January 10th - National Clean Off Your Desk Day

By
Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565

 National Clean Off Your Desk Day

 



When I woke earlier this morning, the calendar announced this is the second Monday in January.  Therefore it is National Clean-Off-Your-Desk Day. 
In a world where there is a Hallmark moment for just about everything, I had to smile. 

It's bone-chilling cold outside, and it's foggy.  The weather gal tells us we are unlikely to see the sun before noon.  This is a great morning to celebrate this special "holiday" and clean my work area and get it better organized.

If you are in the spirit of this holiday, here are a few tips to get you started:

(1) You will need a Recycling Bin.  This doesn't need to be a fancy container.  You can use a cardboard box or paper bag.  Place it in close proximity to your desk or file cabinet.  Next to it, place a shredder.  If your desk looks like the one pictured, you may need to transport papers to a commercial shredder near your area.  Otherwise, the volume of shredding would likely kill your own consumer grade shredder in little time.  

(2) Keep the number of your local HazMat team handy.  This is especially important in case you come across that box of Kentucky Fried Chicken you misplaced a couple months ago.  If there are interesting organisms growing within the chicken box (molds, and things that actually crawl), you might have a grandkid that would like to have it for a science project:-)

(3) If the job of cleaning your desk or office seems a bit daunting, because you have let it go awhile, break the cleaning and organization tasks down into phases you can tackle one at a time.  For instance, it may be best to simply clear your desk of files and paper, and put them in the middle of the floor.  Begin sorting the pile into 3 boxes - A box for current or permanent files, which need to be returned to the desk and filed. Another box is used for papers to be shredded or disposed of.  And yet another box for older files that continue to need storing for a while, in a place away from the desk.  Do not return any file folders to your desk or file cabinets, until they have assessed

You will find many files don't need to be in your desk, but still require retention for a while (like escrow files for several years).  I find old escrow files are best retained in plastic file bins, labeled with the year, and stored in the top rafters of my garage.  It is important to get them off, and out of, the desk and work area.

A couple of weeks ago, while out in my garage, I was amazed at how much shredding and trashing I performed.  I had 5 boxes of files, which I was nearly able to get rid of all contents of.  It felt liberating, but was also a little nostalgic going through some of the contents.  I literally watched a decade flash before my eyes, as I reviewed the papers.

Fortunately for most real estate professionals, files are burned to CDs these days, and stored in a more paperless and compact way.  Still, papers do accumulate, and if it takes a National Clean-Off Your Desk Day, to keep us on track, then so be it!

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
515,565
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Hi Myrl, well, I didn't know there was such a day, or I would have waited!  I did mine in December.  It's such a good feeling to know exactly where everything is and to put those old files that we don't need daily away!  Happy Desk cleaning Myrl!

Jan 10, 2011 12:54 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,170,406
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Mary - In a Hallmark world, there is a holiday for everything. . .Happy Desk Cleaning to you too!

Jan 10, 2011 12:55 PM #20
Rainer
96,918
Tricia Pearson
Tricia Pearson - Pearson Real Estate - Texas Hill Country - Boerne, TX
Real Estate Broker, San Antonio/Hill Country Homes for Sale

Hi Myrl, I started this task last week at the office and moved a ton of stuff home that was just taking up space.  Now it's time to sort, save and toss.

Jan 10, 2011 01:08 PM #21
Rainmaker
1,170,406
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Tricia - It often astounds me how much paper needs to be processed each year.  I am trying not to move so much of it around.  I'd rather destroy or shred it instead.

Jan 10, 2011 01:13 PM #22
Rainmaker
654,440
Realty Works Temecula
Realty Works Temecula - Temecula, CA
Real Estate, Temecula, Murrieta, Menifee

Myrl:   I have this day at least twice per month!   How did you get that backdrop on you picture, I love it!

Jan 10, 2011 01:27 PM #23
Rainmaker
563,876
Mike Saunders
Lanier Partners - Athens, GA

Myrl - looks like I am not going to participate again this year. Forgot to line up the hazmat team.

Jan 10, 2011 03:29 PM #24
Ambassador
1,556,252
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Myrl, I am just smiling at your photo in that paper mess. Funny but good tips...

Jan 10, 2011 06:12 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,170,406
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Jane - Twice a month. . .You are definitely a better person than I am:-) 

Mike - The HazMat Team can be a very important component to this day.  However, their rates go up if you reserve them for National Clean Off Your Desk Day.

Gary - It's quite a mess isn't it. . .It looks very overwhelming - even to me:-)

Jan 10, 2011 09:53 PM #26
Rainmaker
722,073
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Real Estate Partners, LLC, Scottsdale, AZ - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Myrl, I humbly need to add something to your list - I keep my shredder right next to my chair.  Then, I get into the habit of just shredding things more than once a year, LOL.  Seriously, I try to clean off my desk at least once a week - it just never seems to work out that way.

Jan 10, 2011 10:23 PM #27
Rainmaker
1,514,028
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate

Looks like most of the work is already behind you! I'll have to take a look at mine after the BCS championship game. Go Ducks!

Jan 10, 2011 10:26 PM #28
Rainmaker
265,156
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - - Sharon, MA
Your Hometown Realtor in Sharon MA

I will try to remember to celebrate this holiday next year, too! By coincidence, I started my morning cleaning off my kids' computer desk. See, I was celebrating and didn't even know it. And, boy, did I need to call a HazMat team...even though we do have a "no eating at the computer" rule! How did you do that photo with the deluge of letters? Btw, our OfficeMax offers an inexpensive service for those of us who have put off shredding for way too long. You can bring a bag or barrel of papers to shred. They put it in a sealed, locked box and shred it for you.

Jan 11, 2011 01:15 AM #29
Rainmaker
1,229,008
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Lyon Real Estate - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I love that photoshopped pix of you, Myrl. I celebrate national clean off your desk day every single week, at least one day a week. Otherwise, I'd be looking just like that photo of you! I throw crap everywhere. It gets even hard for poor little Pia to navigate my desk without slipping on something or knocking something off my desk. She who makes a better door than window when sitting in front of my monitor.

Jan 11, 2011 10:16 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,170,406
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Juli - Most of the time, my shredder is out in the garage near a work bench.  I do have a box in my office that is for shredding.  And when it begins to burgeon a little, I take it out to the garage and do a little shredding.

John - In the picture, the reason most of my work is behind me, is because I believe in the principle of "Out of sight - Out of mind". . .LOL

Jan 11, 2011 10:41 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,170,406
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Nina - When my kids were growing up, they were pretty good with their rooms, etc.  However, my son's room pretty much looked like a trailer park after a hurricane blew through.  I'm glad to know about the service OfficeMax offers.  That's a valuable tip.

Elizabeth - Most of the time I have things under control, and organized.  But every once in awhile, if I endure an exceptionally busy time, which is accompanied by stress, I will get a little off track.  I think my photo above indicates one of those times. . .LOL

Jan 11, 2011 10:44 AM #32
Rainmaker
616,766
Martha Brown
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Annapolis MD 21403 - Annapolis, MD
Your Homes Around Annapolis Agent

Darn...and I missed it. Oh well there is always next year. :0)

Jan 11, 2011 09:11 PM #33
Ambassador
1,302,351
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - San Diego, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Myrl, I didn't know about this holiday coming up yesterday or I would could have waited when I cleaned my desk and office out last week. Cleaning the desk off and the office out of the accumulated stuff always  gives such a good cathartic feeling of new beginnings.

Jan 12, 2011 05:50 AM #34
Rainmaker
414,463
The Scott Loper Team Lansdale & Harleysville PA Homes
Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville - Lansdale, PA

Hi Myrl,

Darn I misseed it.  My office definitely needs some help.  Love the picture!

Lisa

Jan 12, 2011 10:02 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,170,406
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Martha and Lisa- Yes, there is always next year:-)  Just put the 2nd Monday in January 2012 on your calendar.

Jan 12, 2011 01:41 PM #36
Rainmaker
1,170,406
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

William - I'm learning to calendar these "important" events and holidays, so that the year has a more natural rythym to it. .. LOL  You are so right about the cathartic effect cleaning can have.  For one reason or another, foggy gray days should be a perfect time to do these tasks.  Yet, I seem so unmotivated unless the sun is shinning through the window.  It's one of life's little ironies:-)

Jan 12, 2011 01:44 PM #37
Ambassador
1,749,334
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi & Corinna Birgit Cromartie
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Palm Harbor, FL
Palm Harbor & Dunedin FL Residential Real Estate

My desk is always pretty clean, guess I am just too much of an orderly freak to let the mess get out of hand.

Jan 15, 2011 06:43 PM #38
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Rainmaker
1,170,406

Myrl Jeffcoat

Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent
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