As we approach the new year, there is no better time to clean up and organize your office space. This is a great habit to build and maintain as there are significant benefits tied along with it. Having a clean area to work in creates a sense of self-efficacy, maximizes productivity, decreases stress levels, and improves overall wellbeing. Cluttered desks, on the other hand, have been linked to procrastination, higher stress levels, and reduced self-confidence. If your initial thought when you sit down at your desk is, “Where do I begin?”, then perhaps it’s time for a desk cleanup.
Decluttering Your Desk
The first step in cleaning your desk is to sort through and purge all unnecessary items. Clutter on your desk is bound to build up over time. You may have little notes lying around that haven’t been looked at in months, pens that have run out of ink, and personal belongings scattered every which way. If there are important papers that you must keep, place them in their appropriate folders and store them. Aside from your work tools, any items that haven’t been used in six months or longer should be tossed or recycled.
The second step is to organize. Grouping like-things together will make your items more easily accessible. Keep all pens, pencils, highlighters, and permanent markers together in one spot. Follow suit with all of your electronics, folders, notebooks, sticky pads, and personal belongings. Items that are not used frequently should be stored inside bins if possible. As soon as you are done with an item, immediately return it to its home. Skipping this step is the main culprit when it comes to desk clutter.
The third step is to make your space neat. Store grouped items in areas based on frequency of use. For example, pens and notebooks should be stored closest to you if they are used often. Labeling everything is optional, but it can help when you need an item quickly. Long wires may cause accidents and can even be a fire hazard, so we recommend keeping them taped against the wall, or secured with velcro strips so that there are no excess wires in sight. Another great tip is to dedicate a “landing spot” on your desk, which will be the only spot that you can place items on. This will help you build the habit of keeping your items together neatly.
Once your desk is neat and organized, you can focus on digital clutter. If you often find yourself lost in a sea of emails and documents, then digital decluttering is for you. Take time to sort through your files, place them in their appropriate folders, and delete anything old or irrelevant. The same goes for your inbox, where casual messaging often takes place. Clearing your cache and cookies can also help improve your browsing experience. Finally, do not forget to back everything up.
If it has been a while since your last desk cleanup, make time today and start the new year off with a clean slate. We have created a list of office organization tips that you can reference to as you start the process. Click the link below to download our free office organization tips resource.