When it comes to organizing office spaces, Spring cleaning isn’t limited to one season. Research shows the average person wastes over four hours weekly looking for papers. That’s two full working days a month (we are skilled mathematicians here at Cartonomy). Keeping office spaces clean isn’t limited to spraying the surfaces to eliminate germs, dirt and dust — although that should happen regularly. It means keeping office spaces organized, clutter-free and an area you’re happy to spend eight (give or take) hours a day. As organized workspaces lead to more efficient employees, we offer you five simple tips on how to better organize and de-clutter your workspace:
Create “Zones:” Start by making different areas of your desk for different daily functions. Do you have a lot of papers, magazines and books? Create your own mini-library with and a filing area for things you want to put away. Using at least one computer screen? Give yourself a designated workspace. Different pen color for different notes? Define a storage area for supplies. Like to snack (who doesn’t)? Put food in its own drawer. Forming zones ultimately allows you to utilize the space you have efficiently and in an organized fashion.
- Establish Boundaries: The separation between business and pleasure doesn’t only apply to office happy hours and co-worker relationships — workspaces need a balance, as well. Often times, employees are given large desks or offices and simply bring in too many personal items. Setting boundaries on what you allow yourself to keep at work (maybe one less picture of your fiancée or puppy) will help reduce clutter and enhance overall productivity as it keeps distractions at bay.
- Separate Everyday Items: There are certain items we keep at our desk that are simply not used on a daily basis. Of course, a laptop, pen(s), Post-Its and a notebook are used every day and deserve to be at arms-length. But, often times employees aren’t using their special, ten-pack of Sharpies or tape dispensers as frequently. Storing these lesser used items in an easily accessible spot (without hiding them from yourself) will clear up desk space, creating a less cluttered area to work.
- Don’t Ignore the Junk Drawer: We all have that one drawer where we toss everything we’re not currently using to revisit “later.” This drawer often becomes a headache as practically useless objects continue to be accumulated over time. Our advice: give the drawer as much attention as your everyday desk space. Clean it out regularly and, to avoid a junk drawer altogether, toss unused items away (we bet you will eventually).
- Don’t Wait: The best way to maintain an organized and cleanly workspace is to tidy it up regularly. Encourage yourself to come up with a system that best suits your lifestyle and habits, and stick to it. Maybe that means filing old papers twice a week. Others may find it easier to set aside 15 minutes at the end of the day to throw things away, put away all supplies and file accordingly. If you are prone to forgetting non-urgent tasks, create regular calendar reminders that pop up in your email or keep sticky notes on your computer screen.
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall…happy cleaning from Cartonomy!