Our work desks look a lot different than they did several years ago—not only do most of us use less paper, but many people have multi-function work-from-home stations that are integrated with our everyday lives. What was once a dining room is also a conference area; bedrooms now double as offices. And if you like to power through the lunch hour (or you snack a lot), you probably eat at your desk, too.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to keep your workspace clean and tidy. Not only do you need a sanitary place to eat and work, but working in a messy environment can make it difficult to focus. Clutter can also increase stress, and when your professional clutter leaks into your personal space, it can make your time off work less enjoyable.
So whether you work in a traditional office or at your kitchen table, a tidy environment is important for a successful workday. Here are some tips to prime your workspace for positive productivity:
To start, set aside some time to do a comprehensive deep clean. Go through your files, supplies, and personal items and get rid of anything you don’t need. (Remember to recycle any unwanted paper!) If you’re a manager or business owner, consider scheduling bi-annual cleaning days, where everyone in the office teams up to declutter, get rid of unnecessary items, and deep clean the workspace.
Categorize & Contain
Next, make sure everything has a purposeful place. Take stock of everything on your desk, in drawers, and around your workspace; then categorize it based on how often you use it. If you use your favorite red pen every day, keep it in a container on top of your desk. If you have a file you rarely reference, store it away in a drawer so it’s easy to find but out of the way. You can also use this time to consolidate wires and designate storage containers for small items like paper clips, pens, and sticky notes.
Once you’ve purged and organized, here are some other tips to maintain a clean space while you work:
Having items on your desk or walls that inspire you can boost creativity, but it’s important to remember that your desk (and office) isn’t a junk drawer. It might be tempting to use your desk as catch-all storage for random items you don’t have a place for (hello, Rubik’s cube), but if it doesn’t serve a purpose, have sentimental value, or inspire you, give it a new home.
That said, most people need a few practical personal items at their workspace, and it’s important to store them properly so they don’t create unnecessary clutter. Designate a drawer, basket, or other container for things like lip balm, snacks, glasses, and other items you use regularly.
Clean as You Go
If you’re one of those people who gets so focused that you often leave half-eaten sandwiches on your desk for several hours, then good for you—if you’re in the zone, stay there! But when you do come up for air (or a bathroom break), take a moment to assess your workspace and see if there’s anything you can clean up. Throw away trash, put away papers and supplies you’re done using, and make sure there are no crumbs or spills that need to be cleaned up. (Pro tip: Use a keyboard cover while you eat to prevent crumbs, grease, and liquid from slipping between the keys.) If you don’t already, keep a trash can under your desk—it’ll help you keep your space tidy without making multiple trips to throw away food wrappers or tissues (which is especially helpful during allergy season!).
Disinfect & Declutter Daily
At the end of each day, do a mini clean sweep. Throw away trash, organize files, and put away supplies; then clean your mouse, keyboard, and desktop with a disinfectant spray or wipe. Not only will it give you a fresh start in the morning, but it’ll help you unwind from the day’s work. By physically putting things back in their place, you reset your workspace and your mind. You might also discover a forgotten task on a sticky note or a message you need to communicate to a coworker, and this ensures anything urgent doesn’t go unnoticed until the next day.
A daily declutter is especially important if you work with private client information. Before you leave the office, make sure sensitive paperwork is stored away somewhere secure.
Want Some Help?
Whatever your job, keeping your work area clean and tidy can make your day more productive and enjoyable. If you need a hand keeping your space in tip-top shape, we can help! We offer services for commercial and residential cleaning, so whether you’re working from home or in an office, we’ll make sure your space is primed for success.