Clearing Up Office Clutter in 4 Steps
A messy office or workspace is more than just an eyesore—office clutter can damage your professional image, according to a study by OfficeMax. This study found that 40 percent of employees assume their messy co-workers must also be lacking in other aspects of their job if they can’t handle their office clutter. Furthermore, 13 percent of people claimed to have a lower overall opinion of their messy colleagues.
The Messy Truth About Office Clutter
In addition to judgment from co-workers, workplace clutter also negatively impacts other aspects of work life. Productivity decreases if you are constantly searching for misplaced papers or files, and stress can add up if you are being bypassed for promotions due to your apparent lack of detail and organization.
To be fair, there have been discussions lately about the potential creativity that office clutter can inspire. While there is something to be said about finding inspiration in chaos, this sort of environment can be distracting for modern offices that typically feature some sort of open desk plan. So what can you do to minimize workplace clutter?
Simplify Your Space
A clean workspace means mental clarity for everyone in your office. When files are neatly organized and old papers, post-it notes, and memos are tossed, prioritizing and completing tasks becomes easier. Confidential items such as budgets or financial documents should be locked away or shredded. An organized workspace can also lead to a reduction in workplace injuries if there are no boxes or miscellaneous items for co-workers to stumble over.
Steps to a Less-Cluttered Office
- Organize your desk.
This is probably the most obvious yet important step. Assess what is on top of your desk compared to what needs to be there. Most likely, there are random papers and old notes or memos that are no longer relevant. Recycle or shred those items to keep them from piling up.
- Take out your trash.
Many offices have a cleaning service, depending on the office size. However, don’t wait for someone to clean up after you. Throw away your snack wrappers and lunch takeout boxes. Wash out your coffee cup. Better yet, encourage your team to stop eating lunch at their desk. If you don’t eat there, the mess can remain minimal. Eating at your desk also has some negative side effects related to your health and your job—avoid it!
- Organize your file cabinet or desk drawers
Office clutter doesn’t only apply to the things your co-workers can see as they walk by. Your desk drawers should be clean and efficiently organized. Grab some hanging file folders and get to labeling. Separate individual compartments for office supplies. Opening your drawers should be easy on the eyes and easy to navigate.
- Spend 5 minutes cleaning per day
Instead of perusing social media, take a few minutes before you leave each day to tidy up your space. When you walk in the next day, office clutter won’t weigh you down. Have your team take five minutes before walking out the door and save yourself from some unnecessary frustration in the morning.
Say Goodbye to Your Mess
Office organization can seem daunting if you don’t have a concrete strategy in place. Be sure to check out the collection of online training courses available at KnowledgeCity for more information on how to manage your space safely and protect yourself while at your desk all day.