Tuesday, December 17, 2019

How to Keep Your Cubicle Clean: 5 Tips for a Tidy Desk

Let's be real: The 9 to 5 grind is tough! Having a dirty desk makes it even tougher. That's why it's crucial to make your cubicle, desk, register area, or whatever work space you use as joyful, comfortable, and calming as possible. This means keeping it cute, clean, and organized. Here are my top five tips for a tidy desk and cubicle.

Always use a coaster under your mug. Coffee rings are gross and can be hard to remove.

Stop eating at your desk. Okay, I realize this is impossible. Honestly, I probably eat something at my desk every day but I try to keep it at a minimum and at least get up for meals. Less desk dining means less cleaning up. It also means you'll be healthier due to less mindless snacking and getting more steps in to walk to a break room or cafeteria to eat lunch.

Pick a color story to make things look more cohesive and tidy.

Keep only the most useful and joy-sparking items in your work space. Everything in and around your desk should be serving your productivity. What's useful and joy-sparking depends on your job, your unique values, and your personal style. Think about what makes you most productive when deciding what to keep, replace, or toss.
  • Keep important memos, manuals, and notes in a binder and/or in store in a incline vertical file sorter with decorative file folders.
  • Keep your favorite photos of your family and pets. Use magnets and frames to display them vertically.
  • Replace your boring stapler and tape dispenser with a stylish set, like this rose gold one
  • Toss things that are literally trash like used disposable coffee cups and pens that don't work.
  • Toss things that are obsolete like printed office memos from last week and manuals for programs you are no longer using.
  • Keep items that you need but don't use repetitively throughout the day in desk drawers and on the shelves under your desk. Use small bins, hanging files, and (my favorite) up-cycled copy paper boxes and salad greens containers to keep storage organized.

Magnets can hold up everything from scissors and calendars to memorabilia and inspiring art.
Miscellaneous items stored under my desk: lunch warmer, eating utensils, cleaning supplies, toiletries, gym stuff, and snacks.

Keep one favorite reusable coffee mug, plus one big reusable water bottle/ carafe/ glass at your desk. (Bonus points for keeping a re-usable straw at your desk too.) This will keep you from littering your desk with multiple dirty disposables. It is also likely to keep you enthusiastic about staying hydrated. It's a good idea to keep a personal sponge or bottle brush and dish detergent handy too, so that you can minimize exposure to germs on the communal office sponge.

Do a weekly deep cleaning of your cubicle on Friday afternoons.
  1. Turn off your computer or disconnect the mouse and keyboard.
  2. Use canned air to clean your keyboard. Attach the little straw to the nozzle of the canned air. Hold the keyboard over a wastebasket and blow crumbs and debris out from between the keys. 
  3. Dust the top/ledge of the cubicle with paper towels or a dusting cloth. (You'd be surprised by how much dust collects there!)
  4. Work your way down to dust the top of your computer monitor and then the desk top. Be sure to get behind your monitor and phone. Dust the objects on the desk too. (This is the moment where you will be most grateful to yourself for not keeping a lot of stuff on your desk.)
  5. Use natural disinfecting cleaning wipes or an eco-friendly cloth and all-purpose cleaning spray to clean the desk top, keyboard, mouse, mouse pad, headphones, phone, stapler, coaster, and anything else you touch regularly. If your monitor is dirty, use an electronics cloth and a screen cleaner to clean that. (Do not put all purpose spray or cleaning wipes on your monitor!)
  6. If you keep snacks in your cubicle or in the work fridge, toss out old food or take home things that might expire over the weekend.
I know this sounds like a lot but if you do it regularly and keep cleaning supplies at your desk it should only take about 10 minutes. It's very important to do this on Friday afternoons because encountering a clean space really makes a big difference for your productivity and general joy on Monday mornings.

Did I miss anything? Please leave a comment with your own tips for keeping a desk tidy.

Olivia Cleans Green is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon's website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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