Have you ever walked into a nice, calm, organized office and felt a sense of peace? It might seem superficial, but your workspace can make a really big impact on how productive you are during the work day. Clutter can also make you seem unprofessional, a survey by The Adecco Group discovered that 57% of workers judge a co-worker on the cleanliness of their desk!
If you are always losing things or constantly need to sift through a mess to find what you need it will make you appear disorganized. Declutter your office and it will improve your professional image and give you more mental (and physical) space to do better work.
Get rid of junk
This can be tough, but it’s critical. Taking care of any trash, unnecessary clutter, and removing things you no longer need can be extremely helpful. Be careful not to rid yourself of anything important. Instead, file important information neatly in a labeled binder and file it away in case it is ever needed again. Mostly, you are looking to toss what you no longer need. That way, you are working with a clean space filled with the tools to help you succeed. Get rid of the things that do not support your success and throw out anything you no longer need. This purging of unnecessary items will help to kick off your cleaning efforts.
Pick up organization essentials
Sometimes things get messy simply because we don’t have the tools we need to stay organized. If your office manager has a supplies catalogue, ask if you can order a few trays and binders to get your office under control. If not head to your local office supplies store and pick up a few essentials. These things don’t need to be fancy or expensive, just useful. It might seem unnecessary to add more things to your office in order to make it feel less cluttered, however once you start cleaning you’ll see how helpful they can be for your cleaning efforts.
Start with your desk
Since you work at your desk every day, it is probably pretty cluttered. When you are sitting there working away, your brain might filter out the clutter and so you might not think it is such an issue. Take everything off of your desk and start fresh. As you begin to put things back, ask yourself if it is really an essential item or if you can get rid of it. Consciously sorting everything out will help you to reduce your clutter and keep only what you need.
After your desk is cleaned, start making your way around the rest of your office. This doesn’t have to happen all at once. Working on a section of office space every day or every week will work well. Just ensure you keep cleaning and working to de-clutter your workspace. It will help you to stay more focused and find what you need more easily. Once you hear visitors to your space begin to comment on how nice your newly cleaned space looks, you will probably get motivated to keep up the good work.
Create a cleaning schedule
Whether it is once a week or once a month, develop a cleaning routine. We all get busy, and that can lead to clutter piling up around your office. No matter how hard you work to keep everything clean, you’re bound to get a bit lax every once in awhile. That’s why having a devoted time that you can take care of any little oversights and messy areas is so important. Don’t let your nice clean office slowly get overruled by clutter again. Instead, tackle the issue head-on by making a solid cleaning time and sticking with it.
If you lack the time or the inclination to organize yourself, you are not alone. In recent years there has been a surge in businesses offering their services, like The Clutter Whisperer for offices in New York. If you look online there is a plethora of information offering hints and tips on how to declutter your working environment, so give it a go and see how your business prospers.
Edikan Uko is a business strategist and human capital management professional. She tweets from @EdikanUko.