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Spring Clean Your Workspace

It’s that time of year again to tackle your spring cleaning so why not organize the space you spend most of your time at… your desk! After the effect winter can have on you emotionally, mentally and physically, it is a good idea to clear your space while you clear your mind. Organizing your desk does not have to be tedious so here are 8 simple steps in order to accomplish this dirty task: 

1. Declutter
  • First, throw away your trash. Go through everything in your space. Empty out drawers, shelves and any other nook or cranny that you may have been storing with old, outdated files. Ask yourself a few questions:
    • Do I use this regularly?
    • Do I need this?
    • Is this necessary for my job?
  • If you answered "no" to these questions, throw it away. You don't need irrelevant sticky notes and reminders, old to-do lists, unused phone numbers/email addresses, or past project/task details. They are taking up space and you will never need them again. You'll feel relieved and so much better once this process is over.
2. Separate Everything into Sections or Zones
  • Create specified sections in your workspace for things like current tasks, to-do, office supplies, personal items, a "library" for research and an archive or filing area. This will prioritize and organize your tasks. During this step, a label maker will become your best friend. If you find an item that doesn't fit into any of the categories you've created, ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" Keep the items that you need or use daily at an arm's length. Everything else can be stored in a drawer, on a shelf or any other out of reach storage area.
3. Create a Filing System
  • This system will also help you prioritize and organize your files. Create labels such as "read," "to-do," and "to file" or "now," "today" and "later." Prioritize each task and systematically sort them into the appropriate folder. It is recommended to color-code your folders for a better organized, easy to follow system. This will ensure that you remain on task throughout your work day and never misplace an important paper or file. Again, if you come across a paper or document that doesn't fit into any of these folder categories or your filing/archive section, throw it away. 
4. Drawers and Cabinets
  • You probably have a drawer of miscellaneous items such as pens, highlighters, care keys, flash drives, and scattered paperclips or push pins, etc. This drawer needs to be completely cleared out. Get yourself some drawer and desktop organizers and systematically organize your supplies in a way that makes slightly more sense than a dedicated "random" drawer. Make a section for personal items such as keys, a designated area for writing utensils and small organizers or a location for supplies like paperclips and push pins. Test pens and highlighters and throw away the ones that no longer work; it is pointless in keeping them around.
5. Clean-Up your Desktop
  • Your computer or laptop is full of unnecessary clutter as well. Therefore, clearing your desktop is a necessary step in the spring cleaning process. First of all, store anything that you can on your computer instead of on paper. This will help clear up some space on your desk and in your file folders. Clearly and properly label desktop file folders and appropriately place related documents and spreadsheets into their designated folder. Get rid of old, unnecessary and no longer opened file folders and documents and empty your digital trash. This is also a great time to back-up important files and change passwords. While you're at it, go through your inbox and delete old and irrelevant emails. Be sure to check your spam folder as well. 
6. Hooks or a Coat Rack
  • If you work in a larger office with a little extra space, a coat rack will be a convenient edition. Over-the-panel hooks will suffice just fine for smaller cubicles. Use these hooks to store outerwear, coats, an umbrella and your purse to keep these items neatly hung up and out of the way. Your workspace seems cluttered and disorganized when personal belongings like these are hung over your chair, sitting on the floor or lying on your desk taking up valuable space.
7. Short-Term Storage Area
  • Use a small bin, basket or drawer as a short-term storage area for things like magazines, the newspaper or anything else that isn't a necessity to your office but is really just there for you. These items are most likely not work-related but are most likely there for your own entertainment or pleasure. Clean out this storage area a minimum of once a week to prevent it from overflowing with irrelevant and unnecessary items.
8. Disinfect
  • To begin the actual cleaning process, you will need the following:
    • Sanitizing wipes
    • Microfiber cloths
    • Duster
  • Once your cubicle or office is decluttered and organized, the real cleaning process begins. Use the duster for your small s[aces, shelves and all nooks and crannies in your office. Use your microfiber cloth to wipe down your monitor or laptop screen. Finally, wipe down everything in your office (desktop, chair arms, keyboard, mouse, phone, door knob) with disinfectant wipes. This process is probably not done often enough and the last thing you need as spring approaches is to catch a cold in addition to your already existing allergies.
Having to spring clean an additional space is not on everyone's to-do list but is a task that should be prioritized. Once you complete this process your workspace will feel fresher and will allow you to be more focused and productive, reduce your stress and make you healthier and happier!


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