Spring is in full bloom which means it’s time to revisit the seasonal office cleaning conversation. Keeping your workspace neat and tidy is simple in theory but when deadlines are looming, it’s usually the first to drop off your priority list. Freshen up your office with this spring cleaning refresher, we’ll touch on all of the top criteria for a spic and span work environment.
Your workstation is where you spend most of your time and a crowded space can be distracting and overwhelming. Take the time to declutter your desk or cubicle. With a clean slate you’ll be able to refocus your priorities, clear your mind and reinvigorate your workday.
Declutter files and papers on your desk
- Go over the stack of paper on your desk and throw out reports you no longer need.
- Use folders, binders, or expanding file folder wallets to store important documents you think you’ll need later on. Storing these folders in wall files, magazine files, or desktop file sorters will free up a lot of space on your desk.
- Get a desktop organizer to hold loose pens, markers, paper clips, post it pads, and other small objects on your desk.
- Revisit post-it notes on your monitor and throw out reminders you no longer need.
- Don’t overdo it on organizers and containers though. Some coworkers tend to hold on to pretty containers which can quickly become clutter if you’re not careful. Think less is more.
Organize your desk drawers
- Throw out old pens, condiments and any other clutter that tends to accumulate at the bottom of your desk drawer.
- If your company receives a lot of freebies that were nice to have at the time–like power banks or charger cables–you may want to consider re-gifting it or giving it to someone who might have better use for it.
- Small objects like staples and binder clips can end up at the bottom of your desk drawer, keep them within reach with a simple drawer organizer.
- Take home personal items you don’t need at work. That reindeer headband you got last Christmas doesn’t need to live in your desk drawer all year long.
Clean under your desk
- Wipe down loose cables that have most likely accumulated dust. Tie them up with cable ties and keep them off the carpet if you can. Use a cord organizer if available.
Re-evaluate the clutter on your cubicle walls
- If you have anything pinned on your cubicle walls like notes or photos, now may be a good time to revisit them and possibly replace them with newer ones.
Keep your monitor and keyboard dust-free
- Wipe down your monitor with a microfiber cloth.
- Use compressed air dusters to spray dust and crumbs off your keyboard then wipe them down with disinfecting wipes.
- Wipe down your phone and printer (if you have these in your cubicle) with disinfecting wipes.
Tidy meeting and conference rooms will not only keep fellow coworkers happy, they can reduce sick days by preventing the spread of germs too! Avoid the dreaded office cold by keeping your shared spaces neat and clean.
- Wipe down your meeting room table with sanitizing wipes.
- Remove dry-erase marker stains with a whiteboard cleaning solution…clean whiteboards offer a fresh start to share ideas!
- Jotting down agenda notes with a worn out dry erase marker is always a drag. Replace the bad ones in the bunch…the entire company will thank you!
Break rooms are a communal space and are easy to upkeep with some ongoing TLC. Post polite reminders around the trouble areas to keep cleanliness top of mind.
- Wipe down the microwave – Use a damp cloth to rid the microwave of old food or crumbs.
- Clean the coffee maker – Rinse out the pot after daily use and keep the filter clean.
- Empty the fridge – Be sure to notify your team before you start the purge. A courtesy note on the front of the fridge with the cleaning time and date is customary and reminder email is always appreciated.
- Tidy up the countertops – Wipe away crumbs using a damp cloth or sanitizing wipes.
Printer station clutter is easily avoidable with a scheduled cleaning routine that the entire company buys into. Post a polite reminder or cleaning checklist above the printer so everyone is on the same page.
- Recycle old files – It’s amazing how many printouts get left behind at printer stations on a weekly basis. If an all too familiar looking stack of stray prints has been piling up, do the right thing and toss it in the recycling bin or shredder.
- Organize the office supply cabinet – Shared supply cabinets can get out of hand without supervision. Consider labeling where office supplies should go so the entire office can navigate the space…labels will make it easier to notice when a certain supply is missing too!
- Check the supply cabinet stock – With your supply cabinet recently decluttered, take note of any missing items that should be replaced. Put up a reminder note on the inside of the cabinet to encourage employees to notify the purchasing team if something needs to be restocked.
Virtual Clean Up
Spring cleaning should carry over to your virtual workspace as well! Set aside a couple of hours on a Friday to do a digital deep clean of your desktop or laptop…
- Organize your desktop – Old files or documents can quickly clutter your computer’s desktop. Review and remove any unnecessary or outdated files and while you’re at it, consider freshening up your desktop background too. A change of scenery can be nice!
- Organize your email inbox– An optimized inbox can easily increase productivity! Take a few moments (or hours, depending on how cluttered it is) to go through and delete old or redundant emails. If your company uses Microsoft Outlook, Lifehacker has a great article on some quick organizational tips.
- Back up to the cloud or an external hard drive – Backing up files is easier to do than ever with the wide variety of cloud storage options available nowadays…the hard part is remembering to do it regularly! Talk to your company’s IT department to figure out what their preferred service is. External hard drives should still be regularly updated as well, just in case you can’t get online.
- Update your passwords – Most companies have mandatory password changes at least a couple of times a year. The reason? It limits the time a potential hacker can access your precious files. If you can’t remember the last time you updated a certain password, it might be a good time to make the change!
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be an annual event. Encourage your employees to regularly clean their workstations by keeping these basic cleaning materials on hand:
- Disinfecting wipes – for cleaning desk surfaces, armrests, phones, mouse and keyboards
- Microfiber cloths – for wiping down printers and monitors
- Brushes / Electrostatic dusters – for surfaces that collect dust like the top and bottom areas of computer monitors and top of cubicle dividers
A clean work environment is a more productive work environment. Don’t wait until clutter piles up to make a move, if you bake it into your weekly routine and get your co-workers on board, your office will be sparkling clean all year long!