Office Organisation Check: Clean Up and Clear Clutter
When was the last time you performed an office organisation check? Maybe you de-cluttered and organised between Christmas and New Year, or during the slow days in early January. The office might have been super organised for a while (when you were very committed to returning everything to its rightful place), but as the weeks and months have drifted by, your resolve to be organised might have slipped. Why not mark half way through the year with an office organisation check? We’ll help you clean up and clear clutter from all sorts of places!
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning...Your Desk
- Publicise a clean up day well in advance, and arrange treats for all of your volunteers: casual dress, free lunch, end of day drinks, music, massages etc
- Plan some time to clean out all unnecessary clutter at your desk area, and have everyone pitch in to help clear out shared areas such as the stationery cupboard or kitchen
- Prepare a list of who is going to work on each of the shared areas, and circulate it a couple of days before clean up day
- Make sure you have identified storage areas where rarely used items will live. Prepare those storage areas first, to make room for new items.
- You can’t simply move things from one area of the office to another; with finite space available, you will have to dispose of items. Don’t think you can continue to just move things around forever: even your storage areas might require that you dispose of things!
- Keep a range of folders and document storage options ready, and have a tape gun and plenty of boxes available
- Have Avery labels on hand for folders and boxes and signs for office reminders. You want to keep your efforts top of mind in the weeks to come!
Your desk is a very good place to start! You probably spend most of your time at your desk, and it might be the only part of your office that’s all yours! So start with your desk: clean up, clear clutter, and make it an easier place to work. We’ve even prepared a Workstation Workout guide to get your desk into tip top shape.
Filing With Friends
Filing’s great, when it works! When multiple people share files or split the space in a filing cabinet, they can have very different philosophies on what tidy filing means. Try these ideas to organise shared filing:
- Give people desktop filing racks for some files. They’ll have quick and easy access to them and will free up some of the shared space.
- Allocate a specific manilla folder colour to each staff member and have the files all transferred to the new folders during your clean up day.
- If you think people won’t return files to their allocated place, provide a tray or magazine rack nearby, and take turns in returning files to their home at the end of the day
The kitchen is one of the most popular areas of the office, and can also cause Office Managers the biggest headaches! You can’t change everyone’s behaviour, but there are a few things you can implement to help the maintenance of your kitchen area.
Sign Your Work
- Leave one fridge shelf for use on the clean up day, and warn everyone that all other items stored in the fridge on your clean up day will be thrown out.
- Attach several sheets of removable Avery labels and a texta to the fridge so that people can write their names on a label and apply it to their food containers
- Develop signs to encourage people to keep their refrigerated food to a day’s food at a time
- Ensure the garbage bins are of an adequate size for your office size
- Restock supplies of cloths, dishwashing detergent, paper towel, clean tea towels and food wrap. Don’t give microwave users any reason to leave food uncovered!
Make It Regular
- Walk around the office and pretend you are a new staff member who needs instruction on where everything lives, and guides to keeping the office in order. You’ll soon figure out where you can implement helpful signs or labels.
- Try implementing signs around the office to encourage the maintenance of your cleaning. Avery has a great range of signs that can be used as reminders to keep areas clean, or to cover dishes in the microwave etc. Have a look for funny signs on the internet that you can use to add a bit of humour to your instructions!
- Don't give anyone the excuse that they didn’t know where something lived! Label, label, label! We’ve got removable labels (for temporary homes or short term filing), labels that can be used for messy kitchen areas and labels for files and folders. Label the shelves, the project file locations, the magazine holders, the folders, the kitchen canisters – anything that will help staff place items in the home that you’ have allocated.
Make a “clean up and clear clutter” day a regular event that you and your co-workers can all plan for each year. You’ll kick clutter out the door!
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