Get Out the Windex and Clean Your Desk

Get out the Windex, grab some paper towels and start cleaning. Scrub the top of your desk. Dust the stuff before you put it back. If you have shelves in your cubicle or office, take everything down and clean.

It’s National Clean Off Your Desk Day so get busy.

Don’t skimp on this. Starting with a clean, cleared off desktop, put things back one at a time, weighing as you go whether you really need to keep it all. Toss those notes you took during last year’s staff meetings. The junk mail you’ve been saving because it looks like it just might be interesting isn’t, so into the recycling bin with it all. (Yes, we’re also talking about cleaning your home office and the junk there, too.)

Outdated documents, reports of no use, all get recycled or shredded. If you’ve been hanging on to something because it might be of some use, stop kidding yourself. If you haven’t thought about it for weeks, you don’t need it. It’s just clutter.

Don’t forget desk drawers. They get full of pens, paper clips, candy wrappers and miscellany. The pens and office supplies you don’t need return to the supply room. Organize the rest.

The filing you’ve been meaning to get to, get to it today. This cleanup of files also goes for all the emails on your computer. Delete anything in your inbox that’s older than this morning. Sound too radical? Here’s a secret: Until you empty your delete folder it’s still there. And even when you do, if you absolutely, positively must recover something, it’s almost guaranteed a copy exists on the company mail server. If Google is your email service (as it is for millions of businesses), Gmail keeps your email practically forever.

Now that everything is clean and fresh and organized, try keeping it that way. National Clean Off Your Desk only comes around once a year.

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