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The Magic of Clean

Posted by: Pulse Young Professionals on Monday, September 14, 2015
Habits, in many ways, make us who we are: a daunting, but true reality. Why do you think parents try to instill good habits in their children as early as possible? Because habits can dictate our future livelihoods and life span; therefore, it’s important to cultivate healthy habits as early on as possible. Today, I invite you to join me in expanding your list of healthy habits beyond health, honesty and hard work, and focus on another healthy habit that often goes unnoticed: organization. Let me introduce you to two Japanese methods of organization in order to illustrate the importance and magic of clean. One cleaning method, called the KonMari Method, was created by Marie Kondo, a Japanese cleaning consultant. Her method promises that if you properly organize your space ONCE the RIGHT way, you’ll never have to do it again. It’s a method of decluttering first, and then properly storing the things that bring you joy.  It’s proven to reduce your stress and increase your joy! A second method, originally targeted at manufacturing plants, is called 5S. Translated, 5S stands “sort, straighten, shine, standardize and sustain.” It asserts that if you follow the 5S standards, you can create a clean, organized work environment that unclutters the mind, creates a positive environment, good energy flow, increases employee motivation and improves processes; all of which increases productivity.  To highlight the benefits of cleanliness in a work environment on productivity, the HLW International LLP conducted a study that concluded a clean work environment can increase productivity by 5%, which is equivalent to $125,000 in gains for a 100-employee office with an average salary of $25,000. So now do you see the magic that clean can bring? Are you ready to cultivate the healthy habit of staying organized and clean? Because, if so, you’ll realize that being organized is a worthwhile lifestyle that can unlock your productivity and positivity, and reduce your stress levels! Here are a few tips on how to stay organized in the workplace or at home:
  1. Set yourself up to stay organized by ensuring your workspace or home is neat and organized before you begin working or living in it. For example, when you first move into a new office, be sure to organize your file folders properly in your desk drawers. Find a good home for your pens, sticky notes and notepads. Get a classy business card holder to hold your business cards neatly on your desk.
  2. Be as minimalistic as possible when decorating your work desk or cube. Limit yourself to displaying three to five personal items.
  3. It’s all about maintenance. Don’t let things pile up; take a few minutes each day to unclutter some items from your desk at work, from the floor in your room or from the sink in your kitchen. If you have four or five dishes in the sink, take three minutes to stick them in the dishwasher. Bonus: It can even be a great break from your other work!
  4. Keep cleaning wipes, napkins or paper towels in one of your desk drawers at work in case you need to do a quick clean-up.
  5. Always make your bed in the morning. It sounds silly, but it honestly makes your room look so much neater and starts you with the right mindset.
  6. Identify one day a week for you to complete a specific cleaning task. For example, only clean the bathrooms on Tuesday nights or vacuum on Sunday afternoons.
  7. Make it a family affair! Get your family (or your roommates) involved in cleaning too by making a day out of it (or maybe just an hour or two). Complete a cleaning task with one of your children while your spouse and your other child complete another one. Good, productive family time.
  8. Don’t forget to wash your kitchen sink. It’s one place people rarely think to wash, but it’s filled with bacteria.
  9. Set up a date to “spring clean” and “fall sweep” every year. This is your time for deep cleaning. Think dusting baseboards and ceilings, scrubbing the tub with Clorox, wiping down the refrigerator, reorganizing your DVDs, restructuring your file organization system at work (for example, based on project changes), and spraying your keyboard with a compressed canned air duster. If you’re feeling particularly inspired, you can check out more ideas here.
Happy cleaning and organizing! About The Author: Emily Kodat is a 2013 Furman Alum now living and working in Greenville as the Operations Manager for Smart Sitters LLC. One of Greenville’s biggest advocates, Emily enjoys spending her time at fun, free events in Greenville with friends, volunteering at City events, the Greenville Humane Society and Harvest Hope, and being an active PULSE member and Talent Committee member.


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