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Top 15 Decluttering Tips and Tricks

Posted June 06, 2017 by Lynn Brown



Is it time to declutter your office?  

A cluttered office can negatively impact the motivation and productivity of employees. Clutter also means that confidential information may be exposed – which is exactly what information thieves hope for.

In fact, a tidy office can actually boost employee efficiency.  According to interior design company oka.com, people make better decisions in a tidy space – and that can save the 15-20% of the annual budget that can be lost when it’s untidy.

In a decluttered office, 83% of the workforce say they feel more productive, better accomplished, and in control.

Here are 15 tips and tricks to declutter the office and better protect confidential information.  

  1. Clear the desk. Place only the items that are needed for daily work within arm’s reach (the phone, keyboard and monitor, light, and other essential work supplies).
  2. Keep personal items organised with a place for coats, and a locked drawer or cupboard for personal items.  
  3. Declutter by picking up every item in the work area – and asking, does it have a purpose? Anything that doesn’t should be thrown out, taken home, or securely disposed of. Not sure? Don’t waste time deciding. Have a ‘not sure’ box, and go back to it later.
  4. Organise desk drawers by importance – items used most should go into the closest drawers.
  5. Have an efficient workflow for paper... so paper comes in on the left, gets processed, and goes out on the right (filed in a locked drawer or filing cabinet or securely disposed of).
  6. Organise digital information too, with logical and labelled folders and when necessary, in password protected files. File all emails using a simple filing system: ‘reply’, ‘waiting’, ‘archive’.  
  7. Review and cull filed documents. According to the US based National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), individuals never use 80% of papers they file. 
  8. Stop using sticky notes (they’re messy and expose information). Use calendar reminders and a password manager instead.
  9. Digitise paper documents if possible. Put paper into locked consoles for secure destruction – not into open recycling or waste bins.
  10. Embed processes that standardise tidiness. These processes could include partnering with a document destruction company that installs locked consoles for unwanted paperwork and provides regular secure removal and destruction service.   
  11. Implement a Clean Desk Policy so that all employees tidy work stations at the end of every day. When away from desks during the day, avoid visual hacking by protecting loose papers and closing down monitors.   
  12. Introduce a Shred-it all Policy so that all documents are securely destroyed when no longer needed.
  13. Create a comprehensive Document Management process so documents are systematically identified, filed and securely disposed of based on data protection laws and compliance requirements.
  14. Delete all unused apps and software. Do not download unnecessary (or personal) apps onto work devices.  
  15. Use the ‘one in; one out’ rule. For example, if you get a new hard drive, dispose of the old one securely. The workplace should not stockpile hard drives, but have all legacy hard drives securely destroyed by the document destruction company.  

Download our infographic to learn where your office is most vulnerable to inside fraud – and what to do about it.

Start Protecting Your Business 

To learn more about how Shred-it can protect your documents and hard drives, please contact us to get a free quote and data security survey. 


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Fill out the form or call 0800 197 1164 to start protecting your business today!

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