Spring Cleaning the Home Office, Part 2

All right, so you’ve got your music, your coffee break, and at least one already-clean surface somewhere in your house, so today isn’t a total loss. Now comes the fun part of spring cleaning your home office: climbing Mount Paperwork. Start with several empty boxes or bins for sorting everything into piles.

Depending on the amount of work you need to finish, I suggest the following categories:

1. Old receipts and banking information.

These can go directly into your existing storage system. Banking information for accounts you’ve already entered into your accounting software can go here as well.

2. Paperwork that belongs in existing files.

Just make a stack for now. You’ll sort out the contents for individual files once the rest of this is out of your way.

3. Paperwork for which new files must be made.

Set these items aside until you have a chance to dig out your trusty label maker.

4. Receipts for the current year.

File if you’ve already entered them in your accounting system, or put them in a labeled folder to work with later.

5. Unpaid bills.

This category also includes forms, and miscellaneous business items you need to deal with. You should already have an inbox of some kind. Stash it all there.

6. Stuff you can throw away.

Include old catalogs, industry publications, junk mail misprinted documents, information on past events, and any other items you no longer need to keep.

Pick up every piece of paper on your desk and on the floor and put it into one of those boxes. Don’t get distracted reading everything; for now, the goal is to get a paperwork-free surface in the office and the trash out of your way. Throw away old envelopes, newspapers, advertising, dried-out pens, and anything else that does not need to stay in your office or your files.

Once the floor is clean and your trash pile is gone, sort through the remaining piles, one by one. Start with the items that need to be filed in existing spaces. Pull the appropriate file folders and stash each of those items. For the remaining items, sort by category, place in new, clean file folders, label, and put away.

Now for the actual cleaning part of spring cleaning. Your goal for today is to get the office clutter and dirt under control.

Dust any open shelves. Remember to clean off photo frames and any decorative knickknacks. Wipe the dust off your light fixtures and replace any burned-out bulbs.

Using t

he edge attachment, vacuum corners. Check for cobwebs. Vacuum the open floor.

If you have blinds or curtains, now is the time to scrub them.

Go through your supplies and make a shopping list. on my last run I stocked up on Ink, binder clips and envelopes, among other supplies.

Pick up a can of compressed air and blow out your keyboard. Find an electronics-safe cloth and wipe down your monitor.

Vacuum or wipe down your office chair.

Using an alcohol-based spray to kill germs, wipe down your desk area and all the items you frequently touch, such as your phone, doorknob, and mouse.

There! Your office is tidy and ready for a new paperwork avalanche! Happy spring cleaning!

I’m blogging my way through my first novel! Follow me on Twitter or find me on Facebook for new updates!

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