Cleaning off your desk is important because it’s a lot dirtier than you might think. Your office is a germ trap. The faucet handles on the break room sink, the microwave door handle, and the refrigerator handles have the highest levels of office contamination, according to one study. But the germs don’t stop there—your office, specifically your desk, can be a junky and plagued with germs as well. Since today is National Clean Off Your Desk Day it’s time that you give your desk a thorough cleaning.
Some research reports that your desk is 400 times dirtier than a toilet seat. The same research reports that your office phone has 25,000 germs per square inches and keyboards are also said to be one of the highest contaminated office objects. These germs can be detrimental to your physical health and can contribute to office-borne illnesses.
A dirty desk is not only bad for your physical health—it can also negatively impact your mental health. Physical clutter can actually clutter your mind and make it harder for you to concentrate on your work. Your clutter can also negatively affect your mood.
Are you ready for a fresh start at work? Cleaning your desk is a simple task, but it just might do the trick.
Clean your desk in 6 steps
Trash your junk
The first step to cleaning is removing all items on top and inside your desk and separating the items into three piles. You’ll have your “keep” pile for things absolutely need like spare writing utensils. You’ll have your “take home or donate” pile for items that you don’t need at the office but don’t want to throw away, like that spare mug you never use. Lastly, you’ll have a “junk” pile for things that need to be thrown away such as old sticky notes, expired candies, and irrelevant memos.
Clean your desk
With your desk cleared of everything, you can give the furniture a thorough cleaning. Clean the desk surface and inside of all of the drawers. Use proper cleaning products and allow the desk to air-dry if possible.
Sanitize your electronics
As previously mentioned your keyboard and office phone are particularly dirty, so sanitize them with the proper cleaning agents. Also be sure to clean your mouse, monitor, and other gadgets.
While your desk and office equipment are drying, take stock of your “keep” pile. Now is the time for you to consider reorganizing your desk. Separate your “keep” pile into two distinct parts—items you want at easy reach and items that you’ll rarely need. When you return your items to your desk you can put the things you regularly need on top of your desk or in the top drawer and put everything else in the bottom drawer.
Everything in its rightful place
Use desk organizers such as pencil cups and accordion folders to keep everything neat and ordered. Designate clear space on your desk for important items like photographs and other mementos. Keep rearranging until you have everything in your desired order.
The important part to Clean Off Your Desk Day is maintaining your newly cleaned work space. You can do this by having minor cleanings once a week to throw away any unneeded junk. Also, try not to eat at your desk whenever possible. Doing so can further contaminate your space.