Author: Lisa Lozeau, Agent Acquisition and Onboarding
When you work at home, life can quite literally creep into your office.
Personal notes and papers have a way of ending up on your desk. Coffee cups, dishes and bowls might not always make it back to the kitchen. A sweater or even a whole basket of clothes could end up on your floor, and if you have children there is probably a toy or two in your office.
You can boost your productivity and happiness in just 15 minutes a day by cleaning out the clutter and reclaiming that office space as your little work haven. Just follow our simple guide to get a cleaner, happier home office in just one week!
What you will need:
- A box or basket to collect the clutter
- Your favorite surface cleaner (opt for a good scent)
- Paper towels, cleaning cloths, or wipes
- Computer-safe cleaning wipes
- Baking soda
- Vacuum or broom
- A mug or other containers to organize pencils and small objects
- Folders or other holders for papers
- Twist-ties, hairbands or rubber bands if you need to tame computer cables
Day One: Clear out the Clutter
Starting in one spot and working your way briskly through your office, take everything that does not belong in your office and put it into a box or basket. Do not worry about where it belongs. You can sort through it later while you’re watching TV. Right now your focus is on reclaiming your office. If you have a lot of clutter, you may need more time or you can continue setting aside 15 minutes a day until you get through it.
Day Two: Make it Shine
Now that you can see your desk top, get to work wiping down every surface in sight. A good cleanser will smell nice and leave your office gleaming and free of built up dust. Don’t forget to clean under your keyboard and phone and use computer safe wipes to give your electronics a nice shine too. Gently wipe wires, headsets and your keyboard to really get that clean feeling.
Day Three: Freshen Up Carpet and Chairs
Stale smells can linger in carpets and upholstery. Go beyond vacuuming and freshen up carpets and upholstered chairs. Try lightly sprinkling baking soda on surfaces, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then vacuum. Make sure to vacuum under and behind furniture to keep dust bunnies at bay.
Day Four: Get Organized
When you sit down at your desk, it should feel like you’re in the cockpit of a plane with everything you need right at your fingertips: keyboard, phone, headset, paper and pen, maybe a calculator, and any notes you use for quick reference. Corral pens and pencils in a favorite mug; use magazine holders and folders to keep papers handy and neat; ties cords back with twist ties or rubber bands, then sit in your chair and make sure everything you need is in easy reach
Day Five: Finishing Touches
Having a home office is your opportunity to create a little space just for you. Make it a place you enjoy being by adding a few things that make you smile – a potted plant, a favorite picture, a catchy quote, a silly knick-knack on your desk, or a favorite throw pillow on your chair. Consider adding a diffuser with your favorite essential oil so that it always smells nice when you walk in.
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of our easy home office clean up. If you’re not quite there yet don’t worry. Aim for 20-30 minutes a day if cleaning takes you longer or just take a few more days to finish up. Then plan to repeat every season to keep your home office neat and tidy. The joy and convenience of seeing your work space ready to go will be worth it.