TECH, BUSINESS AND CAREER INSIGHTS

3 Simple Steps for Spring Cleaning at Work

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars

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It’s finally the season for spring cleaning! Although we most commonly think of the home when we think about spring cleaning, this seasonal ritual can be put into place throughout various aspects of life, including work. Not only will coworkers appreciate you taking care of your workspace, but you will likely find greater productivity.

While some dread the thought of the task, its benefits are boundless. Living in a mess not only negatively effects your physical health, but it can also cause strain on your mental health – in fact, a study conducted by the founder of America's Anxiety Disorder Center found just that. Additionally, simply the process of cleaning can help reduce stress and anxiety – even if said stress is caused from an entirely different reason than a mess.

For those of you who are unsure where to begin, we’ve put together this easy three-step process for effectively spring cleaning your workspace. Before you begin decluttering, take a moment to evaluate what you’re working with. Once you’ve done so, you should better able to set a game plan and get started with our three-step process. 

STEP ONE: DECLUTTER
Clutter tends to build up – one minute it’s a simple stack of need-to-review documents and, before you know it, your desk is covered with piles upon piles of unorganized papers. The key to cleaning (no matter the season) is learning when something needs to be thrown away. While you don’t want to throw away important documents, it is important to toss the miscellaneous things that have slowly begun to take up space – both physically and mentally.

If you’re worried about tossing something that may be important, consider consolidating instead. Instead of keeping every page of notes you’ve ever written, snap a photo and upload to Dropbox using an app like CamScanner (or go old school and use a physical scanner in your office). Once you have everything documented, you should feel more at ease when making the toss. Just be sure that when you do upload the photo to your desktop or Dropbox that you also take the time to put the photo in the right place (see step two if you need help with that).

STEP TWO: ORGANIZE
Once you’ve tossed the things you no longer need, it’s time to start the organization process. While we’ve shared our thoughts on the importance of creating a filing system for your inbox before, it is important to consider how this concept can be applied to your entire workspace. Our top suggestion when creating a filing system is to make sure it works in every aspect of work. For example, if you have a folder in your inbox, you should also a physical folder at your workspace.

Another great way to organize is through color coding, both online and offline. To do so, start by color coding your calendar. While there may be a multitude of categories you could create, it is easiest to begin with the basics: internal and external meetings, deadlines and out of office time. Once you’ve done so, you can also take this offline by writing things down on your to-do list or in your planner with the same color pen you’d use on your calendar. Bonus points for taking it a step further and applying the colors to your filing system as well!

STEP THREE: DECORATE
Once you’ve done all the above, now it’s time for the fun part – decorating your space. While some think minimalism is key, it is important to decorate according to your own style and preferences. If you’re looking for a good way to add something extra to your desk without it overwhelming your space, consider adding a little life. According to psychologists, employees are 15 percent more productive when “lean” spaces have houseplants, even if it is a small succulent.

Spring is also great for investing in new office essentials that will optimize your workspace – such as an upgraded chair or new mouse for your laptop (check out Poppin for fun desk accessories and furniture). In fact, many offices are applying ergonomics to the workplace, such as desk chairs with better back support or even standing desks. By doing so, employers are taking into consideration the long-term comfort of employees and decreasing risk for injury – to learn more about how this works, check out this article.

Hopefully our three simple steps are just the encouragement you need to commit to spring cleaning your workspace. Spring cleaning can be an overwhelming task, but breaking it down piece by piece helps – as does rewarding yourself with some new decorations for your workspace. When all is said and done, we hope you feel much better when arriving to an organized and personalized workspace each and every day.

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