Your Guide to an End-of-Summer Document Purge

Posted  September 15, 2020  by  Shred-it

The end of summer and beginning of fall are approaching. With many employees also potentially returning to the office in the coming months, now is an ideal time to do a clean sweep of your workspace to securely destroy any unnecessary work or confidential documents and to organize yourself for the rest of the year.
Need motivation to get started? Here’s one: the benefits of decluttering extend well beyond having a tidy, secure workspace. Psychologists have found that clean homes and organized spaces can reduce stress and improve eating and exercise habits. Another study correlated clutter reduction with increased productivity at home and in the workplace. Cleaning up also improves security by reducing the risk of misplacing important work documents (and keeping your professional reputation intact).

How to Declutter Your Office

Step 1 – Review/Audit Saved and Miscellaneous Documents

Go through all your folders, files and miscellaneous documents and set aside items that are no longer needed. If you’ve been working remotely this year, don’t forget to go through every area you’ve worked in, including home offices, communal workspaces, bedrooms and/or kitchens.

Step 2 – Dispose of Unwanted Documents Properly

You’ll likely put aside a stack of old folders, files and other documents that are no longer useful but still contain confidential or sensitive work information. These items need to be disposed of properly.
Always use a professional shredder or shredding service for safe, hassle-free destruction to keep them from falling into the wrong hands. A highly qualified operator, like Shred-it, will give you a Certificate of Destruction for added peace of mind.

Step 3 – Declutter Your Computer

Don’t neglect your digital files! While your home or office computer may seem secure, there are plenty of other devices you may not realize are at risk. USB sticks, old phones, and laptops borrowed from friends and family for one-off work assignments are all susceptible to data breaches, so it’s important these are accounted for as well by opting for a secure media destruction service.

Step 4 – Digitize Documents

If you’re unsure about what to keep and what to dispose of, digitize all physical documents to keep them in one place and decrease the risk of loose paper being left around. Depending on your company’s policies, digitized data can be accessed from outside of the office as well, meaning paper documents should not be removed from the office moving forward.

Step 5 – Organize Personal and Everyday Items at Your Workspace

Prevent untidy office spaces by implementing a Clean Desk Policy and ensuring all personal and everyday items are stored in the same place. This will not only prevent unnecessary clutter but will more quickly alert an employee if an important item is missing or has been tampered with.

Step 6 – Review Existing Policies and Evaluate Employee Training

If you’re a manager, review current workplace security policies employees with an information security training refresher. Begin scheduling regular updates to policies and procedures while also conducting regular risk assessments.

How to Protect Your Organization from Data Breaches

In today’s world, you and your business cannot afford a data breach, and decluttering your workspace with a one-time purge helps protect your information. Contact Shred-it today to learn more.

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