Monday 13th of January was National Clean Your Desk Day in America. Did y’all miss it? Don’t worry, it’s not really caught on over here just yet.
But since Attic Self Storage are the experts at creating space, love to set a trend and hate to get left behind by our cousins across the pond, we’ve decided to spend this week tidying up the office, de-cluttering our desks and encouraging our customers to do the same.
Start As You Mean To Go On
We started by dusting all our shiny customer service awards in the trophy cabinet, washing up the sherry glasses and vacuuming up the mince pie crumbs. It’s time for the sellotape and scissors to go back in the drawer, the tinsel and tree to go back into storage and the ceramic elves to go back on their shelves (ok, we made that last one up).
Is This A Desk Toy I See Before Me?
Knick-knacks and ornaments are so last decade. Try a bit of minimalism to kick off 2020. Get rid of anything unnecessary, no longer needed or visually distracting. If you’ve got a dusty desk gonk, a half dead pot plant or a broken angle-poise lamp, now is the time to find them a new home or finally lay them to rest.
Turn Over A New Leaf
Don’t allow paperwork to pile up. Sort through any prints outs, written material and correspondence. File away anything that’s important, throw away anything that isn’t. Shred any material that might be sensitive — old financial records, cost forecasts, photos from the Christmas party. Move old post-it-notes, memos, diaries, cards and Greta Thunberg paperbacks to the recycling bin.
Kill 99% Of All Known Germs. Dead.
Go on, don’t hold back, you know you’re itching to get the anti-bacterial spray out and wipe down all your surfaces, drawers and handles. If you have a desktop computer give everything a thorough going over — apparently the average keyboard is home to something like 16 million microbes. Eurgh. Just to be safe, it’s probably best to sanitise any mouse mats, staplers and desk phones too. Now wash your hands.
Less Is More
Once you’ve created a nice clean blank space in front of you, don’t mess it up again. Only put back the essential items that you genuinely need on your desk — computer and keyboard, yes; solar-powered dancing sunflower, probably not. Be ruthless.
Unless you’re an architect or a Disney animator, do you really need a pot of pens, pencils and protractors? Stick drawing pins, paperclips and rubber bands in a drawer. Or better still leave them in the stationery cupboard until you actually need them.
Clean Your Windows
After you’ve cleared the physical clutter from your desk, we’d suggest applying the same principal to the virtual clutter on your desktop. Remove unnecessary files, archive spreadsheets, delete any junk. Run a virus scan, clean up your hard drive, create a bit of disc space.
Check that your firewall is working and back up any data or documents you can’t afford to lose on an external drive or a cloud. Drag and drop any items you no longer need into the trash. And then empty the trash. With a bit of luck Attic just improved your memory and made your computer run faster to boot.
Now Doesn’t That Feel Better
There’s something very cathartic and energising about having a good tidy up. It’s easier to focus on the work in front of you if you don’t have a load of stuff, well, in front of you.
As one American guru puts it — “A clean desk indicates a clean and focused mind. It makes you look efficient, accomplished, thorough, and organized. And while nothing can replace a job well done, a clear desk can only help improve your reputation among your co-workers”.
Then again, don’t overdo it. As some old bloke called Einstein once pointed out — “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”