Keeping an office clutter free can be a hard task to accomplish, even a well organised business can struggle keeping their surroundings looking presentable as the paperwork and items build up leaving you with a messy desk lacking free space when you actually need it.
The following tips are just the first steps you can take to help remove some of the causes of mess and will help keep your office space clutter free like a well oiled machine.
1 . The Purge
The first step in your journey to a clutter free enviroment is simple – Throw out what you don’t need.
Grab yourself a garbage bag and start throwing out all the junk that you don’t need. The best way of doing this is to make 2 piles; The KEEP pile and the TRASH pile.
Go through all your possessions and start the purge …
Do you really need Every piece of stationary under the sun? Are the items on your desk something you use often or is it a “Maybe one day I’ll need it” Item? If so, then in the TRASH pile it goes – This is no time to be a hoarder, our goal is to minimise the amount of useless stuff you have around you.
The final part of this step is to throw out the trash. This may be hard for you to do , but trust me, once you do and you are rid of that clutter, you will feel relaxed and glad you did.
2. Storage Solutions
One of the culprits for a messy desk is bad storage. If you don’t have a proper place to put your items, then they generally just end up in a pile on your desk or in the corner until you are overwhelmed with the mess.
The right storage could be the difference between a presentable office and one looking worse for wear.
Choosing the right type of cupboards, cabinets and file drawers for your situation will drastically improve the way you organise your office, and if you followed Step 1 then you will already have a good idea of what items you had and what storage you will need to put them away in their own special place.
Handy Tip: –
Organize the drawers on your desk from everyday to sometimes use.
The Top draw should only be filled with items that you use and need everyday. This will make them easy to reach and you won’t have to go hunting around in other draws.
Each draw below it should decrease in usefulness, so the 2nd draw is a Sometimes use, the 3rd a rarely use and so on.
Once you have this system in place then you will quickly and efficiently find what you need, when you need it.
3. Get rid of the Inbox and Outbox
“Get rid of my Inbox & Outbox?” you say.
Yes, the trusty Inbox & Outbox has long been a permanent feature of office desks around the world but this isn’t always the right solution or the best motivator of a clutter free desk.
Firstly the presence of 2 A4 sized trays takes up a fair bit of space on a desk, cutting this down to 1 or even none will give you back valuable space, especially on smaller desks.
Secondly, the side effect of having a Inbox or Outbox is that we tend to use them more as a “Do it later” device and thats where is starts to build up.
The better option would be to have ONE “Today” box. The difference between a in/outbox and a today box is that you put yourself in a mindset that you don’t leave the that day until everything in the Today Box is completed. This will force you to take care of your responsibilities straight away (even more so if you had no box all together) or have the thought in the back of your mind all day that you have a every growing itinery waiting for you a the end of the day before you leave the office.
3. Minimalist Desks
Big desks = Big Mess
Small Desk = Smaller Mess
If the above is true, then it’s not far from the fact that switching to a minimalist desk will help you minimise the clutter you keep.
If you keep your desk to a size that suits your bare minimum needs, there you won’t have space to accrue any clutter. Your desk should be simple; enough space to hold your monitor, a keyboard and mouse and a mug for your morning coffee – thats it.
If you need space for documents to reference off, then invest in floating paper holders that attach to your desk, these will take your documents off your desk and place them infant of you in a easy to read position.
4. Staff Participation
If the issue of clutter is office wide, then a dedicated time to tidy up might be a good solution for you.
Option 1: Giving your staff 15 minutes at the end of each day for a quick tidy up is one option to consider. This will not only make the office a bit cleaner for the next morning, but it will give your staff some time to wind-down after a days of hard work before heading home.
Option 2: Instead of just making your staff clean their areas after a long days work, you organise one day a month (or day of your choosing) and have a staff bonding day. Shut down the office for the day or finish up at midday and invite your staff to come in and spend time together as a team. You can use this day as an opportunity to get your staff to clean the office, but also add in fun team-bonding actives and a BBQ for lunch.
Not only will this get the office looking good, but it will give your staff a day to relax and have fun which will increase productivity when your staff return the next work-day refreshed and ready to work.
These steps are just some of the ways you can start implementing into your office routine today to help reduce that clutter, throw away junk, and have a clean and more importantly distraction free environment to help you focus on you work.
Do you have any tips that will help with minimizing clutter?
I’d love to hear about it. Tweet me @zcleanaus or leave a message on our Facebook page with your stories.
This post is for the Pro Blogger 7 Days to Getting Your Blogging Groove Back Challenge.
Problogger Facebook Group Page