How to clean your desk for a fresh new year start
We’ve all been there. You promised to be a better version of you: productive, organised. You had read Marie Kondo and spent a few hours rummaging through your drawers trying to identify the objects that would bring a spark of ‘joy’. Despite all that effort, the clutter still dominates your workstation, making the tidy side of you want to hide under the desk.
But enough is enough! It is time you reclaimed your workspace and started fresh! We’ve got some tips that can help you not only clean out the desk but create habits around keeping it clean. We all know that working on New Year’s habits is better than New Year’s Resolutions that you will never stick to anyway.
Set the mood, put on some inspiring music and start organising:
1 – Reduce, reuse, recycle
We’ve heard it before, but it is worth repeating. Get a bin and a box, go through the items on your desk and identify what can be disposed of, make sure to separate recycling. If there are a lot of item on your desk, think about how much do you use them and if you could perhaps donate them to either another colleague or a charity shop. Your local op shop can make great use of unwanted books, decoration items or this novelty gift that you were given last Christmas and have not used!
2 – Put it on the cloud or take a picture
Everyone has got a pile of very ‘important’ documents or items that serve as a reference (ink box to remember what type of printer you’ve got, a clipping from a newspaper, you name it). And let’s face it: we love how cool business cards look nowadays, but they are not practical and serve as drawer fillers.
Avoid the desk clutter by uploading reference documents to cloud-based systems or take a photo and store it on your phone. Online applications like Evernote make it easy for you to update cards and other documents to the cloud. They become easily accessible through many devices and can be tagged to facilitate your search!
3 – Reorganise your space
Remove all the big items from your desk and give it a nice clean up. Now, ask yourself how frequently you utilise each of them. The rule is simple: the items you use daily should be kept at arm’s length, the items you use weekly or more can stay on your desk, the rest should go to a cabinet or archive.
4 – Deal with ‘The Drawer’
We all have the drawer… It’s a combination of anything that is either very useful and needs to be kept close or things you can’t deal with at the moment and are left there for the time being. Stick to what’s necessary, follow point 1 for anything else. TIP: it is always good to keep a sewing kit in the draw, just in case of a wardrobe malfunction.
5 – A place for everything
Don’t underestimate the power of desk accessories. Use a tray to organise paperwork, or even small items like glasses, keys, wallet or your mobile. Folders and binders are of great assistance when categorizing documents. You can choose elements that serve as both organising and decorating items. The best of both worlds!
If there is no room for your bags and coats, check if this can be arranged – it will make the office look much tidier without the jackets hang lousily over the chairs and bags in the walkways (safety issue!).
6 – Stay inspired
Choose a few bits and bobs to give your workspace some personality. Pictures, plants, aroma diffusers, whatever makes you feel comfortable and inspired. Choose a planner or a notebook to replace post-it notes stuck everywhere. Use a pinboard to tag visual references for your work, relevant quotes or even pictures of your next holiday destination.
7 – Keep the habits
After everything is ready, it is time to commit to your new workspace: set a reminder every end of the week to clean and declutter your desk. And always finish your day by tidying up your desk, as this will help you get a feeling of the work being done for the day and a fresh start tomorrow.
Lastly, never leave rubbish on your desk! Make sure you have a bin close by and whenever you are holding an item destined for the bin, get it there quicker. Once it all becomes a habit, it is easy to maintain!
And a tip: don’t forget to remove any lunch leftovers from the office fridge! You don’t want to come back and find out that the bacteria have had a chance to invent the wheel by then.
Get in touch with Agero for more office tips and ideas.