Steven and Chris

How to Keep a Clean and Organized Workspace

Many people know that productivity is improved when you have a clean and organized work space, so most of us purge and think we can stop there. But organizational expert Melissa Coghlan suggests you put yourself on a cleaning schedule!

Think about how long it takes you to mess up your office again once you've organized it. Then put those dates down as intervals in your calendar (for instance, if after a month it looks like a bomb blew off in the space, then mark a specific date down monthly and stick to it). Plus a lot of us inherit desk spaces with equipment that has been passed down the ranks, so it's always good to give your office a good old fashioned wipe down.

If that's not enough, here are Melissa's tried and true tips for keeping your workspace clean and organized:

1. Purge

  • Dump everything you need out of your desk's junk drawer. As you use items, put them away (neatly!) in the drawer -- whatever you don't use by the end of the month, can likely be tossed/recycled or relocated to a more suitable place.
  • File papers where they belong (scan, shred etc., as necessary).
2. Clean your keyboard and tablet
  • Disconnect your keyboard from the desktop, and turn it upside down over a paper towel. Most debris (food) will fall out, then wipe keys down with a disinfecting wipe (one that isn't very wet) and then dust with a lint-free cloth.
  • A laptop is pretty much the same: Unplug, power down, and gently wipe keys with a disinfectant cloth. Then dust/dry with a lint-free cloth.
  • For tablets, wipe down the back with a disinfectant wipe and the screen with the microfiber cloth.
3. Clean your desk chair

If you're somebody who eats at your desk, or if you've got pets who like to come and visit you while you're working, or have the occasional coffee spill, this is for you:

  • Vacuum the seat and chair back. Use a hand-held vacuum or one with a hose and a brush attachment. Spot-treat stains. Melissa used Dyson's V6 Absolute cordless vacuum which can easily convert to a handheld form.
  • If the chair is fabric, use a cloth and a fabric-safe cleaner to get rid of any food or coffee stains.
  • Wipe down arms and legs. Using a damp microfiber cloth, wipe dust and lint from the arms and legs.
  • Clean the wheels. Use the vacuum, a small scrub brush and rubbing alcohol to get wheels completely clean and rolling just like new.
4. Clean your cords and cables
  • Wipe down your cords and cables, just don't forget to unplug them first!
  • Next, organize them! Use bread tabs to keep them contained and hide your power bar inside its own box.
5. Make it pretty
  • Try to put systems in place that look so good that they inspire you to maintain them.
  • For example: Nice, matching boxes, baskets and storage containers.
  • Creating nice labels also helps to keep a space more organized.
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