Spring-cleaning: Tips for tidying up your office space, freeing yourself of clutter

Spring-cleaning: Tips for tidying up your office space, freeing yourself of clutter

April 11, 2023


Spring-cleaning for your finances

A financial spring-cleaning.

Spring-cleaning is a great way to feel refreshed and reenergized heading into the warm seasons. Following removal of decor over months of holidays, spring is the perfect time to deep-clean every bit of your spaces. Clutter easily builds up over the winter months with extra blankets, pillows, holiday knickknacks, useless papers and more. While most often spring-cleaning is associated with household tidying, an area that is easily forgotten but in need of some care is the office.

Whether you have an office in a building or in your home, you more than likely spend a lot of time there and leave things to pile up. Having a clean space to work is important for your overall productivity. It is really easy to let the workspace fill up with unneeded paperwork, pens with no ink, sticky notes with outdated info and more, making it difficult to focus on work.

Use springtime as an opportunity to hit the reset button and tidy up your workspace. Here a few simple tips for you to get your office in excellent working condition.


One big and tedious step that is important to take when spring-cleaning your office is to organize all of your printed documents. (David Kasnic for The Washington Post via Getty Images / Getty Images)

1. Separate your paperwork

You're probably holding onto a stack or two of unnecessary papers either in your working view or hidden somewhere in drawers.

When spring-cleaning your office, grab every single piece of paper you have in your workspace and put it in one big pile and go through it all.

To do this, create three piles. The first is your "need" pile. If you come across any super important documents that you need to keep, add those to this pile. Once you have gone through all your paperwork, put everything from this pile in a folder or secure them together with a paperclip and put neatly in your desk drawer.


File as much as you can digitally to avoid paper clutter. (Jan Woitas / picture alliance via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Now consider your "digital" pile. This is for documents that are important for you to keep but don't need to be printed out. Getting rid of things that can be filed digitally can help you clear up a lot of space. You may be surprised at how many things you have via hard copy that could be kept on your computer desktop.

Lastly, add to your "trash" pile. This should include everything you do not need. Remember to shred any papers you have that include any confidential or personal information before throwing them in the trash.

2. Empty everything

When you are cleaning your office space, take absolutely everything out of your desk and place it aside.

In doing so, you can figure out what you want to keep and what you don't need. Put everything that you don't need into a pile. Include office supplies, magazines, newspapers, unnecessary and unused cords, etc., in this process.


When cleaning your desk, take absolutely everything off to give yourself a fresh space to work with. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / Getty Images)

3. Make decisions about junk items

Once you have compiled any and all junk items, it's time to decide what to do with then. If they are in good condition and could be of use, see if any friends or family members are in need of your stuff. Consider donating any items that are no longer needed.

If you're holding on for dear life to a broken charger, pens without ink, broken desk accessories, etc., it's time to part with it and throw these items away.

4. Scrub, scrub, scrub

Even though the organizational aspect of cleaning is important, it's also important to actually wipe down the surfaces. Use lens wipes, disinfectant wipes, cleaning sprays, etc., to wipe down your computer. Make sure to do this after you've emptied everything off your desk to make it easier to clean.

5. Decide on what makes a happy workspace

While the goal of spring-cleaning is to actually clean, this is a great time to decide on what you need to feel happy during work. Make a small list of things you'd like to brighten up your space. Maybe you'd like a new chair, real or fake plants, or a little lamp for extra light. Include pieces that won't add too much clutter.


Don’t keep anything on top of your desk that you don’t use daily. (Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images / Getty Images)

6. Keep only necessities visible

It is so easy to leave things like sticky notes or old stacks of papers on your desk, but only the things that you need on a daily basis should be on your desk.

Necessities are different for everyone, but some things you may find yourself reaching for every day are a pen or highlighter, a calendar with all your meetings for the day or a to-do list should maintain their space on your desk.

7. Ask yourself if you really need that

When you are going through your belongings, ask yourself, "Do I really need that?" If you have items in your workspace that you haven't touched in months or even years, or forgot about altogether in your desk, it's probably time to part ways.

8. Do a digital sweep

While spring-cleaning, don't forget about cleaning your electronics as well. Go through your computer and get rid of any files that you don't need. Create folders to keep things organized on your computer.


Delete files off your computer that you no longer need. (Lanna Apisukh / Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

9. Tidy up around your work area 

Make sure that you also clean up the area around where you work. If you work from home, clean up around the room that you work in. Pick things up off the floor, tidy up bookshelves and give the space a thorough vacuuming. Regularly take out your trash to keep a neat space.

10. Make cleaning fun

For most, cleaning is a bore. Pop in some headphones or turn up your speaker and listen to music or a podcast while cleaning to make it more fun. You can also create goals for yourself and set timers to 30-minute increments rather than cleaning for hours at a time.

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