We bet you had the best of intentions to clean up the office back in March when winter gave way to spring (on the calendar anyway). How’s that going? If you’re glancing around your office and feeling down about how things look, don’t worry: here are five office organization ideas that will get your office back in tip-top shape in no time!
1. Make it a group effort. It won’t do to have only one cube or corner office squeaky clean while the rest of the place looks like a dump, right? So get everyone on board with your spring-cleaning initiative. You should formally declare a cleanup day (otherwise, no one will do it). Consider making it a Friday afternoon (two to three hours), and make it as fun as possible. Here are some ideas:
- Have snacks/refreshments available in the kitchen and encourage people to take a break.
- Hand out prizes for things like “best desk makeover” or “fastest cleanup.”
- Play music, and not the “on hold” variety, either.
- Assign teams (2-3 people) to certain community areas, like storage closets and the coffee nook, and award a prize to the team that does the best job (example of prize: lunch out on the company dime the following week).
- Create a scavenger hunt where you hide valuable prizes in places people might not want to clean, like the dirty microwave. Let people know the prize is theirs if they find it and clean the corresponding area. So maybe you put a $20 bill in the microwave and whoever takes 15 minutes to clean it down can keep it.
- Allow for creativity and innovation when it comes to organizing. For example, a smart strategy for tight spaces is to maximize storage space by going vertical. Give your employees free rein when it comes to neatening up their work areas.
2. Make sure you have the right organizational props. Sometimes the best way to get organized is to take a step back, assess some items you need (like cubbies and filing cabinets), and then make a run to the local office supply store. It’s much easier for people to stay organized if they have the right accessories to help them do it, like stackable containers and Amsterdam Printing’s microfiber screen cleaners.
By the way, Amsterdam Printing has lots of office supplies that are only a click away…you won’t need to leave your desk, and, as an added bonus, you can get these items imprinted with your company name and logo.
3. Re-assess recycling initiatives. If you don’t recycle things like paper and bottles, now is the time to start a new initiative. If you currently recycle, now is the time to evaluate whether the current setup makes the most sense:
- Do you have enough recycle bins? If not, get more.
- Are the bins in the best locations? Are they an eyesore? Are they in the way? This would be the time to find them a new home and to let everyone know about the changes.
- Have you considered putting out a donation bin? If people have items on their desks, like three extra staplers they don’t need, they can put the extras in the donation bin. People within your office can pull items they need from the bin. Periodically, you can purge the bin and donate all the items to Goodwill.
4. For challenging office setups, consider bringing in a professional organizer. Sometimes our best intentions don’t ever get us anywhere. You might intend to clean the office. Your employees might intend it as well. But, well, then life and work happen, and the last thing anyone wants to deal with is their messy cube.
A professional organizer can come into your workspace and design a plan and processes that make sense for you and your staff. Yes, it’s an investment up front but one that will pay off in the long run since studies suggest a cluttered office decreases productivity, which will hurt your bottom line.
Not sure where to find an organizer or what to look for in one once you do? Check out the National Association of Professional Organizers for guidance.
5. Don’t overlook the need for virtual organization. Sure, it’s great if we can clear our desks, but that can only get us so far, especially if our computer inbox and online filing systems are unruly beasts as well. Here are five tips for managing your email inbox, including strategies for whittling down thousands of messages to the essential ones you need to keep.
The big thing you need to keep in mind about office organization is that it shouldn’t be an annual event. Encourage people to keep things organized and tidy and to spend some time every day organizing their desks and files before leaving the office for the night. Work some larger-scale cleaning time into everyone’s schedule on a monthly basis (a couple of hours one Friday afternoon every month should do the trick).
Have you done any spring cleaning around the office this year? What are some of your tips and strategies? Share in the comments.