It’s a new year! Time to set resolutions and move forward! As you get back into the groove of work, it’s a great time to get yourself organised and set up for the year ahead.
Here are 10 steps to creating and keeping a clean and tidy desk:
- Take time out to clean and organise your desk. Remember that old saying “a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind”? Making your workspace clear and organised will lead to a more productive working environment. Not to mention, it will impress your boss!
- Re-evaluate your belongings and get rid of or file away anything you are no longer using – remember to recycle paper appropriately or better yet, use it as scrap paper. Put any unneeded stationery items (i.e. folders) in the stationery cupboard so they can be reused.
- Create a space or file for everything. If you have a place where every item belongs and can go back into after you have used it then theoretically your desk can be left clean and tidy every day.
- Organise items by importance. When you are re-organising your desk think about what you use most often and make sure these items are closest to you.
- Clean your desk off at the end of each day. Allow yourself five to ten minutes at the end of each day to clear your desk and put everything back into its home. If you do this daily this is all the time you should need. This way you can come in the next day to a clean and tidy desk ready to start work. This will also make it easier for the office cleaners to give your desk a wipe down.
- Tackle re-organisation to your computer system and emails. Approach your electronic organization in much the same way as your physical desk. Browse through your emails and delete any you definitely wont need to refer back to and create folders for others.
- Scan in documents you no longer need in hard copy. Scanning and saving files as PDFs and filing away electronically not only reduces the number of paper files you have to store but should also mean these will be easier to locate at a later date (if your electronic filing system is good!).
- Give your keyboard and mouse a clean. Most of us are guilty of eating at our desk every now and then so it’s no wonder if you look down at your keyboard there may be crumbs or stains on it. Crumbs can be blown out by a shake of the keyboard or compressed air. Then give your keyboard and mouse a wipe down with some suitable cleaning wipes. This not only improves the appearance of your workspace but keeps germs away too.
- Recycle and Dispose and you go! Set up a paper recycling box close to you – by having a box dedicated to paper recycling at arms reach will make recycling super easy and lessen the likelihood of paper clutter around. Dispose of any general waste and mixed recycling appropriately as you go. Take dishes out to the kitchen and if you have a food organics recycling programme in place be sure to place your food scraps in this bin.
- Work to a list. Having a clear ‘to do’ list will compliment a clean and tidy desk and help you to work productively and efficiently. It’s a great feeling when you tick those items off the list!