6 Easy Tips On How To Keep Your Office Clean
Throughout the course of our #BusinessDetox campaign we will discuss goal setting, team building, finding inspiration/inspiring your team, communication, efficiency, networking, and much more. The first step of our #BusinessDetox begins with the "body" of your business...the physical location where everything takes place = your office.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -Leonardo da Vinci
The space in which one conducts business, the office, can be seen as the body of the business; it houses all the important work that takes place. It is critical to keep the body/office clean.
For those who work from home (like myself) it is critical to dedicate a space for business. Try to avoid working in a bedroom, find a space that can be dedicated to your professional life. Working from your bedroom will likely have a negative influence on your work habits and may cause your brain to associate your sleeping area with your working area, which can be detrimental to your rest.
1) Declare your "Simple Space." Your desk must have a simple space that needs to be cleared of all clutter. This area should be as spacious as possible and cleaned every time after being used. When leaving your desk, make sure you put everything back in its place, even that one pen. The larger the space, the cleaner your office will be, automatically!
2) A useful technique I invented for my desk at home and applied to my office desk as well is my "Left, Right & Out of Sight Rule." Depending on your set up and which hand you use dominantly, the "Left" and "Right" can be interchangeable. I am a "righty" so to my left are all my essentials that I use throughout the week. To my right, I have my essentials that I use on a daily basis and out of sight are the things that are important to keep but are not used often. If anything in your office seems to not fit into these three categories: daily, weekly, or important but not often, then it does not belong in your office. It either needs to be taken out of your workspace or simply thrown away.
Don't use your office as an extension of your home! In my old office, I had a lot of sentimental articles scattered throughout the room, which quickly turned into clutter. Most of items were gifts from colleagues and mentors but some of it was decor I had brought in from home. This was a big no-no. I love to decorate and create a unique vibe in my office space, but I hadn't realized what I had done until after I cleaned out the whole office. I had way too much unnecessary junk in there, important junk, but junk nonetheless and junk that definitely didn't belong in an office. Which leads me to my next tip...
3) "Two is company, three is a crowd." This is more than just an idiom; it is a rule for appropriately decorating a professional office. Allow yourself to decorate with only TWO personal items per wall. Limiting yourself to two items per wall will force you to prioritize which piece of decor you want most in your professional space. This is a great way to automatically de-clutter your workspace and freshen up the look of your office.
4) Wired up? Wires are one of the biggest annoyances in an office. All of the cords get jumbled and exist more to trap dust than run electricity through them! All you need are two very common items that can most likely be found in your home. 1 – Paper towel/toilet paper rolls and 2 – bread bag tags. Use the brown rolls to gather and hold/cover the wires and use the bread bag tags as labels for the cords. Here are some more easy and effective ways to untangle yourself from overwhelming wires.
5) The Monthly Dust is a Must! Even if your office is organized, dust will attack those clean surfaces! Use moist paper towels to wipe down your desk and office supplies. Try to keep your "important but not often's" in closed boxes to avoid dust bunnies from forming. Unplug all wires and cords to safely wipe those clean too.
6) Spring clean every season! Even after following all of the previous tips, it is very likely that we will face, yet again, the horror of a messy office one day. In order to avoid that, try spring cleaning at least four times a year. Go back into all of your drawers, cabinets, files, and even your computer and trash anything you know you won't be needing. Spring cleaning every season keeps you on track with that you have in your office and what you may need to restock. Also, it will push you to keep your office clean for longer periods of time.
Here's an extra tip, if your small business is set in an office setting where employees have their own desks, set up a cleaning day. Declaring every last Friday of the month as Cleaning Day, for example, will help motivate even the messiest of employees to clean. By setting a day that encourages all employees to clean their workspace, you are not only improving the look of the office, but also the cleanliness...it's like keeping good hygiene for the body. If the standard enforces all employees' desks to be nice and tidy before leaving work the last Friday of each month, it will allow your workers to come in at the beginning of the next month to a clean office space. This will help them focus better and make them feel refreshed with each month!
One item I encourage everyone to have in their workspace is a reminder of their inspiration. If you don't know what inspires you, tune in next week to figure it all out!
Take Away Points
- Create a "Simple Space" and make a habit of cleaning that space every time after use no matter what!
- Use the "Left, Right, & Out of Sight" technique to clean out what you don't need in your office space.
- Go by the "Two is company, three is a crowd" rule to balance your decor and reduce the number of personal items in your office.
- Tidy up your wires with toilet paper rolls and bread bag tags.
- Dust at least once a month.
- Spring clean at least four times a year.
- Set a cleaning day for the entire office to pitch in and clean their space.
- Make sure your inspiration is in a visible location.
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