With winter quickly fading in the northern hemisphere and signs of spring starting to show, everyone is getting the urge to open windows and dust off shelves. Why not take the cleaning spree to your office space too? Our offices are often where we spend a great deal of time and they can become dumping piles for our lives. Make a little time each day leading up to spring to clean some area of your office and you’ll be good to when it’s time to open the windows and let some fresh air in.
Why Should You Clean Your Office?
Even though someone might come in and wipe windows, desks, and vacuum floors, it’s important that you spend time going through your things once in a while to determine if they are really needed. Offices can become a hoarding place for everything and it’s easy to just keep walking past it on your way to another meeting or another sales pitch. Rather than spend another week looking at the mess, commit to cleaning it because it will make you feel more productive and help you focus in your office space. If you work in a co-working space, rally the troops and get everyone involved in the clean-up process. When you don’t have a dedicated work space, it’s easy for things to fall apart. Take charge and get everyone to pitch in for a clean, safe, and enjoyable workspace.
How Long Should You Spend Cleaning?
Most employees don’t have a lot of extra time throughout the day; hence, the messy offices. But if you ask them to take 10 minutes at the start or end of their day, before or after lunch, and clean up one part of the office, hallways or staffing areas, it can make a real difference. You don’t need to have a book burning in the parking lot, but do see if there is any old equipment, resources, or materials that can be donated to a local non-profit or even co-working space where resources may be limited for new start-up companies looking for a hand up. Taking just a few minutes each day can make a real difference in the state of your office, workspace, and your mind. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I can’t start this project until the kitchen is clean” while at home, you know what we are talking about. It is a form of procrastination in some cases, but when the task is to actually clean, it is not. And it should be scheduled in on a regular basis to prevent piles from adding up all over the place.
Get Everyone Involved.
Nobody said you had to do all the cleaning and tidying up by yourself. Watch out for double-standards in your office: are the women doing all the spring cleaning? Maybe get over there and lend a hand. It’s not the job of one person or one gender to maintain the office. If you’ve ever seen dirty dishes in the sink and thought to yourself, “someone else will clean those up” then you are passing the buck. Take responsibility for the mess, even if it’s not yours, because the space is yours and you should have pride in the space. If being tidy is a problem for people in the office, then you might need to implement some ground rules about who cleans what and when. People won’t like being treated like children, but when they are messy like children, then the shoe might fit.
Make it a Quarterly Effort
Spring cleaning doesn’t just have to happen in anticipation of spring. It can be something you commit to doing for yourself and for your employees each quarter. It’s a great way to see what you’ve got, catch up on old projects, clean out files, delete things from your laptop, get rid of apps that you no longer use on your phone, and shred paperwork that probably should have been shredded a while ago.
The Problem With Office Clutter
For everyone piece of paper you need, you can bet there are three more that you don’t. If you are in the habit of hanging on to things “just in case” find ways to let them go slowly and reduce the clutter in your office and your mind. If you have problems going through your own stuff because you feel like you need to keep everything, enlist the help of a co-worker who can make the hard choices about your piles or paper and projects that are no longer needed.