Each year during the months of March and April many companies and organizations encourage employees to spend time spring cleaning their offices, storage rooms and file systems. Some companies even designate a particular week in which to devote to cleaning house and provide employees with extra supplies such as dumpsters, shredders and recycle bins.
Lean Office’s method of 5S is a systematic approach to bringing organization to any area. These 5 steps can be applied to everything from cleaning out your email Inbox to readying your garage for winter.
The 5S’s are:
- Sort – When in doubt, move it out.
- Straighten – A place for everything.
- Sweep – To be Lean, you must be clean.
- Standardize – Routines become habits.
- Sustain – Make it simple to maintain.
To experience a successful Spring Cleaning in your office, here are some guidelines to insure you get the most out of your efforts:
- Designate a specific day and time. Get it on your calendar early and don’t be tempted to bump it or reschedule it.
- Have supplies on hand such as extra garbage cans or dumpsters, recycling bins, shredders and storage boxes.
- Encourage employees to ignore the work on their desks, giving them permission to spend time purging and organizing.
- Review company retention policies. These may vary by department but knowing the retention policy of documents in your office will equip you to know when you’re able to let go of items.
- Make it fun. Some organizations provide lunch on spring cleaning days and/or give out prizes and fun rewards for things like “oldest document”, “biggest improvement”, “most pounds discarded”, etc.
- If your entire department is engaged in the spring cleaning effort, take before and after photos of storage rooms and offices. By posting these photos your entire team will be reminded of the progress made.