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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Van Derven

Clean Out To Clean Up

It could be the piney smell of Christmas trees, or magical sparkle in the air, but by end of the year it always seems like a good time to crawl out from under all of the clutter on, in, and over our desks. Office work spaces are not always a favorite place for people, so we tend to not care about how messy it gets, or what goes on around it. On the contrary, some people may enjoy their job but are naturally disorganized and simply do not know how to keep their space tidy. Either way, there are positive things about cleaning your cubicle, even if that just means passing some time while you are at work.

Let’s admit, no one has successfully transitioned to adulthood without becoming familiar with a garbage can. The problem is, some people only use it for old food, wrappers, gum, soda, or beer cans, when in reality they should also throw away half of the scattered papers on their desk. The sense of security or fear of change prevents individuals from ever throwing away paper, even if it is an old receipt from a local store. The only real problem with this is instead of your desk serving as a place to work, it becomes a hoarder’s platform.

First, consider buying a small, personal, recycling bin and place it next to your garbage can. Or if you work in a large office you can all contribute .50 cents and purchase a large community bin. Use the bin for paper products, and the can for trash. Look at that, another excuse to get up and stretch your legs. When we encompass our mind and body within an environment we biologically conform to what we are around, therefore if our space is cluttered, so is our mind. Rather than swiftly checking off our to-do list, we will find ourselves aimlessly searching for what’s next.

Keeping records of invoices, projects, referrals, notes, statements etc. is important but knowing what to keep, and what not to keep, is equally important. If you are ever in a legal situation and need to back up your work, or simply just trying to impress the boss with speedy past work related references, being organized will allow you to handle your business professionally.

Your desk can look chic, clean, and refreshing, while being very resourceful with the use of paper organizing trays. Staying up to date on aesthetic organization techniques is a must, but now let’s actually keep up with the dates. Desk calendars are the perfect way to never miss a beat with events in or out of the office. They cannot digitally send you a reminder, but that is why we have smart phones, right? Now I am sure we all have experienced, in some way or another, the ol’ throw everything in the closet trick, which essentially is no different when it comes to our desk; think of your drawers as your closet. You never want to experience a panic attack by simply opening your drawer just to find a paper clip, pen, or sticky-note. Maintain the momentum of your workflow by investing in some drawer organizers. Coworkers within your professional industry will take note of the environment you create for yourself, and them. It demonstrates what goes on in your mind and how you like to conduct your work by showing them you care about what you are doing and handling for them. The boss’s upstairs will also see that you take pride in your job and their business.

The office-space organization process is simple and expands well beyond the desk once you have mastered the thought process behind it all. Keep what matters, and responsibly toss what no longer does. This is an outlet where you have the ability to add a personal touch to something you are in close proximity to every day, and will allow you to feel better about being at work. Organizing your office-space will produce a more diligent work ethic, just from surrounding yourself with a clean environment. Won’t it feel great to get ahead on your work from not having to spend time aimlessly looking for a specific paper, reference sheet, or….anything? It is the perfect time to come together collectively and create an environment that is overall a better place to be, both mentally and physically. If you are sitting at a desk for 8 hours, at least stare at something organized, clean, and appeasing.

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