March 17, 2015

By: Chelsea Haley, DKI Ventures, LLC

Are you drowning in a sea of files on your desktop? Maybe it’s time for some spring cleaning! Many participate in spring cleaning for the home, but neglect the office space, which could be harmful to your success and the way others perceive your professionalism.

According to a study by Office Depot, disorganization can cause the following negative effects on office productivity:

  • Lost time
  • Missed deadlines
  • Meeting tardiness

This spring, try these simple organization and cleaning tips to help increase productivity and focus in the workplace. Practicing these five tips every few months should help you maintain a clean and organized office space.


Sort through the papers on and in your desk. Determine what can be tossed, and what you need to keep. Shred and recycle the discard pile. Then, consider storing those required files on your computer to limit the amount of excess paper.

For those leftover papers, file and label for organization and easy access.

Digital Cleaning

In addition to storing files on your computer, make sure to organize these as well. Laura Stack, President of time-management consulting firm The Productivity Pro says, “Most people spend at least 30 minutes to an hour a day looking for things.”

Label your digital documents and files to easily access. Don’t clutter your main screen with random files or electronic post-it notes. Instead, organize these in individual folders in your documents section, and add your appointments to your Outlook or Microsoft calendar.

Declutter your Desk

Is your desk distracting? Aesthetically unappealing? Limit the amount of items covering your desk. This will not only give you more space to work, but also prevent distractions. According to a new survey by the staffing firm, Adecco, 57 percent of workers admit to judging a co-worker based on the cleanliness of their workspace.

Consider storing files, supplies and miscellaneous items in drawers and cabinets. Keep your desktop limited to a monitor, keyboard, phone, lamp, pens, notepad and a unique item, such as a plant or picture frame.


Reset your computer, delete Internet cookies, and run your required updates. All of these, as well as excess files, can slow down your system or cause your computer to crash. Schedule a weekly reboot to keep your system running well and prevent you from running to IT more often. An optimal time for this is during your lunch break so you know you have the time to be without your computer for a short time.


While it doesn’t directly correlate to organization, three quarters of workers claim a clean office makes them more productive. Throw away your garbage, wipe down your desktop, shake out the crumbs and dust in your keyboard or use a compressed air can, and don’t forget to disinfect your phone and headset.