Let’s face it, we’re all super busy—running into back-to-back meetings, prepping presentations, completing projects, running reports… not to mention a whole other slew of to-dos. So, it’s easy to neglect your desk space.
When papers pile up and desk drawers get cluttered, it’s natural to get a wee-bit overwhelmed. Somehow, projects become more challenging when you can’t find the notes you need. Or, it becomes impossible to focus when there’s barely even enough room on your desk for your keyboard (sad to say… but, we’ve been there people!).
Work is stressful enough. So, there’s really no need to make things tougher with a completely chaotic office. When it comes to spring cleaning, most of our friends (including us—we’re guilty of this one!) tend to their closets and other household spaces but forget about their workspace—the one place that they actually spend the majority of their time!
With springtime in full force, we figured it’s the perfect time to pass on a few of our tips for spring-cleaning an office space.
And if you’re anything like us, then you’re one busy lady. So take our recco: Make a point to come in early or stay late one day to get your office into tip-top shape. Trust us, it’ll be worth it. And who knows, you may even get a little career bump in exchange for your spring-cleaning deeds. Just like clothing, a workspace can say a lot about an employee (like it or not!)—so a tidy and organized office might just open the door to working on that big project you’ve been hoping for or it may even help you land your next promotion!
Tip 1. Tackle heaping piles of paper. We all have it… That one ginormo paper pile that seems to get higher and higher each week. It’s probably a mix of notes and reports (that you actually need!), plus six-week old meeting agendas and other handouts that really should’ve never been printed in the first place. The time has come to confront the pile. Recycle or shred all the pages you don’t need. Then, organize the remaining papers into a few different categories (according to projects or according to work in-progress/complete)—safely file the remaining docs in a handy place (see Tip 2).
Tip 2. Set up a filing system that you’ll actually stick to. This sounds like a big task—but it can be done in 20 mins (or less!). And, it’ll make a HUGE difference later down the line. Bust out the file folders and labels, and get to work. Be honest with yourself… If it seems impossible to keep up with a million different folders, keep your system simple. Label folders broadly, so they can become catchalls for papers that would typically start to pile up on your desk.
Tip 3. Rid your desk space of non-essentials. In all honesty, you only need to keep items on top of your desk if you use them on a daily (or even hourly) basis. These are things like pens, a notebook, a desk calendar, and a laptop/computer. Everything else can be tossed, stored in a drawer/shelf, or filed away. Stick to this rule of thumb, and you’ll find that it’ll be super easy to maintain a clutter-free work environment moving forward.
Tip 4. Organize your top desk drawer. A top desk drawer can quickly become a hodgepodge of anything and everything—from snacks and take-out menus to office supplies and business cards. Once again, purge the junk to make room for day-to-day items that you actually need.
Tip 5. Give your space a good ‘ol wipe down. Last but not least, don’t forget to straight-up clean. If you typically eat meals at your desk, it’s a good idea to disinfect your space and give it a thorough wipe down. Also, remember to clean your computer screen and keyboard. Well-Kept towelettes always help us do the trick!
Have other great tips for giving your office a spring-cleaning? Tweet us @OfMercer.