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5 Tips for Cleaning Your Home Office

Famed physicist Michio Kaku once said, “It’s pointless to have a nice clean desk, because it means you’re not doing anything.” With all due respect to Dr. Kaku, we think a nice clean desk can help you increase your productivity. Let the cleaning experts from Merry Maids explain!

1. Start with a clean slate.

Take everything off of your desk, even if you know for sure you’ll be putting it back. Some people thrive when their desk is completely cleared of everything but the necessities. Others need a little controlled chaos to spark ideas and get creative. The key is to be intentional with what you allow to live on your desk so you don’t end up completely buried in a clutter avalanche. Add back only what you need and what makes you happy.

2. Wipe down your desk surface, keyboard, mouse, desk lamp, and any other high-touch hotspots.

You can’t be productive if you’re sick in bed. Wipe down all the surfaces and items handled regularly, like your keyboard and mouse, to minimize the spread of germs and accumulation of dust. (Get more tips from our cleaning experts on properly cleaning electronic devices in a previous post!) Then be sure to add these spots to your regular cleaning checklist.

3. Sort through paper clutter and get rid of what you don’t need.

Keep a wastepaper basket near your desk, and maybe a paper shredder, too. Paper clutter, like junk mail, fliers, and receipts, has a way of multiplying and accumulating without us realizing, often because we put off making decisions about each piece when we first encounter it. To keep paper clutter under control, sort through it regularly. Depending on how quickly it piles up for you, plan to do this anywhere from once a week to once a month.

Sort all the papers from your desk into four piles:

  • Toss anything you don’t need that doesn’t contain personal information (credit card numbers, bank account numbers, social security number, etc.).

  • Shred anything you don’t need that does contain personally identifying information. Invest in a small personal shredder or take your shredding to an office supply or shipping store that offers shredding service. (Pro tip: Take advantage of free shredding events sponsored by municipalities or businesses around the end of tax season!)

  • Keep important documents you’ll need in the future and file them away for safekeeping. When deciding whether to keep something, remember that many documents can now be accessed online, including instruction manuals, receipts, pay stubs, and tax forms.

  • Address things that require action, such as paying a bill, returning a purchase, or filing your taxes. Take care of these things as soon as you’re able to avoid amassing an overwhelming pile or, worse, missing a deadline and facing penalty fees.

4. Keep what you need within reach.

Think about what you use when you’re working. Make sure those things are on your desk or nearby. Having what you need at the ready can help you avoid interruptions to your workflow and save you time. If there’s room on your desk, add a small desktop bookshelf or file trays. Keep a set of rolling file drawers within arm’s reach. Add a bulletin board on the wall above your desk. Set yourself up for streamlined success.

5. Get guidance from an organizing professional.

If you need help decluttering, Merry Maids offers professional organizational services. Our experienced experts can advise on systems and storage solutions that could work for your space and help you pare down clutter in your home office. We can also deliver regular house cleaning services that include dusting, vacuuming, and more to keep your office clean. Give us a call and request a free estimate!