You Might Need to Clean Your Office If…

You Might Need to Clean Your Office If…

Albert Einstein once said “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Perhaps those are the two extremes of office life, that you either have a cluttered space or you don’t, but the in between is where productivity lies. According to Anne Fisher, Fortune Senior writer, clutter can be the paper trail into business catastrophe. Do you have a clutter problem? You might need to clean your office if…

A lot of the paperwork on your desk has been sitting for 6 or more months.
While we can all dream of a paperless office, the fact of the matter is paper is here to stay. If you’ve found that much of the paperwork sitting in piles on your desk is 6 months older or more then it’s time to clean your office.

Getting to essential equipment or exits has turned into an obstacle course.
File boxes in the way of the printer. Stacks of marketing materials blocking doorways. Conference rooms packed with excess product and not actual people. These are all signs that it’s time to clean up your office.

Your favorite pen is on your desk, but you’re not sure where.
You know you own a fancy Cross pen, and it’s somewhere on your desk, but the stacks of paper have kept it well hidden. This is a sign that it’s time to clean your office.

You have plenty of windows in your office, but the actual office is lacking natural light.
If boxes of old documents are piled halfway up the windows (or more!) and blocking natural light, then it’s time to clean your office.

A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that people with a messy desk were more prone to creativity and risk taking, while people at cleaner desks tended to follow strict rules and were less likely to try new things or take risks. Dr. Vohs and her co-authors conclude in the study, “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.”

Of course, correlation does not equal causation, and while a little bit of an unkempt space might be good for the creative spark, a cluttered, messy area is detrimental for productivity. In an office environment, lack of productivity means lack of business.

Rather than leaving a desk in a state of constant messiness, it can be helpful to modify the environment as it suits our needs. Think of messiness and cleanliness as a spectrum that also has a corresponding creativity setting.

Tossing old documents and using a regular document destruction service is a great way to keep clutter and mess at bay. With routine document destruction from Legal Shred, there are no contracts and billing is automatic. Routine schedules are also flexible; you can set up a weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly schedule, whatever frequency that you need to keep your office or home organized and free of unnecessary paper clutter.

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