Today at Euroffice we’re trying to take part in Clean Off Your Desk Day. Now if I can just find the instructions under this pile of papers…
With a New Year comes a new start, both for you and your desk. A little bit of effort can make your workspace ready for the year ahead (and cut down on the cleaning you have to do in Spring).
Before you begin clearing things away, it’s time to check your desk to see if it needs any repairs. Do any nuts and bolts need tightening? If you have an older wooden desk, does it need waxing? At the very least you should dust it down and take some cleaning wipes to it.
The longer you’ve had your desk, the more likely it is that you should do a bit of upkeep. Of course if it’s starting to fall apart and can no longer be held together with nails and duck tape, you might need to invest in a new model.
Only be as tidy as is necessary
We’ve written before about how untidiness actually contributes to creativity, so having an utterly Spartan desk isn’t going to help if your role requires invention or lateral thinking.
But if you like neatness and organisation – and consider yourself more of a surgeon than a painter – then by all means make sure everything on the desk is squared away in discrete sections.
Don’t give into society’s unrealistic expectations about tidy desks. Fight the power!
Clear clutter weekly
Each week you should have a clear out of unneeded files, completed projects and other paperwork. If you have a snack habit and regularly have a crumbly desk – thanks to biscuits and chocolate – get a dustpan and brush. A quick go-over every couple of days makes a big difference. Don’t forget your computer keyboard: use an air duster for maximum effect – you’ll be surprised at what falls out.
Location, location, location
The parts of your desk that are within arm’s reach of your natural sitting position are prime real estate. That’s where you should put the items you use most often: phone and charger, diary, pens and Post-it notes etc. As you move away from those spaces, put items you use less and less – files and folders, archive boxes and so on.
Snog, Marry or Avoid
Finally, you should have an ongoing system to deal with paperwork throughout the year. Each day look at new projects and actions that come in and decide whether you’ll snog them (get them done right away), marry them (it’s a long term thing) or avoid (say you can’t help, or pass it to someone else).
Do you have any tips for cleaning your workspace preparing for the year ahead? Let us know in the comments.