When running a business, it’s easy to get bogged down in everything that needs doing. There are clients to meet, employees to pay, and projects to complete. These are all essential parts of running a company, but it means that other things are easily neglected.
One of the things that are too-frequently forgotten about is decluttering. A messy office can hinder productivity, make it challenging to move around the space, and even look unprofessional should you host client meetings there. For these reasons, you must manage this clutter effectively whenever it gets too overwhelming.
But what can you do about it? And how long will it take? Decluttering isn’t a one-day process. It takes time, so here are some hints and advice on how to declutter your office space and get everyone back on track.
Find a Larger Space
The first instinct when you realize your office is far too cluttered for your liking is to pack everything away and find a brand new and larger office space. This is an excellent chance for you to push towards further growth, but it’s not always ideal.
By moving office spaces, you risk losing your prime trading spot. You may also need to spend more money, and not just on renting a larger area. You’ll need to make new business cards and update a plethora of other things to make the move seamless.
The allure of a new office space is nice, but you should only go through with it if your business can support it. Who knows, you may not even be able to find a suitable space, which puts you right back at square one. Luckily, there are further alternatives to explore.
Only Keep The Essentials
Going through everything your business has and deciding what should and shouldn’t stay sounds like a nightmare. But often, it’s easier than you first imagine and could make you realize how much useless stuff you own.
If it needs you to come in on weekends to make sure you don’t lose any time midweek, then so be it. You can also arrange it for times when you know business is typically slow, such as the last thing on a Friday for an hour before everyone goes home. However, this shouldn’t come at the expense of actually working.
With these non-essentials, you can donate them to charity if it’s things like furniture that no one ever sits in, or ask your employees if they want to take anything home. You can then arrange with local recycling or disposal services to pick up whatever is left.
Rearrange and Reorganize
Often, your office only feels cluttered because your layout isn’t making the best use of the space. All it takes to feel like your office has more space and is less cluttered is to rearrange and reorganize the office furniture.
This can be a gradual process taking place over a few weeks as you experiment with new floor plan ideas. Not only is this great for reducing clutter, but it also makes it feel like a brand new office, which will hopefully flood you and your employees with a feeling that everything is fresh and new.
It may take some getting used to, and you’ll need to ensure there are no new trip hazards such as errant cables, but soon everyone will get used to it, and you’ll forget how your office used to look altogether.
One massive culprit of clutter is the mass of papers and documents that occupy every filing cupboard both inside, on top, and the side, and fallen behind the back forgotten. Going digital is a superb alternative to keeping paper records, and it’s also better for the environment.
The only issue with this is that it takes hours to transfer information from paper to digital, whether it’s done by hand or scanning everything. If you have any sensitive information on these documents, you’ll also need to ensure you have a secure network to prevent any potentially damaging breaches.
With the documents that are left, you can shred and recycle them so they don’t just end up in some landfill, which is the complete opposite of what you want.
If you decide that some items are too valuable to dispose of but also don’t need to be in the office at this very minute, you can consider investing in external storage by getting in touch with companies such as Safety Steel Structures who design residential, commercial, and industrial solutions for storage.
Doing this allows you to know where everything is and keep old furniture, computers, or cabinets full of office supplies in a safe place until the time you need them or can move them on. However, you’ll need the extra space to keep them space, so unless you’re willing to put a storage shed in your backyard, make sure this is organized before you purchase one.
While people mostly try to be tidy, it’s easy to neglect tidiness over whatever work they need to do. If you’ve attempted to keep the office area clean and tidy but still find that papers pile up and chairs are left everywhere except their desks, you can consider incentivizing tidiness and reward employees who follow suit.
Nobody wants to work in a cluttered office, so it shouldn’t be too hard to convince them. However, you also run the risk of treating them like Kindergarten students instead of employees and peers, so there’s a fine line you must be careful of.
So while you should avoid giving gold stars to the tidiest person in the office, offering coupons for free dinners or retail services – something everybody can use – should get them interested in keeping their workstation, at the very least, clean and tidy. Hopefully, you’ll never need to deal with decluttering ever again.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by seeing clutter everywhere you look, but as long as you approach your decluttering process with a positive mindset and an organized plan, you’ll have the office looking as good as new in no time at all. From here, you no longer need to feel embarrassed when inviting clients round to see what you can do for them.