Can't figure out why your working space is draining the life out of you? You might need some office spring cleaning.
If you are like me, working in a cluttered office can feel suffocating. Spring cleaning your office is one of the office management tools that I think we overlook frequently. For me, the pandemic lit a light bulb in my head, and I quickly realized that the more disorganized my home office was, the less productive I became. It also didn't help that we were in the middle of the world turning upside down. I would find myself making excuses not to go to my office because I got so overwhelmed when I opened the door. That led to me bringing work into other parts of my condo, which is a huge "no, no" when thinking about separating work and home when you're working from home.
With all that being said, and regardless of how big or small your workspace is, I think we should adopt the principle of starting on a clean slate frequently, pandemic or not. Whether you work from home or back in the office, some decluttering will change your life in the best possible way.
These six tips below will help you roll up your sleeves and keep your office organized throughout the year, allowing you to be more productive and at peace in your workspace.
1. Have a vision and a process
Yes, even spring cleaning your office needs you to have a vision and a well-thought-out process. My reasoning behind this is that cleaning is really boring. Regardless of the size of your office, emptying cabinets and sorting out files and drawers is not most people's idea of a good time.
To counteract this problem, a clear vision about what you want your office space to look and feel like will help you stay focused. This is especially true if you work from home because there are no concrete boundaries between your home and office space.
In addition, a vision for what you are planning that year will help you organize your space in a way that supports the direction you are going. An example will be if you work in sales, leaving some space in your filing cabinet if you intend to grow your client base.
Second, having a process will stop any feelings of being overwhelmed and make you efficient in your spring cleaning endeavors.
2. Start with your desk
You spend most of your time on your desk, so naturally, that is where you should start. Ensure that you declutter your desk and create enough space for you to be productive. Only keep the essentials and file or throw away the stuff you don't need. Remember everything on your desk should have a place, so if there is something there that does not and can be stored somewhere else, store it somewhere else.
3. Trash useless emails and files
We are all guilty of hogging unnecessary and old emails, mainly because of this nagging thought that we will need it sometime later. The truth is, most of the things we classify under "might be useful" belong in the trash file.
Take some time to comb through your emails and files. You'll definitely find things that you will never use again.
My goal is always inbox zero on my work emails, and while that does not always happen, because it’s something I am actively thinking about, I don’t typically have a work inbox that is out of control. Now, my personal email account is a whole other story, but I’m not ready for that conversation.
4. Update your common and personal spaces
Spring cleaning is not just about ridding your office of useless things. It's also about changing the ambiance or atmosphere of the whole place. Some new furniture, decor, or paintings can do wonders to the office energy and boost productivity.
Lately, I have been into candles and lighting a few to mix the scents while I work.
5. Go paperless
We all know that every office goes through tons of paper every week. This not only litters your space but also contributes negatively to the health of the environment. If something can be done online, then don't print it. Limit your paper use to things that cannot be done electronically. Though I highly doubt you'll find a lot of them today.
6. Clean your work bag
Sis, I know she's your go-to girl when you're heading to the office, but your work bag accumulates unnecessary baggage that you carry back and forth. If you find yourself unable to locate important items like your notebook or business cards, it probably means your work bag needs some spring cleaning.
All in all, we spend a lot of our time working and having a space that we actually like spending time in makes a huge difference in how the time passes. You are worthy of having a space that brings out the best in you, so take the time and get this spring cleaning done!