How to Declutter Your Office & Printer Protocol

office printer clutter minimalism

(5-min read)

Less is more.

One of the newest trends to combat compulsive consumerism is the philosophy of minimalism. This lifestyle boasts the freedom from “things” as its adherents do their best to maximize the usefulness of the few objects they own and rid themselves of useless clutter.

While you may be wondering what on earth this concept has to do with your company’s printing protocol, the benefits of minimalism have far-reaching benefits not only on your printing bottom-line but also on the aesthetic of your office.

De-Cluttering Your Workspace

You’ve more than likely experienced busy days in the office where the tasks seem to keep piling up faster than you can tackle them. As you become focused on maximizing the number of tasks you complete, you may notice that your own desk is contributing to your stress levels. Stacks of papers, notebooks, stale coffee mugs, and office tools that you may not have touched in months may feel like they’re taking up precious real estate on your desk. A workspace decluttering may be in order. Doing so may take only an hour or so. 

Block Out Time

Check out your calendar for about two to three hours you can dedicate to de-cluttering your workspace. During this time, mark yourself as busy to your co-workers. Set all of your notifications to “do not disturb” to give yourself the proper time to focus.

Gear Up to Strip Down

The process of de-clutter may require you to acquire a few things. Do grab these beforehand to prevent you from being derailed by having to go look for them after you’ve begun decluttering.

  1. A trash bag or can
  2. A box or bag for recyclables
  3. A box or bin for things to shred
  4. A box or bin to store things to keep in office
  5. A box or bin to store things to take home
  6. Phone with mobile-scan application
  7. Tunes or podcast of choice

Get to Work

Fire up your music or favorite podcast and begin the decluttering process. Some prefer to start with their drawers and storage and work backward toward the visible.

No Somedays

Whichever way you choose, relinquish the “someday” mentality—the idea that you “may” use that item someday. If you haven’t used an item or file in three months and you have no official reason to hold onto it, get rid of it—either by recycling it, shredding it, or just trashing it. If you’re not sure about a document, keep it or “scan it” with your phone and then discard it.

No Duplicates

If you have multiple copies of certain documents or objects, discard unnecessary duplicates. For duplicate objects, consider keeping them in one container and offer them to co-workers. If you don’t have any takers, discard—remember, no “somedays.”

The Daily Desk

Make a rule for yourself that you only keep objects on your desk that you use every day. Anything beyond objects used daily are visual distractions—whether you realize it or not. You may think that your brain is tuning them out, but they are actually taking up valuable mental bandwidth by simply being in your line of sight.

Store Necessary Items Out of Sight

If you have to hold onto a handful of documents for a later time, don’t store these in a file on your desk. Properly stow them in a draw or a filing cabinet out of sight. The less you see on a regular basis, the less your brain has to process while you’re trying to complete important work.

The End-of-Day Tidy Up

With the last five minutes of your workday, block out time on your calendar to tidy your desk. Not only is a daily tidy much easier than hours of time decluttering, but returning the next day to a tidy desk makes getting to work much easier.

Find Freedom From the Nonessential

You may find that in engaging in a good decluttering of your workspace, you’ll notice that you’re also clearing your mind. This mind-clearing time allows you to prioritize not your workday, but even your life. Trashing, recycling, or putting away rarely used items, there’s a chance you may find one last item taking up precious space on your now-tidy desk: a printer.

Desktop Printers Are Cluttering Your Organization’s Offices

Your office may be filled with desktop printers — each taking up desk space of nearly every employee in the building. Each of these printers requires its own maintenance, its own paper refilling, and its own network specifications. When the protocol of a desktop printer for every team member becomes the norm, what happens when you decide to expand? While once a convenient answer to the printing needs of your team, desktop printers in the workplace are falling by the wayside to their more efficient big sisters: multifunction devices—”the copier.”

Desktop Feng Shui & Copier MFDs

Where your desktop printer once shined, modern multifunction “copier” devices now radiate. Whether you need to print, scan, copy, bind, hole-punch, laminate, or fax, multifunction devices do all of these tasks more efficiently than their desktop counterparts ever dreamed. Capabilities aside, one of your favorite side effects of your office replacing desktop printers with multifunction devices may be the freed-up space on your desk.

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