We know there are few things any of us dread more than cleaning! However, even if you have your business and offices professionally cleaned, that is only hitting the surface (so to speak), so it’s a good idea to do a deep cleaning once a year. Keeping your business truly clean needs to go beyond having your desk dusted and the carpet vacuumed. Deep cleaning ensures a healthy and productive work environment, and is a great opportunity to do some much needed organizing. Let’s face it – we are all buried under stacks of papers and clutter!
A clean office saves money!
- When you know where things are you waste less time looking and have better productivity.
- Visual overwhelm leads to poor mental attitudes and bad morale.
- You could be missing out on valuable deductions and write-offs if all your receipts and reminders are buried in a pile somewhere and never make it to the bookkeeper.
- Dirt and grime break down surfaces and create additional wear on moving parts, which makes things break faster and require replacement sooner.
- Knowing what supplies you have on hand means you do not waste money ordering and reordering things you do not need.
- Having confidential or sensitive data and customer information laying around is dangerous to your reputation and your customer’s security. Security breaches are very expensive to correct!
Make a Plan
Organize room by room so you stay focused. If there are more than one of you, have every person take a room, and then also be responsible for their own personal space. Spring cleaning can be a great group exercise – plan an afternoon, have your employees wear comfortable clothing, put on some music if appropriate, and get to work as a team. Order pizza in or plan to take everyone out for happy hour afterwards so there is fun and reward built into the project.
Get it Done
Make a visual clean sweep as a first pass. What is laying around that is truly just junk and clutter? Go through each room and get rid of old newspapers and magazines, wayward trinkets, plants that have seen better days, and all those freebies collected at last year’s conference. Coffee mugs and window scrapers are not décor for bookcases.
The most efficient office has like-things together, and experts recommend organizing your office space into zones. Keep your materials, files, and office supplies all together for that zone – the customer files, printing area, data research. For individual work spaces your computer/work space, your research and library area, and your files should be all together in their own area (zone) so you can organize and find things easily.
The only items that should be on top of desks and at arm’s reach are things that you are using right now, and things you need immediately, everything else should be filed or stored away accordingly. Get rid of the clutter by putting things away when they are not in use, and trashing the junk like stacks of business cards, free coffee cups and other distractions. Legitimate paperwork and supplies should be kept in the respective zone you established. Get rid of the junk drawer! Get some drawer organizers, and sort things accordingly.
Tip – Feel badly getting rid of freebies like mugs and pens? Schools and other non-profits such as shelters are often in need of such items, and your favorite waitstaff will greatly appreciate the “gift” of a bag of pens!
Personal items such as coats and bags look messy sprawled around the office. Install some good hooks and storage units to keep things tidy and visually attractive.
Don’t forget your storage areas and the employee kitchen/lounge area. Storage areas are often overlooked because they are out of sight, out of mind. People tend to go into a storage area on a mission – to find archived information or get office supplies – so they get disheveled quickly. The very nature of a storage area is to house items so you can find and use them in the future (because you stored them versus throwing them away), so keep them organized by category and type, and files alphabetical or by a numerical system. Employee lounge and kitchen areas quickly get out of control when no one assumes responsibility for them. If you do not have a refrigerator cleaning protocol in place, create one! Perishable items should be cleaned from the refrigerator once per month, and a full cleaning should take place at least once a year. Go through cupboards and bins for old, out of date items and toss them in recycling and garbage. Resist the urge to keep something “just in case” – no hoarding allowed!
Get Yourself Prepped for Cleaning:
- All-purpose cleaners & disinfectants
- Paper towels & microfiber cloths
- Shredder & Recycle Bins
- Storage (plastic is best) Boxes
- Folders, Hanging Files, Labels
- Label Maker (to KEEP things organized)
Establish these systems and set limits for how messy and disorganized you will allow your spaces to become in the future. Long-term upkeep of all your hard work this spring will make next year a breeze!