Celebrate “Clean Off Your Desk Day” With These Tips

clean_off_desk_day_webHave you had a good look at your desk lately? What do you see? Do you have piles of papers stacked up, dirty coffee cups lying about, or dust gathering? Is last week’s lunch still lurking behind your computer monitor?

Believe it or not, that cluttered desk may be costing you hours of wasted time and could also add to workplace stress.

Whether you share an office, work from home, or have a work area on a counter somewhere, keeping your work space clean, organized, and uncluttered can help you work more efficiently and give you a sense of relaxation.

Monday, Jan. 11, is National Clean Off Your Desk Day in the United States, and we want to help you not only clean your workspace, but also become better organized for the new year. Here are some tips to do just that:

  • Start the great purge. Empty your desk’s drawers and throw away or give away anything you don’t use regularly. File those piles of papers into organized folders or recycle them if they are unnecessary.
  • Organize the purge. As you remove items from your desk and work area, make piles. Have a pile for papers, a pile for office supplies, a pile for personal items, and a pile for everything else. Go through each pile and purge or organize as needed.
  • Time to sanitize. Now that your desk is bare, clean it. Use sanitary wipes or cleaning spray to scrub the entire area. Use cleaners and computer spray to clean your computer as well. According to a study from the University of Arizona, your keyboard is one of the dirtiest things you touch every day, so make sure to give that a good wipe down as well.
  • Make your desk make sense. Categorize your items into areas that need immediate attention, things that need follow-up work, and things you can pass along or put on the back burner.
  • Presentation matters. Try to put your items back in a way that looks pleasing to you and your co-workers. For example, find nice storage containers or baskets and create labels to help keep your space more organized.
  • Make a goal to clean off your desk every week. Friday afternoons are a good time to do a weekly cleaning and organizing so that your desk or workspace are clean and pleasant for the start of the next work week.

Still not convinced that a tidy work area is important? Consider a report issued by OfficeMax in 2011 that found office clutter undermines productivity and motivation. In addition, researchers have found that people who are organized typically eat better and live longer than people who are disorderly. Convinced yet? Go ahead and break out the cleaning supplies, but remember to keep your organization limited to breaks. While cleanliness is important, it’s also important to respect your work time.

What do you think? Any tips on organization you’d like to share? Give us your best desk-cleaning tips in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

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