The flowers are blooming and the birds are if we can only get the temperatures to catch up. Spring cleaning is a tradition in colder climates where we freshen up our homes and offices from top to bottom after the long winter. Many people associate spring cleaning with scrubbing, dusting, vacuuming, etc. While these activities are necessary, I argue that one of the most important parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of clutter that you don't need. If you start by de-cluttering your office, you will have a lot less to scrub, dust and put away when you clean. Follow these tips to get started.

1. Open Your Windows - If you working in a small office or home office, or if you have windows you can open, open them to let the fresh air and sunshine in and remove musty winter odors. Nothing compares to a breath of fresh air after a long winter.

2. Eliminate Distractions - - Block off your calendar so you don't get scheduled for meetings, let your calls go to voicemail, and don't open email.

3. Make It Fun - Get a glass of water, play some of your favorite tunes, and get comfortable.

4. Start With Your Desktop - There are two reasons for this. First, this is where your most recent papers are usually located. You want to sort through these first to address any upcoming deadlines. Second, when you clear your desktop, you remove the "visual clutter". Not only does it give you room to spread out and work, but it removes the distraction from your main workspace.

5. Focus on One Space at a Time - Once you clear your desktop, focus on one space at a time. Don't start another drawer, pile, box, etc. until you have completed the one you are working on.

6. Purge Old Files - Sort through your file drawers, one drawer at a time, getting rid of outdated files. Make sure to reference your company's retention guideline policy before destroying anything.

7. Don't Forget the Supplies - Office Supplies seem to have a unique ability to multiply overnight. Sort through your current stashes and determine what you realistically need in your desk. If your office has a supply closet or area, return extra supplies to that spot. If you are working out of your home office, group extra supplies in one bin or shelf so that you know where to go when you are running out of something.

8. Be Ruthless - If you don't use it, or you don't love it, get rid of it. Be ruthless when you de-clutter.

9. Donate, Sell, or Give Away - If you have items in good condition that you don't use, they are prime candidates to sell, donate, or give away. If you choose to donate, many of these organizations will even pick up your donations for you. If you choose to sell, take some photos with your digital camera, and put them up for sale on eBay or Craigslist.

If you have something to give away for free, there is a great resource call Freecycle which lets you post items for free. If you have outdated technology you want to get rid of, check with your local city or county. They often accept this as part of their Hazardous Waste Disposal programs. Best Buy also has a great technology recycling program.

10.Clean Up - Now that you have sorted everything and put it away, wipe everything down to start fresh.

If you are spring cleaning at the office, it doesn't have to be dull and boring. When Organized Office Solutions coordinates a Productive Environment Day for a business, it is company-wide and we make it fun. As well as providing structure, guidance and support, we often have prizes for different categories, play music, and sometimes even wear themed t-shirts. It can be lots of fun.

Author's Bio: 

Michigan-based Productivity Trainer and Certified Professional Organizer, Donna Lindley, publishes the "Timely Tips" monthly ezine from Organized Office Solutions. If you're ready to jump-start your productivity by organizing your space, time, email and paper, I invite you to sign up to receive your FREE tips now by going to