Include the Workplace in Your Spring Cleaning Endeavors

Posted by Kristin Arnold on March 30, 2010

Spring means spring cleaning, so take a look at your workplace.

A team effort would clear up the mess and build up your team at the same time.  Schedule a “Spring Cleanup” on a Friday after lunch.  Ask everyone to wear jeans or comfy clothes, roll up their sleeves and work.

Put on some upbeat music and start with their individual workspaces.  Take a good look:  Where do you spend most of your time?  Things that are vital to doing your job should be at your fingertips, things that are important should be moved within an arm’s length, and things you use occasionally should be a step away—or even in another office.

Move the vital (A’s), important (B’s), and occasional items (C’s) to the appropriate space.  This includes furniture, pictures, files etc.  Take all the remaining clutter and pile it into the center of the floor.

Then move to the common areas.  Have two or three people do the conference room, another group do the kitchen and another do shared spaces.  At this point, you should have several large piles.

Go through each item in them and quickly decide to:

Trash it.

Refer it.  Put it in an out box with a routing slip or ask team members if they want it.  (If not, trash it).

File it.  Make an A pile, a B pile and a C pile to be filed later.  Act on it.  You have to do something with the item.  Make an A pile, a B pile and a C pile to be scheduled later.

This is the fun part:  If in doubt, ask your teammates what you should do.  Others will see a need or be much more ruthless.  When all is done, throw out the trash, route to the outbox, and file the A’s in your vital space, the B’s in important space and the C’s in the occasional space.

Now all you have left are the action items.  Prioritize them and schedule the work. A good rule of thumb is one task per person per day.  Before you know it, you workplace is less cluttered and you have done a lot of work in a short time.

Question:  Have you scheduled your team’s spring cleaning?

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