Five Ways to Control Office Clutter: Tips on Improving Administrative Practices and Earth-Friendliness

Spring is the season when office workers and managers take a good look at their work spaces to find opportunities to clean them out. That might mean dealing with all the paper, books and devices taking up desk or floor space, and figuring out how to streamline and minimize the clutter.

The nice thing is, an office spring cleaning session has some additional advantages that could impact a company’s bottom line. For example, it can get companies thinking about how they could improve some of their administrative practices, slash costs and increase the “green” factor in the workplace.

The following tips offer some starting points for companies interesting in taking on the clutter-clean-up challenge:

Think Before Tossing Something in the Garbage

Before automatically deciding to throw something out, office workers should consider whether there might be an opportunity to re-use or recycle it. For instance, they could take advantage of return programs for used toner cartridges or aging equipment. Or, they could re-use paper that has been already printed on one side to write down messages or brainstorming ideas.

Watch the Device’s Energy Consumption Levels

If the office is due to receive new equipment, managers might want to look at getting a single multi-function device to replace the current fax machine, scanner and printer. This may very well keep energy costs down, while freeing up much of the office’s occupied counter or floor space and reducing maintenance efforts.

Take Good Care of Equipment

Businesses would do well to schedule a tech tune-up for devices once a year, and spring cleaning season is a great time to have this done. If a professional checks out the equipment on a regular basis, that can ensure a company’s technology investments are running smoothly, remaining in working order for the appropriate amount of time, running without constant breakdowns, and having a minimal impact on the environment.

Create a Digital Archive System

If the office has filing cabinets taking up a lot of space, one way to clear out some more room is to scan old documents and archive them instead. The files will be more organized and easily accessible. But businesses are advised not to forget to create backup copies of everything.

Improve the Company’s Internal Printing Culture

There are devices out there that will track colour use and printing frequency; it would be wise to implement company policies that will reduce waste and help the environment. It’s also a good idea to make sure equipment is fairly up-to-date; the big trend now is for newer equipment to be more earth-friendly.

In summary, a yearly clean-out can do more than just get rid of physical clutter; it can also help a company develop strategies to save money and become more environmentally friendly. Recycling, equipment consolidation, regular equipment maintenance, digital archiving and waste-reduction policy implementation can all help a business reach these goals.