Many people who work in offices find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of clutter and junk on their desks. By using common sense and just a few extra minutes per day, the office environment can be made healthier, look more professional, and contribute greatly to a less stressful workday. Here are 10 easy tips to create a cleaner office environment. You don’t even have to toss all of those cool desk accessories.
1. Write Yourself a Cleaning Reminder at a Regularly Appointed Time
To begin a regular cleaning routine, time needs to be set aside every day to get it done. Setting aside 10 or 15 minutes as a priority appointment is the first step. The reason the office became so sloppy in the first place is that a time slot was not designated for that duty in the daily work schedule.
2. Avoid Eating Food at Your Desk
Eating and working at the same time can not only cause heartburn, it spreads food crumbs all over expensive office equipment. Crumbs are messy and attract rodents, ants and cockroaches. Busy office workers who gulp and run often drop food onto carpeting where other employees can grind it into the office carpeting. Consider buying a handheld vacuum. The worst part about eating and typing is transferring germs from a dirty computer keyboard directly into your mouth. Check out these healthy lunch ideas for work.
3. Dust and Wipe Down Surfaces Weekly
Every week, clean and disinfect the desktop. Workplace equipment and accessories should also be wiped down and disinfected. This includes the computer, keyboard, monitor, telephones, lamps, pencils, pencil holders, speakers, desktop paper file and anything else. There are office wipes and sprays available that do double duty and can clean multiple surfaces all at once. If you inherit workspace from someone else, definitely clean it! A previous employee would take out his Gillette Mach3 and shave at his desk, leaving little hairs everywhere. Ew!
4. Check the Wastebasket Interior
The wastebasket is one of the biggest culprits of office odors and bacteria. Especially if the wastebasket has food tossed into it without a proper liner. For a fresh, more hygienic wastebasket, scrub the interior with a disinfectant, allow it to dry and then add a liner. This will go a long way in preventing bacterial growth.
5. Maintain the Office Floor and Carpeting
Once a week, sweep and mop all the bare floor surfaces. This prevents dust and “bunnies” from growing in corners. Vacuum the carpeting also. The vinyl carpet protector under desks can also be wiped down and lifted to vacuum the crushed carpet underneath.
6. Increase Your Open Desk Space
Use as much available wall space as possible for installing shelves in a smaller office environment. Clutter builds up quickly when floor space is limited. The shelving also becomes another fixture that needs regular dusting so having only the most necessary items for work stored on the shelves will make dusting much easier.
7. Clutter Proofing Shelves For Easy Clean-up With Labels
Instead of tossing things onto shelves in a haphazard manner where they pile up with no rhyme or reason, label each shelf with the items that belong there. That habit alone can save a great deal of time on dusting day. Doing this in advance saves having to go back and put everything where it belongs before the shelves can be wiped down.
8. Remove The Eye-Sore of Paper Clutter
Documents that can be scanned and stored on a disk or server can remove large amounts of paper clutter from an office environment. Not only does excess paper become an eye-sore, it can also be a fire hazard. Getting paper under control makes the office feel more spacious and relaxing than one with piles of documents in every nook and cranny.
9. Take Your Unneeded Belongings Home
Let’s face it, the office can be home away from home. It’s easy to start storing extra stuff at the office that somehow never makes it home. Those 3 extra umbrellas, spare raincoat, galoshes, kids softball trophies and old romance novels need to go home.
10. Keep Desk Photos To A Minimum
Trying to decide which of your loved ones will get prime real estate on the desktop is a hard job. Many office workers simply can’t choose one. Their desks resemble the Sears portrait gallery and not a workspace. As difficult as it is, too many photos look messy and collect dust.