I am no neat freak, but I do know that I work faster and more focused when my desk is organised. Also, if you take a moment to consider how dirty your desk space actually gets after a while, you might want to think about cleaning it more often (even if just for the sake of your personal hygiene and health).
Here are some tips to keep your office neat:
- To print or not to print - One of the biggest contributors to office clutter is the unnecessary paperwork lying around. With every electronic file you come across, take a second to decide if you need a hard copy. Not only will we save trees by saving paper, but you might be saving yourself from death by paper cuts!
- Expiring the filing - Is every file on your shelf or in your cabinet still relevant? Are you required by law to keep them a certain number of yours? If your answer is no, it might be time for a (very therapeutic) shredding session.
- Walk the walk - If your printer is set up right next to you on your desk, you might be quick to hit the print button. But if you try using the communal printer or setting yours up in a different spot, walking the distance each time might help you to think twice before going on a printing spree!
- Purging power - Pick a date every month and set aside an hour or so to get rid of anything and everything that is contributing to your clutter. Old documents, things that belong at home or on someone else's desk.
- Taming the teddies - Sure, you get sweet little gifts or tokens from colleagues on your birthday. Maybe you love displaying your child's latest clay sculpture on your desk? Depending on the size of your desk or cubicle, you might want to evaluate the amount of space these personal items are taking up. Also, the way you "decorate" your workspace contributes to your personal brand at work, which is something you always want to keep in the back of your mind.
- Effortless eating - Preventing a mess is easier than cleaning it up. Obviously it's ideal to eat your lunch away from your desk, but if for some reason you have no choice, try sliding over to a different corner of your desk. You can also flip over your keyboard and put down a paper towel to catch any crumbs. Be sure to wipe/disinfect surfaces now and then if you don't have a cleaning service at the office doing it for you.
We spend so much time at our desks, why not use it as another opportunity to demonstrate your professionalism by putting some effort into its appearance and appeal. I found this cool article on organization for the office - enjoy!