Spring is finally here and it’s an instinctual time to begin reorganizing your space.
Even if you do a good job of maintaining clean office space, sometimes cleaning up around you can help you clear your mind — which is essential as a small business owner. When you run into problems or you are feeling overwhelmed, rearranging and cleaning your office space can help you feel more calm, clear, and able to find solutions.
Make an inventory list.
This is an important first step because you’re checking the supplies you currently have and figuring out what you actually use and need more of, and what you thought you’d use but just collects dust.
You’ll also need to note what cleaning supplies you currently have and what you need to buy for a successful spring cleaning.
When you do this, be sure to notice random items you have lying around that are never used and that make your space look messy. Your environment can become a distraction with too much clutter, so unless it’s essential to your productivity, consider getting rid of it.
Designate areas for specific functions.
Your computer space should be different from your printing space, library, kitchen, etc. Even if your office is small, this will help maintain a clean space and a clear mind. When everything has its own spot, it makes tidying up easier and keeping track of things a breeze.
Keep only must-have items on your desk.
Aside from your pens and pencils, be selective about what you put on your desk. Over time, it’s natural for random objects to land next to your computer, but unless it’s essential, it will become a distraction and create clutter. For the average small business owner, besides a computer, the only essentials needed for a desk are a few pencils, a notebook, and a lamp. Maybe a picture frame or a favorite piece of décor, but your office space should be catered to your business and be focused, productive, and delivering your best work.
Get a file cabinet for important documents.
While desks and drawers can work well for storing documents and papers, if you have important or sensitive files, you need a file cabinet. You can organize your paperwork in alphabetical order, or some people choose to organize by category, i.e., insurance policies, automobile insurance, a copy of a rent lease, and business invoices.
A lot of your important files may be paperless, so it’s a good idea to have them copied onto a flash drive (which you can also keep in your file cabinet). Anything important that is digital should be backed up on a flash drive and with a paper copy (that’s laminated too, in case of water damage to your space).
Organize your emails.
Just like a cluttered space can be a reflection of your mind, the same goes for emails. If you have hundreds or thousands of unread emails, or unneeded read emails taking up space in your inbox, you’ll feel overwhelmed, which will automatically set you off on a slow start to your day. With even more emails coming in, you’ll get more and more overwhelmed by your inbox without daily or regular maintenance.
Go through your drawers.
You should do this regularly, but if you’ve neglected to organize your drawers, then spring cleaning is the right time to finally do it. If you have random items you are leaving in your drawers but never use, toss them. Even if you collected a coupon or a promotional code for a restaurant, if don’t see yourself using it, get rid of it.
A lot of bulky items can be thrown into a drawer such as umbrellas, headphones, etc., so it’s important to make sure they are organized and don’t create a large pile where you can’t even close the drawer.
Scrub and dust away every corner of your space.
You may have a janitor in the building, or you may have a weekly cleaner who comes in, but they likely don’t have the time to clean up every surface in your office space. Wipe down every neglected part of your office, along with doing your regular vacuuming and window cleaning.
Get an air filter.
This is very important not just for a clean space, but also for your health and your employees’ health. Air quality is crucial, and if you aren’t doing a good job maintaining a breathable, clean space for work, your employees may become ill. Whether it’s a few small appliances or a large system, getting an air purifier will help your office to feel clean.
Make it feel like a livable space.
Yes, you don’t want too much clutter or unneeded items taking up space, but it’s also important to make yourself feel good in your work environment. Plus, having a nicely decorated space will inspire your employees to come into the office on time and perform better.
Consider getting a few plants to bring some color and comfort into your workspace (some plants help to purify the air). Bring in a new rug and toss the old one so your spaces feel renewed and more vibrant. Also, think about the lighting in your space — is it too bright? Perhaps buy a few lamps for better lighting.
When she’s not writing for SB, Pauline runs an intuitive healing business... and is still writing as she types up psychic readings! As she was raised by entrepreneurs, she knows what it takes to be a small business owner.
Pauline writes on a number of topics such as small business owner resources, marketing, and customer service and retention.
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