Spring is the time to clean and organize, to purge and declutter. And while many associate this idea with bathroom scrubbing and drain unclogging, it’s equally important to apply spring cleaning at the home office.
If you work from home, it is always a good idea to give yourself the time and opportunity to declutter and organize your workspace. An excuse that many workers may have for not organizing their workspace is that they do not feel they have the time. By taking the time to do some spring cleaning at the home office, you ensure that you feel more comfortable and productive.
Continue reading to find out how to best begin spring cleaning at the home office so you can continue to convey a sense of care and professionalism.
Organize your Desk
One of the first steps you’ll want to take is to declutter and clean your desk. An OfficeMax survey indicated that 77% of employees felt that clutter in their workspace had an unfavorable impact on their productivity.
Not only can a messy and unorganized workplace be a negative distraction, but it can send the wrong message to visitors, potential clients, and your employees. A recent study from the University of Michigan found that workers with messy desks were often believed to have negative personality traits and were deemed less agreeable. To avoid this kind of negative image, you should maintain an organized and professional-looking desk. Keep in mind that people can also see your home office during a video conference call.
Remove old sticky notes and memos and, most importantly, pick up any garbage that you might have left lying around such as empty drink cans or food wrappers. An unorganized desk is one thing, but a dirty desk with trash on it sends a negative message to anyone around you (physically or virtually).
Get rid of any items that do not work and cannot be fixed such as broken or empty pens. Donate or store anything that you have multiples of and do not use on a regular basis such as power bars, staplers, etc.
Once you have cleared your desks of useless things and spare items, you can begin to tackle your paperwork.
Invest in a Proper Filing System to Manage Your Paperwork
If you do not already have a filing cabinet, then it is time to get one. Mobile pedestals are small and easy to move, making them the perfect option for any workspace. Some file cabinets come with hutches to double your storage space and help you keep your paperwork in order.
Once you have a filing cabinet, it is important to maintain its organization. Only keep papers that your company requires to function properly. Old files that need to be saved for tax purposes can be stored elsewhere. These are best stored in boxes and moved to a supply room or in the basement where they will remain safe, but also out of the way.
Recycle any documents that are no longer useful or relevant. If you have sensitive documents that you do not feel comfortable disposing of, try shredding them. A paper shredder can easily keep up with your large amount of paperwork.
Removing piles of paperwork and stray files from your workspace is an essential part of spring cleaning at the home office, and it will feel like a breath of fresh air.
Give Digital Decluttering a Try
Now that you have your important documents and papers in order, it’s time to tackle your digital files. You probably have tons of digital files, most likely too many to count. Give yourself the time to declutter your digital workspace.
The first step you need to take is to delete any unnecessary files. A good place to start is in your downloads folder. If there’s anything important in there, you can safely assume you saved it in the proper place after downloading it. If not, now’s the time to do so.
Then, go through your folders and remove anything that is not vital to your work. Afraid you might one day need those files? Save them on a drive or the cloud, but don’t overdo it; recent studies suggest that digital hoarding can cause stress and anxiety, ultimately impacting your productivity at work. Always carefully consider the importance of a file before saving it.
If you haven’t already done so, you should organize your folders. Avoid throwing everything into one giant work folder. Create subfolders within your main folders and carefully sort through your files. It might be time consuming, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Once everything is organized, it will be a breeze to find the information you need. You and will spend more time being productive and less time wandering through a maze of digital files.
Redecorate your Space
Once you’ve organized your office, you should strongly consider redecorating. Adding a fresh coat of paint or some new artwork around your workspace will help you feel engaged.
Even if you already have paintings and colorful walls or furniture, you should think about moving them around or adding something new. Changing things up in your environment will stimulate you and bring new life into your routine.
Think about what you would like to see around your home office. Studies on workplace personalization have shown that workers who take the time to personalize their spaces are ultimately more productive. If you do not have the space for a few keepsakes, you might want to consider adding a low storage unit or bookcase to your workspace.
Redecorating your own space is also vital to your well-being and overall productivity. If many of your employees and colleagues find themselves working from home too, then recommend that they take the time to personalize their space as well.
We hope you now feel prepared to implement spring cleaning at the home office and wish you the best of luck!