The groundhog was right: spring is right around the corner! The weather is getting warmer, the grass is getting greener and the snow is finally melting. People like to welcome spring in a variety of ways: new car, new wardrobe, or new apartment.
However, everyone welcomes in spring with a little “spring cleaning.” It’s a fun family activity to clean your house and it’s a plus if you clean your car, but don’t forget to clean the dirtiest place you inhabit: your desk.
Your office, desk or cubicle is the area that you spend most of your day at; thus, it should be the place you clean the most. Not sure where to start?
Here are a few ideas to clean and organize your office:
Organize Your Files
Look around your desk. Is it covered with manila folders, mail envelopes, old reports and client documents? If you said yes to any of these, then organizing your desk “forest” is where you need to start.
If you keep hundreds of folders on your desk because you know you’ll need them in the future, consider sorting them using a paper sorter. This way, you get to keep your folders and keep them organized. Paper sorters will also free up more space on your desk, and save you the time you spent trying to find a specific document.
In addition, a good way to get rid of old – yet important – documents and records is to move them to a document management system. Document imaging systems and document management systems will eliminate the hundreds of papers resting on your desk, and keep them in a secure, easy to access area: your computer.
Document imaging systems will help you convert paper records to electric files, and document management software will help you manage your electronic files. The less paper on your desk, the less mess you will have, and the more organized you will be.
Just because you survived the winter without getting the flu doesn’t mean your desk is germ-free. In fact, your desk contains 400 times more germs than a toilet.
Grab a wet paper towel and get rid of old bread crumbs, dead skin cells, and bacteria resting on the surface. Grab an antibacterial wipe and clean your phone, headset, and answering machine. It’s estimated that telephone systems equipment such as ear and mouthpieces alone carry up to 1,400 different types of bacteria. Gross!
Most importantly, make sure you clean your mouse, keyboard, and monitor. The skin sheds ten millions cells a day, some of which are bound to end up on these frequently-used devices.
Your desk will look clean after you’ve organized everything but you also want it to be clean; disinfecting it weekly and keeping documents organized is the best way to maintain cleanliness.
[Related Post: Work Life Balance: Why Staying Healthy Can Improve Your Life]
Out With the Old, in With the New!
It’s nice that you want to keep your favorite pen and your handy dandy stapler (that doesn’t work) at your desk but in reality, it just adds to the clutter. This spring, consider parting with your favorite office supplies and go out and purchase new ones that actually work.
Throw out old pencils and pick up mechanical pencils that you won’t need to sharpen daily. Mechanical pencils are also cleaner because they won’t leave shavings at your desk. In addition, throw out pens that require caps; if you lose the cap, the pen dries up in a week. Push pens are a better option because they are easy to use, won’t dry up, and tend to be more comfortable.
In addition to office supplies, consider sprucing up your desk area with new photos and decorations. Kelly Moore, the author of Cube Chic: Take Your Office Space from Drab to Fab! says, “if you design your space in a creative way that inspires you, it will inspire you to be more productive.” So go ahead and add updated picture of your family and friends – just make sure it won’t clutter nor take priority of your post-it space.
Start the new season with a fresh and clean start, starting with organizing your office!
Sylvia Rosen is an online writer who enjoys writing articles about how business professionals can improve their daily work life. Whether its health tips such as buying a headset to relieve neck pain or technology tips such as what gadgets you need to run a business, Sylvia enjoys writing about it.