Spring cleaning sounds like a “thing to do at home”. However, workplaces benefit from a good spring cleaning too. Files, shelving, storage rooms, archives, electronic files, and the catch-all closet can all be cleaned each spring.

Decades of research say that the more stuff we have around us, the more overwhelmed we tend to feel about what we have to get done. An easy way to reduce our own stress is cleaning our workspace to archive, purge, and/or recycle. Our 2019 office storage room spring cleaning unearthed boxes of book research that dated back 16 years, and some archived files that dated to the 1990s. Yikes! The recycle bins were filled for several weeks to purge out what is no longer needed. The office does feel lighter and seems less stressful without all the file boxes.

Organizing guru’s say things like these:

  • Keep what you use daily within arms-reach at your desk.
  • Things you use infrequently should be farther away.
  • Materials you use for reference can be stored in a central office location, or better yet, digitized to a shared drive.
  • If you love it, keep it.
  • If it inspires you, keep it.
  • If you use it regularly, keep it.
  • It you don’t use it, don’t love, and it doesn’t inspire you, let it go!

Even rearranging office space when little spring cleaning is needed can create an uptick in positive energy. We discovered a need for more surface area and a need to better place materials into file-drawers. As a result, outdated files not needing to be kept were recycled. Client files marked DESTROY on x-date were indeed shredded. We also created floorspace for new worktables to support daily projects and long-term work assignments.

You may remember the story I shared about a state agency storing file cabinets in the ladies’ restroom. If you too have anything stored in workplace restrooms that doesn’t belong there, time for spring cleaning! Get all spaces, including restrooms, cleaned up. Everyone deserves clutter-free spaces in which to conduct business.

As you glance away from reading this, what can you immediately spring-clean? What can you let go of? What areas of your office would you put on the list for spring cleaning?

Workplace: covers the issues and activities of managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives. Five of my books speak to daily business skills. Together, let’s explore what affects us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana

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