Office with white walls, desk, and cabinets, and a light wood floor. A lime green office chair is on both sides of the desk, one is turned on its back., Papers are strewn around the floor and desk. There are also a few bottles on desk.

January 11 is National Clean Off Your Desk Day

We’re not sure how official this holiday is, but if you haven’t already decluttered and cleaned your desk for the new year, this is a great time to do it. Whether your desk is in a corporate office, cubicle, home office, or corner of the dining room table, an uncluttered, organized, and clean workspace will help you work more efficiently. Working in an organized space can often help us destress and better focus on our projects.

Quick tips to do it right:

  • Take everything off your desk – mugs, pens, computer, monitor, desk pad, fan, all that little stuff that seems to come out of nowhere – everything.
  • Clean the desk surface with whatever cleaning agent is best for it, remembering the legs and any shelving you may have.
  • As you replace items, ask if your desk is the right place for them, or could they live in another space. You may have personal items that have nothing to do with work on your desk. Leave them there if they help you get through the day, but maybe you don’t need all of them in front of you (or maybe you do). It’s YOUR workspace, so organize it in a way that best works for you. We don’t want you to de-personalize your office, if that is your style, just declutter and maintain it to help you stay focused and healthy.
  • As you put those items back, clean them. It doesn’t have to be a major production, usually a damp cloth will work. Some electrical gadgets may need other types of cleaning agents. Remember to sanitize that keyboard and mouse.
  • Shred, file, scan – whatever you can do to get rid of as much paper clutter as possible. Of course, don’t shred important papers that you will need in the future for your business. If you have business cards, try scanning and saving them to your computer so you can toss the originals. Still have papers from before Thanksgiving on your desk? File them. If they need attention, place them where you will take care of them as soon as you’re done cleaning your desk, then file or toss them.


A black desktop computer, keyboard, and mouse are sitting on a white desk. On the desk are a few scattered 3-ring binders, a 3-tiered inbox containing lots of papers and turquoise folders, sticky notes all over the computer, a calculator, packing tape, open boxes of staples and paper clips, and a few large black clips. Other items on the desk include two containers of random pens, pencils, highlighters, and two scissors, plus random cords.

  • Get real about how many office supplies are on your desk. How many pens do you have on your desk? Do they all work? Many of us (cough) have an odd fascination with office supplies and collect pens of all colors, ink weights, and ink types. If you use them, keep them, but perhaps you don’t need them all on your desk at the same time. Getting rid of that huge mug (or two… or three) full of pens, markers, and highlighters will free up a lot of space. Do you have a drawer where most of them can live where they are easy to bring out when you are color-coding or getting creative? If you DO use them all while working, try a better storage system so they take up as little space as possible on your flat surfaces. This applies to all office supplies, like sticky notes, pencils, USB drives, etc.
  • Is there more than one planner open on your desk? Lots of people use more than one planner, but they don’t necessarily all need to be on your desk (and open) at the same time. Designate a place for them to live when not in use. We tend to use our planners more if we see them, so try keeping the one you use the most open while placing the others on a nearby shelf or somewhere you can easily see and grab them.
  • Give your office a good vacuum or sweep while you’re at it. Always do this after cleaning your desk so that you don’t get dust and grime on your newly-cleaned floor.
  • Schedule recurring office clean-up days to keep your working environment efficient and welcoming. You’re more likely to stick to cleaning days if you schedule them like appointments.

If you want to create an even more efficient workspace, check out MagOrg and Front FoldTM!

  • MagOrg Desk Mat is an organizer, desk mat, laptop stand, and charger – all in one award-winning product.
  • Front Fold is a daily reusable productivity system that reduces paper waste through a small whiteboard system that lives on your desk.

 

UDLAB is currently selling the Creative Gift Basket, which includes both these products PLUS our award-winning Classic Brown Achiever I Planner. Sold separately, these items total $299 + shipping. Our Creative Gift Basket is only $189, with free shipping in the contiguous United States! This bargain may not last, so check it out now!

 

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Why You Need MagOrg Desk Mat

Meet Front Fold™: Our Award-Winning Daily Productivity System

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