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How to clean your office desk with our step-by-step guide

Whether you’re guilty of eating at your office desk or simply trying to combat the day-to-day clutter that builds up at your workspace, cleaning your desk can help you stay productive and can also improve the health of you and your colleagues.

Letting your workspace become unorganised and buried beneath piles and piles of paper and letting dust build-up can not only have an impact on how efficiently you work, but it can also have negative effects on those who suffer from allergies in your office. 

In the summer season and hot weather, those suffering from hayfever in your office can be hugely affected by an untidy desk. Neglecting to tidy your clutter from your workspace causes pollen to be trapped on the surface, which can trigger symptoms in sufferers such as nasal problems, dry throats and eye conditions. Other, more serious, illnesses, like asthma, can also be affected.

If you work from home, a clean desk is just as important to you as it would be if you worked within a shared office. The majority of the dirt that builds up on your desk from your day-to-day use of your workspace is invisible to the eye, yet it is still there! 

A desk with a laptop and some stationery.

The benefits of a clean office desk

There are a number of benefits to keeping your desk clean and tidy, as well as giving it a good clean on a regular basis, including:

  • Higher productivity levels whilst at work. 
  • Better organisation. 
  • Maintaining office hygiene standards. 
  • Reducing the impact of illnesses for you and your colleagues. 
  • Personal satisfaction of a clean workspace. 
  • Keeping your level of motivation high. 

To tackle the unorganised mess that your office desk can easily become, here is our step-by-step guide on how to clean your office desk:

Step 1: Remove everything from your desk

Before you can begin cleaning, make sure that you take everything off your desk. Ensure that rubbish is thrown away and that all paperwork is kept in a pile ready to be organised later. You should also remove any personal belongings and keep them safely stored to make sure that your desk is as clear as possible in order to make cleaning it much easier - as well as help you clean every bit of it. 

Step 2: Wipe down all surfaces 

It’s important to clean every surface thoroughly to remove all dust and dirt that has accumulated. For the best results, using an anti-bacterial spray and/or wipes will help you kill germs as well as tackle the dirt easily. These sprays can also leave your desk smelling fresh, which is always a plus.

For the screens of your devices, it’s important to use the correct wipes to avoid causing any damage. Screen wipes are an excellent way of cleaning your laptop or monitor without the fear of water damage or smears. These pre-moistened wipes are the safest often for your equipment as they don’t contain alcohol, which can strip away the protective coating on your screen.

A close up of a computer keyboard.

Your keyboard can be hard to clean, however, using a lightly dampened microfibre cloth is the best, and safest, option. Before cleaning your keyboard, check that your micro-fibre cloth is free of lint to ensure no pieces get trapped between the keys. When using your cloth, be careful to avoid getting moisture directly into the openings between keys, which can cause damage to your keyboard. For more information on how to clean different types of keyboards take a look here

Step 3: Keep the essentials

Once your office desk has been wiped down, it’s time to consider how to organise it to keep it looking clean.

The key to this is to remember that less is more when it comes to keeping your office essentials. Removing any distractions from your desk can not only be a great way of keeping your desk cleaner but can also help ensure that you remain focused as you work.

A desk organiser filled with office stationery.

Everything that you choose to keep on your desk has to deserve its place. From stackable files to stationery organisers, invest in items that will be a valuable addition to your desk and that will help you keep your workspace organised. These items are also easy-to-clean, making it even easier to keep your space free of dust, dirt and clutter.

Step 4: File away 

To avoid future clutter from becoming overwhelming on your desk, it’s important to utilise office storage. Under-desk pedestals are a great way of keeping your essentials safely stored away. Whether it be more work equipment or important paperwork - or even office snacks - you can rest assured that you’ll have easy access to whatever you need.

For further organisation, drawer inserts are also available to help keep your stationery and smaller essentials neat and tidy. You’ll find a variety of helpful desk drawer organisers here.  

It’s important to note that if you’re using any storage drawers or other storage units, these can easily also become untidy,over-filled and a bit dirty. To combat this, it’s important to make sure that you are regularly cleaning out your storage to get rid of any excess clutter and unnecessary paperwork. This will help you to maintain an organised workspace and allow you to store whatever you need readily at your fingertips.

When cleaning out your drawers, you may also want to give the handles and insides of the drawers a wipe down using the same antibacterial spray or wipes that you use for your desk. This will help stop dirt and dust accumulating and ensure that everything in your workspace is as clean as possible.

Office Chair

Keeping your desk clean doesn’t need to feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. To make sure that you’re staying on top of your desk's tidiness, keep a duster and cleaning wipes close by. Set aside time each week to allow yourself to regularly clean your desk, kill any germs and get rid of excess clutter. Your work and workplace will reap the benefits of a clean, organised and more productive workspace.

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