Spring Cleaning - Reorganizing To Refuel

Spring signifies a time of change where colors are plentiful, and every breath delivers fresh air. Dental professionals should use the energy of seasonal change for their own refueling and restructuring.

It goes without saying, dental offices are busy places and the day-to-day operations do not leave much time in anyone’s schedule to re-organize physical spaces in the office as well as the mental compartments of our process of care circuits when treating clients.

What does physical space re-organizing look like? This would be going around the office and removing ALL clutter. The best way to ‘SEE’ if your office and operatories look cluttered is to take a picture. Play an ‘eye-spy’ game with the picture. What do you see that should not be in the picture?


An Untidy Work Area Equates Uncleanliness

As you disinfect every nook and cranny in the operatory, you know it's clean and disinfected, but clients are oblivious to the behind-the-scenes disinfection mad marathon repeated in record time 8-12 times per day!

Start with one operatory and make it your model operatory, after all, if the task is accomplished effectively in one operatory it can be mimicked in all the others. Finish the task, take another picture, and compare it to the original. What do you see? You see change, a breath of fresh air for you and the client when walking into the operatory.

Many believe uncluttering, in theoretical notions like Feng Shui delivers better energy flow. Theory or no theory, uncluttering, simply looks so much better. Improving the surroundings, you spend 8-10 hours in daily with just the simple task of uncluttering is re-fuelling to YOU! As a dental professional, you deserve to walk into an operatory that ‘feels’ good. When the op is uncluttered, it looks clean and it ‘feels’ good!

What does the mental space re-organizing look like? This would be professional self-reflection. What are your strengths as a professional? List them. What are your weaknesses? List them. Our strengths are not what keeps us up at night. Our weaknesses do. Include in your weaknesses, the little thoughts you carry home with you.



For example, waking up at 2:00 a.m. wondering if you recorded that you gave the post-op instructions to the client after applying fluoride varnish.

Include those worries in your weaknesses list. Set goals for each attached with a constructive plan to reach a solution. For example, in the fluoride varnish and LA nightmare, the goal is to improve your clinical chart entry template.

Build a template that has EVERYTHING you need for a quality chart entry that will not have missing pieces to haunt you at night.

Doing this now in the Spring season sets the stage to keep a clean slate throughout the year. Working on the organization of our physical and mental spaces allows us to refuel.

Why not use the Spring season as a checkpoint to do this yearly? Uncluttering what we see and don’t see does a body good!


“Clutter is not just stuff on your floor – it’s anything that stands between you and the life you want to be living” (Peter Walsh).


The name ‘maxill’ is associated with dental products and IPAC CE, however, maxill’s mission in supporting dental professionals extends beyond saliva ejectors and dental courses, so go ahead and unclutter your operatory and mental circuits and see what happens! I have a feeling you will be re-fuelled!

Michelle Aubé (Simmonds) RDH, maxill Dental Hygiene Educator

Michelle is a Dental Hygiene Speaker, Consultant and Educator with over 21 years of experience as a RDH and 4 years as a CDA. She has written dental hygiene articles for CDHA’s OH Canada professional publication and continues to practice clinically and teaches both clinical dental hygiene and practice management at Fanshawe College and the University of Western Ontario. She has served on the Discipline Committee at Algonquin College and held the position of a CDHO Quality Assurance Assessor for 7 years.