Did you miss National Clean Off Your Desk Day 2023, like I did? No biggie. It’s always a good day to clean off your desk!
We moved into new offices recently, and I asked the team to make sure that our desks are clean before we leave each night. We have beautiful white desks, and they are lovely to see each morning.
Here are three things you can do right now to clean off your desk, even if it’s not the second Monday of January.
- Moving left-to-right, remove everything from your desk that you don’t need today. Place supplies like tape or a stapler in a drawer to remove it from your view for a minute, just to give yourself a fresh start.
- File the folders and papers that landed on your desk. They are probably on your desk because there is an open issue. Use your task list to capture that open issue, and schedule time on your calendar to take care of the open issues. You might not be caught up yet, but at least now you have time set aside to deal with things, which is always half the battle.
- Give your desk a wipe down. Move electronics and wipe underneath. Move lamps, file boxes, and whatever else feels glued to your desk. If your pet shares your space, you’ll be surprised how their fur builds up. Clean off screens and device camera lenses.
That’s it! You’ve got a clean desk and a fresh start. It’s nice to get to this point at least once a year, but it feels good anytime.
Pro tip: I set a timer for 4 pm every day to start putting things away so I can leave with a clean desk by 5 pm. Time is often the missing element for getting and staying organized, and that’s true with organizing your desk, too. It might take you less time than it takes me, but I need at least a half hour to close all my tabs, close all my paper files, put them in the drawer, return projects to my co-workers, and pack my bags to leave for the day. How much time does it take you to wrap up?
I’ll be honest, this time of the year, I always have a binder of EOY payroll and tax filing materials on the corner of my desk, but because it’s just one binder, it’s easy enough to move around and have that clean desk feeling.
I’m interested to hear from you…does this feel too easy? Too hard? Not worth it? How long has it been since you wiped off the dust and cat hair from under your computer?