Cleaning your office in five steps

Cleaning your office in five steps

By Paul Hagan


Your New Year’s resolution was to declutter the office of those piles of excess papers that have been piling up since the first Bush administration. Then, out of nowhere, it was like the second week of January. That’s cool, the year ju—aaand now it’s the third week. That’s okay, fine, b—oh no, February is coming up fast and you haven’t even started.

Look at this stock photo of a desk without paper →

desk with balloon

This could be your desk in just five quick steps:


1. Separate papers into two stacks: “I definitely don’t need this” and “maybe I’ll need this eventually.” That’s it. You’re practically done already.


2. Then ask yourself three questions while rummaging through that second pile.


3. First question: Self, why have I not recycled this when a digital copy will do? Do I hate the environment that much? Scan it if possible. There’s slightly more space in the cloud than on your physical desktop.


Second question: Self, who needs this (if not me)? It’s probably HR, Legal, or Accounting. The trifecta of teams you don’t want angry with you. Box those up in their own dedicated space, albeit within easy reach in case Karen from HR comes calling.


4. Third question: Self, how long do I need this? It’s probably longer than the next five minutes but before your deathbed. Then date stamp everything via your handy label maker so you don’t have to do this next January(ish).


5. Finally, the fun part: send the leftovers to el paper shredder. Bonus points if you cross-shred your way into some confetti.




So you should probably find your way over to Staples and use you NPP discount to fund this endeavor before OSHA shuts your desk down for endangering your coworkers. NPP members get Staples business discounts (company employee deals too) on stuff like paper shredders, banker boxes, fancy label makers and more. While you’re at it, grab a tub of disinfecting wipes and computer cleaners and go nuts. That would all make Marie Kondo and OSHA very, very happy.