Spring Cleaning Tips for the Office
What better time than the start of a new season to give your office space a revamp? Here are a few simple ways to create a fresh work environment.
Create a Minimal Workspace
We’ve all heard the saying “clear space, clear mind.” Well, this couldn’t be more true! It’s rather straightforward– the more cluttered the space around you is, the more you have to think (or worry) about. Whether it be piles of papers, photos of pets or loved ones, or other random paraphernalia, giving your workspace a minimalist sweep can go a long way. Consider keeping only the items that you use every day within eyesight and store the rest away.
Declutter Your Desktop
With download after download, it’s easy to dump files onto your desktop for the sake of convenience and easy access. But a clear desktop can reduce distraction and improve your focus and productivity. Setting up a filing system on your computer—much like the one you might use for paper documents—with clear names and categories will make it easier for you to find various documents. Delete any unnecessary icons and keep only a “working folder” that contains projects that are current.
Organize your Inbox
Has your inbox reached unmanageable proportions? Well, you aren’t alone—most of us know what it feels like take a few days (or hours) away from the office and return to a bombardment of unanswered emails. Start by deleting any unopened emails that you know you won’t need access to again, and take the time to unsubscribe from promotional mailing lists that you no longer are interested in, or sites that you receive daily updates from (Facebook, Twitter) that you find yourself repeatedly trashing. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be able to filter out the unnecessary and leave room for the truly important—your inbox will thank you!
Purge Old Papers
Drowning in piles of papers? You might be surprised at how little of it you actually need. We often hold onto receipts, pamphlets, flyers, and printouts without considering whether or not we’ll ever return to them. Throw out any papers that are outdated, irrelevant, or could be stored digitally, and keep only the crucial ones. Also, remember to think before you print—you’ll be saving trees and your sanity.
Create a filing system for the papers that you do deem important. This could be as simple as “Active” and “Archive”, or organized by project name. Assess the state of your folders—if they are ragged, replace them with new ones and clear, easy¬ to¬ read labels. Same with your filing cabinet—consider a replacement if drawers have become dented or hard to open. A fully functional filing system can be a real game-changer!
Do a Deep Clean
Does regular cleaning still leave you running from dust bunnies? It’s probably time for something deeper. Start by using a disinfectant wipe on all of the hard surfaces in your area—bookshelves, cabinets, desks…even the walls. Pay special attention to the your electronics and the items that you use every day, including your keyboard, mouse, phone, and iPad, as these have a tendency to get especially grimy. Finally, give your office area a good sweep and vacuum, making sure to get behind furniture and in corners where those elusive bunnies like to hide.
Invest in a Bulletin Board
Trying to go paperless but still feeling sentimental? Instead of forcing yourself to throw out birthday cards, wedding invitations, or other significant memorabilia, purchase a bulletin board to pin them up along with other visual stimuli. Your desk will still be clutter¬-free, but you’ll be able to feel the love from just a few feet away.
Get Some Greenery
Introducing plants into the office has been proven to reduce stress and illness, increase productivity and creativity, and create a better work environment overall. With this many benefits, go ahead and get a little wild with the greenery. However, when deciding which plants to bring in, make sure to consider environmental factors such as air conditioning and extended periods where the plants may be left unattended—aloe, cactus, succulents, and ivy are all good options.