Spring Cleaning isn’t just for your house anymore! Whether you have just set up your office, or it’s been gathering dust for months, this is the time of year to work on getting it “spring cleaned”. That really is just a great catch-all term for doing a thorough clean-up of things like folders, files, drawers, calendars, and even email folders.
Let’s get the physical dirt out of the way first. As with any cleaning project, you want to start at the TOP of the room, and work your way around and down in a clockwise direction.
- Cover your computer with a sheet or towel before beginning.
- Using a long-handled duster, dust the tops of windows, bookshelves, ceiling fans and fixtures, and work your way around and down.
- Now clean blinds or any window coverings – including laundering curtains and drapes if you have any.
- Wash the windows.
- Dust the surfaces – desk, bookshelves, filing cabinets, anything that you didn’t get in the overhead sweep.
- Time to straighten things back up. Do a quick “clutter purge” (removing anything that does NOT belong in the office) and then arrange things in a logical and efficient order.
- Vacuum the floor and any chair cushions that you can.
Now you’ve done the “dirty work”; it’s time to do the mental part!
- Starting with the filing cabinets – go through and purge anything that is no longer needed (i.e. manuals to appliances you no longer own, cancelled credit card paperwork, bills and receipts more than 5 years old, etc.) Be sure to shred anything with personally identifying information on it.
- Make new files if needed, and then make a MASTER LIST of all the files in your drawer, attaching the 1-sheet guide to a bulletin board or the front of your planner. This will help you know quickly what you have.
- Go through desk drawers and throw out dried up markers and pens, broken paperclips and rubber bands, and anything else that’s just taking up space that isn’t working for you. Use a great inexpensive drawer organizer to help you keep it straight.
- Do a quick check of your calendar and planner – do you have everything recorded that needs to be? Are addresses and appointments up to date?
- Finally, go through your computer files. Purge emails, contacts, projects, and documents that are obsolete or have been replaced with more current versions. Do routine maintenance (like defrag, virus scans, etc.), and then save important things on an external drive.
This project may take you a few days or a few weeks. The important thing is to tackle it NOW before you get into the busy times that may be ahead as the weather warms up, and you want to be outside enjoying nature! Once you’ve “spring cleaned” your office, you will be more productive and feel more organized. If you need help or suggestions, feel free to contact me!