Ways to Keep Your Work Station Clean and Organized

Ways to Keep Your Work Station Clean and Organized

Have you ever been at work, and feeling totally in the flow of things – only to reach for a file and find a messy stack of documents instead? That’s enough to throw anyone off their game!

Or maybe you’ve been moved from one office into another, and have gotten settled in to do work – only to find stains, sticky spots, or crumbs on the computer and keyboard? Ugh. A dirty desk makes it a lot harder to get work started, doesn’t it?

Situations like these happen to all of us, and they’re never any fun.

In fact, having a messy, dirty, or cluttered workspace can actually have a serious, negative effect on you. Did you know that working in a cluttered office actually lowers your productivity and ability to focus? Or that dirty, grimy office surfaces are one of the leading causes of workers getting sick?

The bottom line? Whether you work in a small office, a giant corporate suite, a classroom, or from a space in your very own home, it pays to keep your work area clean. Here are five ways to get your workstation clean, clutter-free, and ready to help you do and be your very best.

1.) Take Out the Trash

Taking out the trash is a great way to declutter and spruce up your workspace. And we mean this in two senses.

First and foremost, as you take a look at your workspace, don’t be afraid to really purge your station of anything you don’t need. Old trash, knick knacks that are taking up too much space, stacks of paper that you haven’t actually picked up in years – find a way to get rid of all of this unnecessary stuff. That may mean moving old files into a storage area, taking things off of your desk, or literally throwing away or shredding the items you no longer need.

Second, make it a regular task to throw away trash, and empty your workstation’s refuse or recycling bin. After all, you don’t want wrappers and baggies from lunch taking up valuable space on your workstation, or giving off disgusting smells to guests, do you? Tackle trash, spare papers, and other potential cutter culprits right away, before they get the chance to build up.

2.) Sanitize What You Can

Computer equipment, pens and pencils, legal pads… While we all tend to think of our office supplies as ours alone, it would really be more realistic to say that you’re sharing everything you use in a day with millions of germs, viruses, and bacteria – many of which can make you sick!

Don’t let hidden germs force you to take a sick day! At the end of the workday, be sure to wash out your coffee mug or water bottle, so that it doesn’t serve as a breeding ground for bacteria overnight. At the same time, be sure to regularly wipe down your desk, computer equipment, and phone with your favorite antibacterial wipes.

3.) Deal With Dust

A dusty, musty office space is no place to get work done! Fortunately, tackling a little bit of dust and debris on your own doesn’t need to keep you away from working for too long.

Using a microfiber cloth to attract and trap in dust, be sure to regularly wipe down your desk, as well as your equipment (computer monitor or tower, keyboard, stapler, shelving, etc.). Doing a little bit to get rid of dust can help allergy sufferers to avoid plenty of sneezing and wheezing, while also making your work area seem more clean and welcoming for yourself and any visitors you may have.

4.) Find an Organizational System That Works for You

Once you’ve completed a major “trash” session, and found a way to get rid of the office clutter that you don’t need, it’s time to find a way to organize the supplies, equipment, and personal effects you do need to keep nearby.

It may time some trial and error, but it’s important to find that organizing system that works best for you! The right one may come down to a lot of different factors – the size of your workstation, the amount of equipment you have, the type of worker or learner you are, and so on. Here are a few ideas that may help:

  • Use an in-out tray. Many top productivity and organization experts swear by the inbox/outbox system. This is a series of stacked trays placed on a desk – one for new files or paperwork, and one for finished work. This way, you can see things building up as they come in, helping you prioritize while also cutting down on clutter.  
  • Color code your workspace. For some people, creating a system of labels and color coding is just what it takes to stay on top of paperwork and personal items, allowing them to organize and sort through things before they get the chance to take up much-needed room.
  • Create storage. Storage boxes and bins are a great way to keep things “out of sight, out of mind,” stashing away papers, supplies, and other things you don’t really need on a daily basis. You may want to use boxes or cabinets that you can neatly tuck away under your desk, or use a peg board to hang up office supplies or other things by going vertical.
  • Divide up your workspace. Separating your work area into zones can be a great way to make keeping it clean and organized much more manageable. For instance, you could have one section strictly for your computer, another for hand-written work, a third for reading, and so on. Do what you have to do to make your space streamlined and distraction-proof.

5.) Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Have a stubborn stain that you can’t get on your own? Does your carpet need a good vacuuming? Looking for help wiping down chair or desk legs? For all these things and more, bringing on a professional commercial cleaning service can help.

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