Though they say that a messy desk is conductive of productivity, it turns out that coworkers could be judging you on the basis of what your workspace looks like. A survey shows that nearly 57 percent of American employees judge their coworkers that have a messy desk. Very often, a dirty workspace is attributed to laziness (ouch!).
Even if you’re the busiest person at the office, there are certain easy and quick things you can do to maintain order, get rid of clutter and keep your desk spotlessly clean.
Zoning Works Miracles for the Hectic Workspace
Just like you can use zones to organize the garage (here, you can insert a link to the garage cleaning article), zoning your workspace can do miracles for keeping order. Think about how you utilize the workspace every single day and come up with a zone plan on the basis of this information.
For example, you can have a zone that’s completely clear and used to do work. Dedicate a separate zone to office supplies and stationery, a zone to personal items (family photos, your bottle of water, a flower pot) and a communication zone that holds your phone, your notes, letters, a fax machine or anything else that you use during daily professional interactions.
Have a List of Daily Cleaning and Organization Tasks
No matter how busy you are, you can dedicate five minutes in the beginning and the end of the workday to doing a bit of cleaning and organizing.
Some of the daily tasks you should consider executing include wiping the surfaces, putting files in order or adding new documents to the files, throwing away everything that you no longer need, rinsing your coffee mug, making sure that your computer screen is clean and removing dirt from the keyboard.
If you stick to this daily routine, you’ll soon find your workspace to be much better looking and a lot more welcoming.
Don’t Let Clutter Take Over
Once you get in the habit of postponing the workspace cleaning, you’ll find yourself having to handle a humongous task when you decide to finally deal with the mess.
Don’t let the clutter take over your workspace. Deal with the mess immediately, otherwise you will be overwhelmed by the process. Put the file that you just used back in its place. You have a couple of drawers – place things inside instead of on top of the desk. If you don’t need those letters anymore, have them shredded and recycled. The more you let things remain in your workspace, the more difficult it’s going to be to get rid of those.
Keep a Trashcan Nearby
People that have to get up and walk across the room in order to throw something away will most likely refrain from doing so.
Something as basic as the physical proximity of a trash bin will make it so much easier for you to get rid of everything that you don’t need. Otherwise, these items will simply remain on your desk.
Drawers are Nice but They should be Organized, as Well
Do you have a “throw it all inside” drawer? Most of us do. This is the place we use for easy de-cluttering and getting rid of all the items on the surface. This drawer, however, isn’t making things better. It’s simply keeping the clutter out of sight.
Open the drawer and go through all of the items stored inside. How many of these things are you actually going to use ever again? When in doubt about a certain item, throw it out – you’re not going to use it.
When you’re done with the cleaning process, try to get the drawer organized. Some of the best drawer organizing ideas are really simple and they’ll keep everything within your reach.
Deal with Those Personal Items
Office clutter can stem from your personal items, as well.
Make sure that every single piece has its specific place and keep it there. Hang a hook on the cubicle wall – it’s simple and incredibly effective for keeping your outwear away from your desk. Don’t just throw it on the back of the chair – it looks bad and it certainly is messy.
The same applies to your handbag – the hook can be positioned beneath your desk for added convenience.
If you often meet with clients or business partners in your office space, make sure there are enough hooks and opportunities for the guests to leave their personal items there. Such simple decisions create visual consistency and they make your space look much more professional and welcoming.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial