Marie Kondo would be unhappy with us from time to time – from our technology to our beverage cups, our workspace can easily become untidy. Monday, January 10th is an excellent day to declutter and organize your home or office work space. Annually, on the second Monday of January, workers nationwide participate in National Clean Off Your Desk Day. As an avid organizer, I encourage you to consider these eight tips for a tidy work area:
- Clean off your desk: Begin by sanitizing your desk. Then start the process of finding a home for each item on your desk. Be patient with yourself as you scan, shred, toss, and file items.
- Invest in a shredder: One of our favorite office toys is our shredder. We use it for manuscript drafts, old tax files, confidential information, junk mail, and unneeded paper.
- Desk drawers: Weekly, organize drawers and unneeded business cards, dry pens, broken pencils, and stray debris. When this becomes a weekly space saving habit, it is amazing how quickly you can locate that missing item.
- Daily wrap-up: As the day ends, clear beverage cups, mints, notes, and shred unnecessary paper. Sanitize all surfaces and prepare materials for the next morning so you are ready for business first thing.
- Clean and sanitize: Purchase, store and use sanitizing disinfecting wipes or spray and wipe down surfaces frequently.
- Organize your computer: Schedule some time to clear your email and organize your computer desktop. We realize that this will take more than one day – however; you can start the process of sorting and organizing documents as they are created. Instead of just doing a “save,” which then requires frantic searching through unorganized files, use Dropbox or a cloud storage to store important files.
- Storage areas: Label shelves and boxes the with contents and date. Take the extra few seconds to properly identify each item. Use labels to organize office supplies to ensure paperclips, pens, and stamps stay in the proper place.
- Hide distractions: The proverb “Out of sight, out of mind” rings true so designate a spot for your personal phone, to avoid distractions when it is time to focus on business.
- Convert to digital: If your office is still using paper files, consider the conversion to digital. Select the best method for your organizational culture and work style.
When organizing your home or office space in 2022, declutter your mind with these eight practical tips for a tidy workspace.
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a diversity and inclusion consultant, cross-cultural trainer, etiquette expert, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she is an attorney and mediator. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia, won a coveted Kirkus Star, and was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books. She’s a winner of numerous awards, including the British Airways International Trade Award at the Greater Austin Business Awards.
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