If your monitor is lined up with sticky note reminders and you take about a minute to dig up your phone under piles of paper, then your workplace is definitely in need of office cleaning and organising.
You need to put your workplace in order not just because coworkers may be judging you, but also because it affects your productivity and workplace well being. Numerous studies show that a cluttered workplace is the number one cause for loss of productivity and mistakes during work.
Here is how you won’t let clutter get out of hand:
- Set limits, instead of making piles – if you think the main problem with why you have piles of paper and other work-related items on your desk is that you have little space, you are wrong. The main problem is having too much stuff, to begin with. The best way to tackle the issue is to establish different zones at your workplace to serve as a home for items. For instance, you can have a library, a place for stationery, an area for archived files and clear space for your computer and other electronic devices you use. Just having that is not enough though; you also need to set limits to how much stuff you keep in each of those areas.
- Clean on a weekly basis – staying on top of clutter is of particular importance because it has such a negative impact on your performance. Be consistent in your efforts and take some time to tidy up your work area for 15 minutes every week. Set a reminder, if you think you will forget.
- Don’t place clutter on flat surfaces – just because a surface is unoccupied doesn’t mean you should immediately bring something there. Only keep items you use and avoid putting visual clutter. Keep office supplies in drawers or shelves nearby, to achieve this.
- Disinfection – apart from keeping your workplace in a tidy state, you must also keep it clean. Stains, dust, dirt and various other spoils don’t bode well for your health. Use disinfecting wipes to regularly take care of surfaces and devices you are most commonly in contact with. This will also affect your productivity and also the way coworkers judge you.
- Don’t keep things on the floor – don’t let gym bags, outerwear, spare shoes and whatnot overwhelm the free area you have. You can hang hooks to use and get things off the floor. It is not only more convenient but also much more hygienic and keeps your stuff clean.
- Deal with digital clutter – digital clutter is just as harmful as physical clutter. It should be even easier to organise this aspect of your workplace. Make more folders and digital files for the various digital items you use in your everyday job. Don’t put up a ton of icons on your desktop, as that will only distract you and render you less productive.
By following these strategies, you can significantly ease office cleaning and de-cluttering. You will notice the difference right away and wonder how and why you put up with the mess for so long.