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Spring Clean Your Office

Spring Cleaning used to be so easy… hold on a minute, before you come after me with your brooms and pitchforks, hear me out. The spring cleaning of the 1950’s may have been physically demanding, but today’s spring cleaning is mentally exhausting. The benefit gained from washing machines, vacuum cleaners and steam mops, has been quickly overshadowed, and then some, by PTA meetings, carpools, jog-a-thons, night classes and business trips.  Need I go on?

For me, spring cleaning has become less about traditional cleaning tasks and more about clearing out the clutter, figuratively and literally.  Here is how I tackle this arduous task.

I like to start any big project by procrastinating breaking it down into pieces. First, identify what needs to be done and make a list in order of priority.  Next, simplify the list, removing anything that is not possible in the allotted time frame. How do you prioritize or simplify the list?  Chores that can be done quickly and easily will give you a feeling of accomplishment, so get those out of the way.  Finally, you’ll want to spend the most time organizing the space(s) where you physically spend the most time.  Make sense?

Where do I spend most of my time?  My office, of course.  Oddly enough, my office becomes a disaster when I have frequent business trips or meetings.  I return to my office with paperwork, dump it on the floor or desk and head out to the next trip or meeting. You’ve no doubt seen photos of my office, but I cleaned up those days. Being organized isn’t about having perfect spaces, it’s about being able to clean up quickly as needed.

Is your office in need of a spring cleaning?  Here is a checklist you can use.

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Some final thoughts. Please be realistic about what to keep and what to discard.  The projector you’ve been meaning to sell (for the last 3 years)? Donate it.  Yes, you may be able to get a few bucks for it, but if you are feeling overwhelmed and end up in therapy, your medical bills will be far more than the proceeds from old office supplies.

The files “desktop” and “my documents” were not intended as a catchall.  Would you file all your paperwork in a file titled “misc.”? Treat your computer like your paper files.  Set up actually folders to group like documents. Be especially careful saving items to your desktop.  This will slow-down your computer on start-up.  Your computer desktop was really only intended for work-in-progress or files accessed daily.

At last, your office is clean. Reward yourself by adding a personal touch to your workspace, a candle, fresh flowers or some lovely desk accessories. You deserve it!