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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 10, 2008 • Issue 08:03:01


Here comes the sun - and the dust pan

Winter is in its final stretch down the seasonal runway, and spring is around the corner. While the sun may not be shining in your part of the world today, you can take comfort in the fact that soon the clouds will part, rays of warmth will beam down, birds will serenade every suburban street and shades of green will thaw out the grays of winter. Yes, rejoice, but not for long - this isn't summertime, after all.

Blistering summer sun calls for a refreshing swim; spring is a fine time to clean.

Before you start groaning, think about it: When was the last time you went through your drawers and threw away files or shredded old documents? How many layers of dust are on your desk? Can you remember the last time you cleaned your car, the office on wheels?

Tidying up can renew your direction for achieving work goals. Technically, cleaning doesn't generate money. But a spick-and-span workplace helps production flow and creates a good attitude. And that might be a money maker.

Create a chore chart

Cleaning can be overwhelming, especially when work still needs to get done at some point during the overhaul. The extent of the disorder surrounding you will determine how many days this project will last.

As the old adage goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. And your office doesn't have to be stripped down to its essentials, dusted and reorganized in one day, either.

Make a list of what type of cleaning needs to be accomplished, and designate what day of the week each chore will be completed. If Mondays tend to have bulky workloads, wipe down your desktop and any other table top furniture with a dust rag.

If Fridays are light, utilize this time to dissect your files and determine what to keep and what to toss in the recycling bin (after shredding, of course).

When spread out in a series of days, cleaning isn't unpleasant. In fact, it can be therapeutic and will probably give you a much needed break from work.

If you're like most of us, you keep plugging away, often opting to eat lunch at your desk or with one hand on the steering wheel. Just making a list of what supplies need to be replenished can be the perfect pause in a hectic day.

Spiff up your ride

Many feet on the street spend a significant amount of time traveling to and from clients' work bases. And working out of your car for long periods can lead to downright nasty conditions.

Plastic bottles and fast food boxes can pile up on the floor boards, not to mention loose papers lingering and getting crumpled on the car seats. Shall we dare peek into your trunk?

Tackling your car might be the hardest part of cleaning, depending on what kind of condition it's in. This might require professional help. You have two options: a self-serve car wash or a full-service car wash.

If you're not into high maintenance, there are self-serve car washes on practically every main city street. But, depending on how much attention your vehicle needs, you might be spending more money than you anticipated - not to mention labor.

And if you're washing and cleaning your vehicle during the day, you run the risk of getting your suit damp from the inevitable mist that comes from holding the water gun.

Make sure you are armed with quarters. Not all car washes take credit or debit cards, and more often than not the change dispenser is broken. Plus, after the wash, you'll want to vacuum the inside, and who knows how much change that will take.

The perk of a full-service station is that you won't need to scrounge around for quarters. By the swipe of a credit or debit card (or you can be old school and use cash), you can purchase a wash, wax, vacuum and air freshener scent. Plus, you can relax inside, drink an ice-cold beverage and watch the soapy vehicles slide by on the conveyer belt.

Find your happy place

Once the old items lying around your office are in the trash, you can sit back and enjoy the fresh feeling of starting anew. Take a look around and notice your pens in their proper place, the unobstructed view of the phone and the neat rows of files in your drawers.

An orderly atmosphere generates positive energy and can give you that can-do attitude needed to complete daily tasks, including prospecting for business. Once you get the gumption to tackle a cleaning project, you just might feel unstoppable. And who knows how many more new clients you'll snare as a result? end of article

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