decluttering in five steps

Some may say an untidy office is the sign of a creative mind, but if your workplace unruliness goes beyond a piled up inbox, virtual or physical, you might want to think again.

At its worst, office mess causes accidents, the majority of which are falls, frequently caused by equipment, files and cables left lying around. Slips and trips, often resulting in broken bones, were the biggest cause of the 26,000 major workplace incidents reported to the Health and Safety Executive in 2010/11.

Here are 5 ideas for taking an office environment from chaos to calm:

Get into the zone

Divide your workspace into zones, with the closest zone on your desk and only for those items you need within arms’ reach, such as computers, keyboard, telephone, pen holder and notepad. Zones outside of this should include your inbox, reference materials, office supplies and personal items, each in their own area of the office. Classify items as daily, weekly or seldom used and keep those seldom used items well away from your office desk

Eliminate paperwork

Deal with your paperwork by getting rid of anything that you or anyone else are unlikely to need again, thinking before you print and only filing things that you are sure you will need, now or in the future. Make use of lightweight mobile cabinets and robust locking executive cabinets to store files appropriately and dispose of old paperwork safely by using a crosscut shredder.

Cleanse your computer systems

Delete old files and transfer historical files onto portable digital media such as flash drives, memory cards and SSDs

Make it modular

Consider multi-purpose and modular office furniture to help maximise space. Desktop modules can completely personalise your storage needs using a clever system of clips between the different types of units, such as hollow and vertical divider units, drawer units and hanging file units.

Keep it healthy

Create a clean and healthy office by disinfecting your desk, phone, keyboard and monitor at least once a week. Useful products to have on hand include desk caddies that include hand sanitisers, hand wipes and surface wipes.