Make us your home page
Working | Spring into action

Spring into action and clean up that cubicle

When it came time to deliver the news to his staff about cleaning up their work space, John Caracciolo decided to get down and dirty: "You've got to part with your stuff," the president and chief executive of JVC Broadcasting Co. told his 45 employees.

JVC's Ronkonkoma, N.Y., office, home of four radio stations, had become a home to stacks of papers, broken equipment, band memorabilia and, Caracciolo said, "Girl Scout cookies from every troop on Long Island."

It was "purge week," Caracciolo said shortly after he filled his own wastebasket with outdated business cards. "So, yes, we are ordering a Dumpster and decluttering our stations."

Two full Dumpsters later, he reported his office being "lean and mean right now."

Indeed, at this time of year that urge to tackle home closets, drawers and dark spaces under the sink can spill over to spring cubicle cleaning, said Lorraine Kimmey, a professional organizer in Blue Point, N.Y. There's a certain energy at this time of year, she said. "It's about making a renewal."

For Caracciolo, 46, it's "the feeling we all get when the first sunny day hits. You want to start new and fresh and get ready for a busy second and third quarter."

While her desk may still be "a work in progress," Donna Kolb-Laukaitis, 50, senior account executive, said she spent time over the weekend organizing and clearing stacks of folders and papers, relocating them to a new file cabinet she has had since late January.

Certainly, there is a value to digging out: improved productivity, pride in your space, a diminished chance of rodents and worse. The state of your cubicle can also affect how you're perceived by the boss.

A telephone survey last fall of more than 516 human resources professionals found 83 percent said people's professional images are greatly or somewhat affected by the state of their desks, according to the research by staffing firm OfficeTeam in Menlo Park, Calif.

One factor in the accumulation of office clutter is a lack of downtime in which to sort, evaluate and purge, said Chris Campisi, metro market manager for Long Island with staffing firm Robert Half International, of which OfficeTeam is a division. It's fine if you have an administrative assistant to help keep things organized, he said. But most people "don't have that luxury."

Jim Dreeben, 70, owner of Peconic Paddler in Riverhead, N.Y., said he and a friend started a major cleanup March 30 as Dreeben shifted focus from his winter snowplowing business to the sale and rental of kayaks, canoes and paddles. The annual cleanup includes sweeping, vacuuming and purging.

In the end, he says, the shop "looks pretty classy."

Spring into action and clean up that cubicle 04/15/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 15, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Newsday.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. At Menorah Manor, planning paid off during Irma

    Nursing Homes

    ST. PETERSBURG — Doris Rosenblatt and her husband, Frank, have lived in Florida all of their lives, so they know about hurricanes.

    Raisa Collins, 9, far left, works on a craft project as Certified Nursing Assistant Shuntal Anthony holds Cassidy Merrill, 1, while pouring glue for Quanniyah Brownlee, 9, right, at Menorah Manor in St. Petersburg on Sept. 15. To help keep its patients safe during Hurricane Irma, Menorah Manor allowed employees to shelter their families and pets at the nursing home and also offered daycare through the week. The facility was able to accommodate and feed everyone who weathered the storm there. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  2. After Irma, nursing homes scramble to meet a hard deadline

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's nursing homes and assisted-living facilities find themselves in an unfamiliar place this week — pushing back against Gov. Rick Scott's administration over new rules that require them to purchase generator capacity by Nov. 15 to keep their residents safe and comfortable in a power …

    In this Sept. 13 photo, a woman is transported from The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as patients are evacuated after a loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma in Hollywood. Nine have died and patients had to be moved out of the facility, many of them on stretchers or in wheelchairs. Authorities have launched a criminal investigation to figure out what went wrong and who, if anyone, was to blame. [Amy Beth Bennett | South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP]
  3. Trigaux: How Moffitt Cancer's M2Gen startup won $75 million from Hearst


    TAMPA — A Moffitt Cancer Center spin-off that's building a massive genetic data base of individual patient cancer information just caught the attention of a deep-pocketed health care investor.

    Richard P. Malloch is the president of Hearst Business Media, which is announcing a $75 million investment in M2Gen, the for-profit cancer informatics unit spun off by Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center. Malloch's job is to find innovative investments for the Hearst family fortune. A substantial amount has been invested in health care, financial and the transportation and logistics industries.
  4. Three-hour police standoff ends, thanks to a cigarette


    TAMPA — A man threatening to harm himself was arrested by Tampa police on Tuesday after a three-hour standoff.

  5. Another Hollywood nursing home resident dies. It's the 9th in post-Irma tragedy.

    State Roundup

    The Broward County Medical Examiner's office is investigating another death of a resident of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills — the ninth blamed on the failure of a cooling system that became a stifling deathtrap three days after Irma hit.

    Carlos Canal, pictured at 47 years old, came to Miami from Cuba in 1960. Above is his citizenship photo. [Courtesy of Lily Schwartz]