Clear the Cubicle Clutter: Four Spring Cleaning Ideas

Spring is finally here and, along with budding trees and warmer days, it brings the inspiration to organize. An organized workspace offers many advantages. It lets your accounting colleagues and clients know you mean business, while making you more productive and efficient because you know where everything is at all times.

Sick of dealing with disorder and dust? Consider these four spring cleaning ideas:

1. Tame the paper trail. Do you have notes with action items and login reminders posted all over your workspace? In addition to being untidy, it's distracting. Eliminate sticky-note overload by creating one master to-do list you can check off as you go along. This gives you the added mental boost of seeing what you’ve accomplished. 

2. Prune the personal items. Most people like to have some reminders of their non-work lives at the office, and there’s generally nothing wrong with that. However, having too many personal items on display can take your attention away from your work — or send the wrong message. While you may think your collection of action figures or stuffed animals shows that you’re fun loving, a coworker, manager or client could see it differently. Don't go overboard and follow the cultural norms of your workplace.

3. Create a desk to impress. Yes, it's tax season and things are hectic. But no matter the time of year, having files and printouts strewn about gives the impression that you’re overwhelmed or disorganized — not the image any accountant wants to convey. Take the time to categorize your work with color-coded files or trays. Designate these for incoming projects, ongoing assignments, reference materials, and so forth. Not only will your desk look great, you'll no longer have to waste time shuffling through stacks of paper. 

4. Manage your other desktop. A messy computer desktop can slow you down, too. Create folders to house reports and spreadsheets for separate projects. Once you finish a project, remove it from your desktop. If you need to save it, create an archives folder so you have it available without cluttering your screen. Unused files and folders can make your computer perform slowly. Keep your machine running smoothly by regularly cleaning out duplicate downloads and files you no longer use. Likewise, delete any email messages you don’t need as soon as you've read them.

What spring cleaning ideas would you add to the list?