Cleaning for Tech: Consolidate, Recycle and Refresh

Decluttering your office technology setup can help the entire office work better.

Offices need a good cleaning every bit as much as houses do — and in a workplace, you can't have a proper cleaning without tackling your technology.

Office tech can create its own kind of clutter, with giant machines taking up space, a variety of accessories that nobody knows what to do with, or slow computers lingering past their prime. It becomes so commonplace, you may eventually have stopped noticing it.

Take a fresh look, and try these steps to tackle cleaning for tech:

1. Ditch the Old Printer and Copier

Far too much floor space gets taken up by bulky older machines — especially printers, scanners and copiers. If your workplace has a separate machine for each function, the machinery is likely outdated in addition to taking up too much room. Multifunction machines that handle all three of those tasks allow you to consolidate those functions in a compact newer model.

2. Recycle Your Old Items

Old mice, keyboards and monitors, decommissioned laptops and boxes of used toner can pile up quickly. It's time to recycle those older pieces of equipment, and it's an easier process than you think. Most major technology companies accept office equipment of all types, so ask your vendors about your options. Make sure you ask about their process for wiping data on old laptops, computers and mobile devices; the hard drive and memory card should either be wiped clean or destroyed. Your vendor may also be able to pick the items up for you, so you don't have to organize drop-off.

3. Line Up Help

While you're ditching old equipment, you might also resolve to clean up your schedule by delegating some techology-oriented tasks to a vendor. Hire a support service to troubleshoot your tech problems and handle routine maintenance so you don't have to, or hire a print vendor to help with your printing jobs. Outsourcing some of these tasks or bringing in a dedicated support service can be well worth the cost if it saves you and your coworkers time and energy.

4. Swap Out Old Computers

Finally, there is the perennial question: Is it time to get new laptops? A quick survey of your coworkers will usually give you a good idea. If you hear complaints about slow load times, forced re-starts and frequent glitches, it may be time to replace that laptop. Talk to your technology vendor first about steps to fix the issues — some maintenance might provide another year or two of life for laptops with easily solvable problems. Otherwise, it may be worthwhile to just add that old laptop to the recycling bin and get new equipment.

Before a busy time sets in at work, take the time to freshen up and de-clutter your technology. Cleaning for tech doesn't just make the place look better — it can help everyone work better, too.