One of the great advantages of a holiday is that you have the opportunity of de-cluttering your mind. Not everyone makes use of the chance, but those who do arrive back at work energised and inspired. One of the best ways of ensuring that this clear head space stays is to de-clutter your working space. January is a great time for operation clean-up. Whilst we are working in a digital age, it is surprising to see how people keep the paper craze going. Some of us (guilty as charged) like to keep things ‘in case’ we will need it, or simply because we don’t like letting go.
Take a day to clear your space. Try to motivate your team to do it with you. Someone has to take charge of the common space like the office kitchen, boardroom, bathroom and stationery cupboard – put names into a draw and ensure that whoever gets these also gets a gift…it could be a half-day off to reward them for their efforts!
Here are some practical tips to get you going:
- Work out what you would like the overall area to look like, and try to match storage facilities, be they cupboards, shelving or boxes. You will achieve a cleaner overall look if all desks look similar. Consider giving everyone a black box for ‘stuff’ and a pin board that matches.
- Choose a local charity for all the unwanted items – again a draw works well rather than each individual schlepping off to their personal organisation.
- Have a central point for shredding.
- Determine a digital filing system that words for everyone – this could be cloud-based or an external hard drive.
- Choose a digi-filing day for the team. There is nothing more laborious than doing your e-filing. Put the music on, make it casual day, but make it happen.
- Give away all those unwanted Christmas gifts at the same time that you clear your office clutter.
- This could be a good time to re-define your rules regarding dress – giving you a good opportunity to upgrade the image of your team.
- Allocate someone to check and update systems, suppliers and policies.
- Put someone in charge of decor and design. Look at your use of wall space – perhaps some pictures could be re-framed, re-grouped or replaced. Office walls offer good storage space, and sometimes shelving is more useful than having a rogues’ gallery of previous CEOs!
Plan your calendar for the year. Carefully look at peak periods and see how you could potentially de-clutter those too. Take this time to extend your energy into clearing out personal stuff, and do away with those resolutions too!