While sitting at a desk over sustained stretches of time, we do a lot more than just work. We chew, sneeze, cough, touch and spill – day after day. It’s no wonder that home offices quickly become a microbial zoo. On top of the germs lies the clutter and mess from our busy lives that needs to be organized and cleaned.
Dust. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down all surfaces. Remove your papers, file folders, calendars, stapler and other objects so you can wipe down your desk. Don’t overlook areas like power strips behind your desk, fan blades, window sills, the top of your monitor or the tops of picture frames.
Vacuum. Work top to bottom. You should alternate between the upholstery brush, narrow attachment, and carpet attachment to thoroughly vacuum each and every surface on your desk and in your office. Pay attention to the areas you dusted, and vacuum up any loose dust the cloth didn’t capture.
Disinfect. Sitting at our desks, we do lots and lots of touching, creating new micro-bacteria colonies with each keystroke, mouse click and phone call. Disinfect that mouse and office phone: the keypad, headset, mouthpiece, the whole thing.
Consistency. Put a reminder on your calendar to clean and organize your desk weekly or bi-weekly. A cleaning routine will make it easier next time. Even better, keep disinfectant wipes near your desk so you can give everything a quick wipe-down between cleaning days.
How to Organize an Office
Clear clutter and organize your desk. An organized desk helps calm the mind and organize thoughts. Your stress will go down, and your productivity will go up.
Remove clutter that doesn’t belong. A few plants, photos or trinkets are acceptable.
Create two “zones” on your desk: one for computer work, the other for non-computer work.
Every office desk needs a place where items that don’t have a home yet can live. Dare we say “junk drawer”? Use a document tray or a file drawer for these items instead of a pile in the corner.
Use zip ties to bundle electrical cords together and keep them from creating a cord nest.
Keep a trashcan near your desk to make it easy and efficient to toss trash and recycle papers.
Use stacking document trays to free up space and provide separation for documents: one for mail, one for documents that need signatures, one for documents that need to be filed, etc.
Go vertical. When you run out of desk or drawer space, free up space by using walls to hang shelves or whiteboards.
How to Clean a Keyboard
Muffin crumbs and germs can’t get enough of all those crevices in your keyboard. If you have a laptop, shut down the computer before cleaning. Prevent the spread of germs with these keyboard cleaning tips:
Shake it out! You may want to do this outside or over a trash bin.
Use a can of compressed air to force the remaining dust and food particles out from behind the keys.
No canned air? Try folding a Sticky Note in half with the sticky part facing out. Run it through the cracks on your keyboard to collect debris.
Dip cotton swabs in alcohol, and swipe them between the keys.
Spray disinfectant on a cloth, and wipe the top of the keyboard.
How to Clean a Computer Monitor
Give those tired eyes a smudge-free screen to work on, and give your monitor dust-free ventilation slots to help it keep its cool. If you work on a laptop, shut it down and clean the keyboard and screen at the same time.
Disconnect the monitor, and wipe it down with a damp microfiber cloth.
Use a vacuum with an upholstery brush to remove dust in the vents.
Spray glass cleaner on a cloth to clean the glass.
Finally, use a can of compressed air to remove any remaining dust in the cracks and crevices.
How to Clean an Office Chair
Your office chair literally supports you on the job.
Look for an upholstery tag, which will guide cleaning practices.
Use a vacuum with an upholstery brush to remove any loose dust or debris.
Use a microfiber cloth and an all-purpose cleaning spray to wipe down any hard surfaces or parts.
If the cushion fabric is water-safe, use a spray bottle with a few drops of dish soap to spot-clean the fabric. Use this cleaning method for mesh and plastic office chairs.
To clean upholstery that isn’t water-safe, fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and 20 drops of essential oils. Use this to disinfect the fabric and remove spots or stains.
To clean leather office chairs, mix a few drops of dish soap with a half-gallon of warm water. Use a cloth to wipe down the leather with this solution, but don’t saturate the leather. Once you’re finished, apply a leather conditioner to maintain the fabric.
Lubricate any moving parts with a dab of lithium grease or a spray lubricant. Silicone spray works great.