Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.

Spring cleaning generally is not a task most people look forward to every year. Just thinking about all of those nooks and crannies, the cleaning out of overflowing boxes and drawers and then reorganizing.

But once all the dust and clutter is gone, there is a magical sense of accomplishment we all get. Spring cleaning is not just for your home, though. Every business needs a thorough cleaning each spring as well. Whether you have stacks of paper lying around or your digital files are a mess, now is the time to bring order out of all that chaos. To help, we have four tips that will help you bring order and organization to your office environment.

4 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Office

With spring around the corner, why not start motivating yourself now, so you will be ready to tackle some serious spring cleaning then?

Here are some tips for spring cleaning your business, starting with your documents:

  1. Take stock of everything.

Checklists are a great business tool, and they are not just for project managers. Checklists help business owners take stock of what’s going on in their business. Has everything been completed for that upcoming audit? Check. Are all your team members current on required training and certifications? Check. Is your business’s inventory properly stocked? Check.

Once you wrap your mind around what you need for this year’s spring cleaning, be sure to have a checklist or task management tool handy. It will help you track the various moving pieces, especially your office inventory, devices, supplies, and plan more efficiently for the year ahead regarding how much you need in paper, ink, printers, office equipment, cloud storage, software, and more.

  1. Capture your records.

Records management can get tricky, especially as more businesses move everything to the cloud. So, what happens when old paperwork resides in filing cabinets and new paperwork is in your digital management system? What happens is consolidation. It is the only way to bring order to your systems and ensure that your business will continue to run efficiently.

While I do not think ditching paper records is the solution (because you never know when you might need a hardcopy backup), I do think everyone should store files digitally. Spring cleaning offers business owners the perfect opportunity to capture all your documents digitally and store them on either an external hard drive or in the cloud. All you need is a secure and reliable, document capture system, such as Xerox Web Capture Service which streamlines the process for you.

  1. Get control of your waste.

Offices can become very wasteful environments if you do not have a system for closely monitoring employee usage of your resources. Here are a few ways you can get control over your business’ waste and save money in the process:

  • Be proactive about ordering print supplies. Xerox automatic supplies replenishment takes the legwork out of keeping track of office supplies needs. This alleviates not having to resort to buying something expensive from the store on the fly. Your printers will notify you when ink or paper are running low.
  • Restrict color printing. While it probably makes sense for your marketing team to have continual access to your color printers, there are others who do not need to waste the ink. Xerox ® VersaLink ® C400 as well as a host of Xerox MFPs feature user permissions allowing specific user tasks to be predetermined, including who in the office can print color versus black and white.
  • Use a multifunction printer (MFP) that allows for print-on-demand functionality. This will help you cut down on unnecessary print jobs. Consider managed print services for greater document security, productivity, and sustainability through automation and efficiency.
  1. Organize your digital space.

Lastly, spring cleaning is the perfect time to get a handle on your digital document workspaces. Clutter might not seem so bad when you are not physically tripping over it, but it can be just as harmful to over clutter your online storage spaces.

There are a number of ways you can work on improving your digital workspace during spring cleaning:

If you cannot make out your desktop background image anymore, it is time to clean it up. Create folders to store all your loose files. Better yet, get all those documents centralized online. The Xerox Web Capture Service is the only solution that automates and scans a document for immediate use without additional steps of creating files, renaming documents and importing it to an application.

There tend to be two types of email inboxes: those that are under control with an inbox-zero mentality and those that pile higher and higher until you can no longer find anything. If you are the latter, spend some time with your email inbox getting it organized. Create special tags and folders for emails so you can easily find them and create special rules to move the less essential emails you get (you know…all those newsletters and social media updates!) to a folder that you can check at the beginning or end of the day and doesn’t distract you during peak times.

Get a document management system to cut costs and improve efficiency. It does not have to be an expensive CRM or task management software if you cannot afford it right now. Even a Dropbox or Google Drive subscription will do. Just make sure all your company files are located in one place and can be easily accessed by your team. Xerox® VersaLink MFPs come preloaded with direct, secure access and out-of-the-box connectivity to Google Drive™, Microsoft® OneDrive®, DropBox™ and the Xerox App Gallery.

William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” I think that sums up the goals of business spring cleaning. Just remember, the more order you can bring out of the chaos, the better off you will be to focus on running your business instead of locating the documents needed to manage it.

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Publisher of Smart Hustle Magazine and Small Business Evangelist, Infusionsoft. He frequently blogs about tech at SmallBizTechnology. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com/. Visit his Small Business Solutions Blog Author Page to get in touch on Google+, Twitter or Facebook.

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