It’s that time of year again, when the sun starts to shine through the office windows and we all feel generally better about things. It’s also however also the point when many of us get a harsh reality check: there is a layer of dust across every surface! As you look around the office and get that sinking feeling, you see that not only is everything a bit grubby but there are files, paperwork, desktop items and toys from Christmas crackers that have long been discarded! It’s time for a spring clean, but where to start? Fear not, here at Office Monster we’ve written a five-point plan that will help you to tackle your work space and to create a clutter free environment that allows you to be more productive while also putting a smile back on your face.
1. Simple tasks first
Ok, don’t panic. Although it may look like an impossible task right now, it’s all about breaking it down into bite sized chunks. Put all paperwork into piles and go through each one at a time. Make a heap of those things that you want to keep and others that you want to throw away. When you’ve cleared your desk, think about how you can file your work so that you have more order and can be more organised. Think about how much better you would feel with some simple hanging files or folders that could keep things in order. It’s not about breaking the bank but about putting some simple processes in place that will make this annual mountain more of a mole hill to climb in the future. Once this is done, sit down with a well-earned cuppa and take the documents that can be discarded. Now simply put them through a shredder. A great job for the end of a busy day. Step one complete.
2. A clean sweep
Take the chance while your desk is clear to give it a good clean. Firstly, take a multi-surface spray and a dry or slightly damp cloth. Wipe across the whole surface making sure to add a little more pressure to any marks or stains that remain. Using an air duster spray, direct the nozzle to keyboards and any other areas that are particularly difficult to reach to remove any unwanted crumbs, dust particles and hair. Finally, wipe down your phone, mouse, mouse mat and monitor before placing all of the items back on your desk. Now step back and take a deep breath, you’re getting there.
3. You’ve got the look
Although many of us will sit at our desks for hours at a time, we seem to forget that we need some stimulation through the day and that means adding some personality to your space. Take ownership and add some colour and class to your desk top. Whether you want a bright pink paper tray, a copy holder to keep your paperwork in order or a blue desk top stationery organiser, you can use this time of year as the perfect excuse to kick out the old and bring in the new. Furthermore, put a photograph or a plant on your desk, replace your mouse mat, add a coaster and order a quirky phone holder. Go on, be a devil, it will make you feel so much better when you are surrounded by items that are simply more ‘you’.
4. It’s all about the storage
It doesn’t matter whether you work in a huge open plan office or a small box room, simple storage that can be stacked to save space is an absolute blessing. Choosing clear storage boxes that can be sealed using clipped lids means that you can file away any items that you need to keep or paperwork that for legal requirements you may need to produce at a later date. Stack the boxes in a cupboard or against a wall and add simple labels so that you know exactly what’s inside when you have to come to access them. Simple storage solutions that save time, space and money.
5. Adding the final touches
There are so many office products that have been designed to make our life easier, yet we continue to struggle on. Think about what tasks take you longest during your working day and what items could help you to become more efficient. As an example, if you struggle to organise your day then why not invest in a desk planner, a wall chart and a to do list? Think about how much simpler brainstorms would be with a flip chart or a white board! If you are working to a budget then do a simple calculation; write down every minute you spend doing needless tasks and then allocate a cost based on what you could charge or complete in that time. This process will show you how much you ‘invest’ in jobs that could become so much more efficient. Sometimes it’s about recognising the things that we need to make our working life simpler; work smarter, not harder.
Many of us forget to celebrate when we complete a mammoth task like de-cluttering and updating our office but here at Office Monster we love any excuse to have a cuppa and break into the biscuit barrel – or better still enjoy some sweet treats with our colleagues. Leave the guilt at the door, this is one success you really should raise your mug to.