Most of us have a love/hate relationship with cleanliness and organizing. Sure, we like to have a clean and organized work space, but don’t want to put in the time and effort it takes to get there. What we need is a way to make the process easier with a few tips and tricks.

Some people keep their work area so messy and disorganized that it makes you wonder how they get any work done. The fact is that as we are asked to multitask more and more and rush to meet deadlines, it’s easy to lose control over clutter and dirt. However, if you learn some tips and tricks to keeping a clean and organized work space, you won’t fall victim to the same fate.

 

Simple ways to improve the order and organization of your work space

1. Start at the beginning.

Take everything out of your office or work space. Then, put things back one at a time, keeping only those items that you actually use daily. Everything else should be stored away, given away or thrown away. When you put stuff back, it should be grouped with similar items to make it easier to get to and improve your time management. For example, paper, pens and reference materials can be put in the same area as they are often used simultaneously. If you can’t remember the last time you used an item, don’t keep it and don’t make excuses for it. Just get rid of it. Anything that does not add to your productivity should be shredded or purged.

2. Get creative.

Even if you don’t have a lot of space, that’s no reason to tolerate clutter. Everything can be put in its place. You can use social media sites like Pinterest or business and style magazines to get ideas for making the most of any space. Things like storage boxes and containers, desk accessories and hanging fixtures can go a long way toward keeping all your items organized and neat. For instance, you probably keep a lot of paperwork that requires a signature, approval or payment from someone else and these documents stay on your desk until you get it. To manage this, you can mount shelves or organizing boxes on the wall to keep track of this paperwork but keep it off your desk. When you have a better idea of the options available to you, you can have an organized work space that is both beautiful and functional.

3. Develop good cleanliness habits.

It’s quite simple to clean and de-clutter your work space.  But it is a lot harder to maintain the same level of order in the long term. Occasionally sweeping everything into a drawer or creating new piles doesn’t count. You must develop a routine and vow to stick with it. Go through mail right away and sort it all immediately. If you frequently eat at your desk, create the pattern of immediately cleaning up everything afterwards. When papers, reports or documents come in, don’t just put it on top of something else. Instead, have a designated system for knowing where it

belongs and putting it there. Even if you can’t do this as you go through your day, save enough time at the end of the day or week to tidy up your space before you leave. For instance, you can make a Friday Box.  And at the end of the week, anything remaining in that box must be filed or tossed. Coming in to a neat work space each day or at the beginning of the week can vastly improve your mood and productivity. Have reminders around, like a desk calendar or an alert on your smart phone to keep you on track.

4. Use technology to your advantage.

Today, there are a variety of digital tools and tricks to help you stay organized. For example, you can easily scan documents for future reference and to clear your desk of paperwork and clutter. This can also be used for receipts and invoices. You can also find the online invoicing, payment and payroll systems that will work best for you. Programs like DocuSign make it effortless to collect the signatures you need for important documents so you can move on and get your work done. Cloud storage and digital archiving software can benefit your entire team. Also, there is a massive amount of apps that can greatly enhance productivity and allow you to attack organization in a systematic fashion. Some examples include Expensify, which helps track expenses when traveling and Basecamp for project management collaboration.

5. Have your commercial floors and office space professionally cleaned.

Having a clean office shouldn’t stop at just desks and files. The proper removal of dirt and buildup from your office floors is vital for cleanliness, safety and appearance. You should also have stains removed from furniture, carpets and cubicle panels. It’s crucial to make sure all high traffic areas remain clean, organized and free of clutter.

 

Why it’s important to keep a clean and organized work space.

It affects your professional productivity.  In a chaotic office environment, you may find that you are constantly searching for documents, tools and information. The more time you spend looking for these things, the less time you spend actually completing your work.

To improve your personal productivity.  When you are constantly looking for things while still trying to accomplish goals, you become frazzled and annoyed. You might not notice it, but this creates a negative energy which can also affect everyone around you.

It helps to eliminate distractions.  Old documents that you no longer need as well as equipment you don’t use and tons of personal items can steal your focus away from the tasks that require your undivided attention. Even if you complete the majority of your work on the computer, the surrounding area must still remain free of diversions.

Your clients and visitors will notice .  While people might not comment on a clean and organized work space, they will certainly take note of a dirty office.

It’s a reflection of your office culture and work ethic.  If your office is dirty and untidy, that’s how people will see everything that you do. Be sure to make a good impression with clean offices, floors and upholstery.