

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Zepfanman.com