From Cabinets to the Cloud: A Guide to Spring Cleaning Your Office

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With the spring season underway, you may be feeling inspired to tackle clutter and freshen up your space. While the concept of spring cleaning tends to bring up visions of scrubbing every surface in your home or packing away winter gear, there’s another place that likely requires your attention – the office.

Here are a few tried and true tips for spring cleaning at the office – tackling everything from digital organization to decluttering desks.

Go paperless for a tidier workspace

Take stock of every item in your office, considering whether it’s serving a valuable purpose or merely taking up space. The chances are, many of these things are simply clutter. In fact, you’ll be shocked to find how much space is taken up by paper alone – piled on your desktop, stored in boxes or stuffed into a filing cabinet. Take this valuable real estate back and lower your chances of losing important documents by storing and organizing files digitally. Start by gathering all of the paper clutter – bills, invoices, memos, newspapers, magazines, agendas, notebooks, sticky notes – and sort it into two piles; one with important items to be digitized and the other with material headed for the recycling bin or trash. Discard physical copies of every item you possibly can once your team has digitized its files.

Invest in a powerful scanning solution to help your team take on digital organization with speed and ease, such as the ScanSnap iX1500. It scans files directly to your preferred cloud service and features OCR (optical character recognition), allowing you to add keywords and create searchable files. The scanner can handle tough items like envelopes, plastic cards and sticky notes, plus offers business card, receipt and document management apps making it the ultimate office powerhouse.

Examine your cloud storage

When taking your office paperless, it’s essential to ensure your business is using a trusted cloud platform to back up documents. Embracing cloud storage is a vital step to digital organization – it also enables remote collaboration amongst a team and helps equip your company with a disaster recovery strategy. Whether the threat is a natural disaster, a crashed hard drive or a data breach, it’s paramount to ensure your important files and sensitive data is secure within the cloud.

Review your digital filing system to make sure your team is following best practices when it comes to naming, sorting and organizing documents. Create some simple ground rules that everyone in your office can reference. The next time you’re searching for an important file, you’ll know exactly where to find it.

Organize your desktop (both of them)

Tidying up your space can have a remarkable impact on your focus, productivity and overall mindset. This applies to your physical and digital environments. Clutter within your workspace has been proven to compete for your attention – affecting your ability to focus and process information – and it can also increase stress and destroy productivity. Clean out your desk drawers and use this space to organize the items taking over your desktop – whether supplies like pens, notebooks and paperclips, or extra tech such as an iPad or tablet when not in use. If books are piling up on your desk, donate those you’ve already read and reorganize the ones you choose to keep with a method that won’t crowd your workspace. If your desk doesn’t have any attached drawers, consider a compact storage solution or get creative with shelving or a desktop organizer.

Lastly, take a close look at your computer desktop. If it’s cluttered with haphazard files, this can be incredibly distracting to your workflow each day. Comb through the items to identify what you can move to the trash. Organize the remaining documents into tidy folders based on client, project or category, or with another system that works for you. You’ll be shocked to experience the new-found peace of mind that a simple virtual cleanup can provide you with.

The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accountingmarketingtechnology and more.  Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted.  The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.

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