Maintaining a home office don’t have to feel so hard. Here’s a simple guide to help you clean the home office and keep it that way!
For most of us, our home office is our personal space where we get to work and be awesome! (smile)
It’s also like a sanctuary where we sit and focus and just think things over.
So it’s important that it’s clean and free from unwanted and unnecessary items.
Now how do you clean the home office? And more importantly, how do you keep it clean without taking much of your time?
How to Clean Your Home Office
Follow these steps to do a thorough general cleaning of your workspace.
1. Remove everything.
It is always best to start bare. Remove all the items on your desktop, your shelves, and your drawers. Place them in boxes or bins for the meantime so you don’t create a pile of mess on the floor.
If you have just a few things and it will take only minutes to put them back where they belong, then it’s okay to just place them on the floor while you clean your desktop, shelves and drawers.
2. Assess your items and declutter.
As you clear out your surfaces, take the time to assess each item. You may be surprised how much extra office supplies you have on your hands.
As you do your assessment, create four categories:
Obviously, these are the things you do use every day, such as a pen, planner, memo, and anything else you need to be close by. Put these items on your desk.
These are items that you still need, but you do not use every day. Samples are important documents, receipts, or coupons that you need to store.
It could also be stock of office supplies that you know you should never run out of like copy paper or printer ink.
Store these items in shelves and drawers.
For re-selling or giveaway
These are office supplies that you never seem to use and are still in good condition. You may have a few extra packs of highlighters or pencils.
You can choose to re-sell these items online, give them away to family or relatives who need them, or donate them to a local school or small office.
These are items that can no longer be used, like damaged items, Get rid of these now because if you hold on to them, you are just letting them occupy space that can be used by other items that you truly need.
If some of these items can be recycled, drop them off to your local recycling facility.
For a more detailed discussion on decluttering the home office, read this post – How to Declutter Your Home Office
3. Wipe the surfaces.
Now that everything is bare, get a piece of rag, damp it, and wipe the surface. Ensure you do not miss out on the corners as the dirt and dust will most likely gather there.
Then, get a completely dry rag and wipe the surface dry.
4. To rearrange or not?
Take a look at the room. Should you rearrange your workspace
Perhaps you would want to move your desk next to the window to get more natural light.
Maybe you now have the budget to get a new shelf for more storage space?
Think about whether you want to keep things the same way or not.
5. Clean items as you return them.
Once you come up with a good arrangement, it is time to put your items back in their respective places! As you do so, take the time to clean and wipe them.
6. Clean your keyboard.
Your keyboard is probably the dirtiest thing on your desk. It collects dust, hair, dirt, and oil. So make cleaning your keyboard a habit!
Disconnect it from your computer. If you use a laptop, make sure the laptop is turned off.
Hold the keyboard upside down so that debris can fall off. Then, dust your keyboard off. Use a cotton bud dipped lightly in isopropyl alcohol and clean the edges of every key. Make sure that the cotton bud is not too wet, so you do not damage the keyboard.
When you are done, wipe the keys with a microfiber cloth.
7. Clean your computer screen.
Your computer screen can get dirty too, and you need to take special care to clean it.
Turn off the computer and then use a microfiber cloth to clean it. Use a mild cleaning solution and spray it on the fabric, then wipe the screen lightly. You can also take the easy path and use computer screen cleaning wipes.
Do not apply any pressure when you wipe your screen. And remember to leave it for a few minutes before turning your computer on to ensure it is completely dry.
8. Clean your electronics.
Electronics attract dust, so you have to dust them out regularly – your printer, tablet, computer, mouse, keyboard, etc.
The safest option is to use a cleaner specifically made for electronics. This is to ensure that you will not damage them while cleaning. A good cleaning kit will help you clean your electronics easily and safely.
9. Clean your chair.
Wipe through the armrests and the legs with a rag. Then, vacuum over the seats and backrest.
10. Clean your windows.
Clean the windowsill. It gathers dust, and that dust can easily be blown into your desk and in your office.
11. Vacuum or mop the floor.
Open your windows before you start so fresh air can freely circulate around the room.
Vacuum or mop your floor to get rid of dust. Go underneath your desk as that is an area that can be really dusty. If you have a carpet, take the time to do some steam cleaning.
How to Keep the Home Office Clean
Clutter and dust will build up again as time passes by. But with some cleaning and organizing habits, you’ll be able to maintain it and you won’t have to clean as hard again.
Here are these helpful habits that will keep your office clean:
1. Clean up before and after you work.
Make it a habit to clean your work station before and after you work.
I find that it only takes about 5 minutes and less to run a disinfectant wipe on my keyboard, mousepad, and the surfaces on my desk. I also spray some air freshener to keep the room fragrant. This way, I get to start to work feeling fresh and clean.
When you are done for the day, take the time to organize and return the office supplies that you have used to their respective places, clean your surfaces again, and take out the trash. This usually takes just 15 minutes. Not that much time really.
2. Do not eat at your desk.
The thing about working from home is that you can just snack at any time. Sometimes, when things get so busy, you also tend to eat your food on your desk while you work.
This may not seem to be a big deal. But sometimes it can lead to big problems.
Eating at your desk means you can be spilling crumbs and sauces over your work and your keyboard. And if you do not clean up thoroughly, any remnants of your meal can leave a smell behind and contribute to the germs gathered on your desk.
So as much as possible, keep food out of your work zone. If you are feeling hungry, take your snack outside and use it as an opportunity to interact with your family at the same time.
What about coffee? A lot of people can not function at work without a cup of coffee.
Purchase a tumbler or mug with a spill-proof cover. Have them placed in a small tray so that when you accidentally knock it over, the spill is limited in the tray and will not be on your desktop.
3. Maintain an organization system.
It helps to establish a good organization system in place.
With an organization system in place, everything has its own place. This lessens the items that you have to keep on your desktop, giving you more elbow room for your computer and for writing things around.
Another, because everything has its own place, this keeps the clutter at bay and allows you to find things quickly. So whether you have to step out of the room or leave your desk, nothing seems amiss when you return.
You have lots of options when it comes to organizing. Check out these articles for samples and more details.
- Dollar Store Organization Ideas for the Home Office
- Desk Organization Ideas
- Home Office Ideas for Small Spaces
- Budget-Friendly Home Office Ideas
- Awesome IKEA Hacks for a Productive Home Office
4. Do a general cleaning and decluttering session regularly.
It helps to do a regular general cleaning over your workspace just like the cleaning routine above. And declutter while you are at it!
A regular declutter ensures that you have everything you own in check. This keeps you from buying more office supplies that you do not really need and helps you get rid of the stuff that no longer serves you right away!
Enjoy working from home in your clean office!
As you can see, maintaining a home office is not as hard as you may think.
It does need effort though, probably more effort at the beginning when you’re just starting to clean.
But it gets better after that if… you get to apply those maintenance habits.
So make sure that you do a little clean up everyday. Let it be a part of your work too, and I’m sure you’ll always enjoy a home office that’s neat and clean, organized and free from distractions!