Web Exclusive

Spring Clean Your Home Office: Ideas to Try Now

No need to wait until spring to give your home office the one-over. Instead, see how to organize your office and maintain it. Organizational expert Julie Stobbe, founder of Mind Over Clutter, recommends doing a quarterly deep-cleaning of your home office space. “Keeping everything need and tidy will help you stay focused,” she said. Here are some tips from Stobbe and other organizational experts to get started.

Start With a Clean, Organized Desk. Whether it’s filled with promotional samples of photos of Fido, take everything off your desk and give it a good wipe-down, Stobbe says. Use antibacterial wipes or furniture polish, depending on the finish of your desk. Once you’re finished, “decide what really needs to come back,” she advises. It’s time to make some hard decisions: Is your desk really the best place for that case of imprinted stress balls—or should they go in a storage closet?

Replace Clutter with Motivation. “Keeping your goals in plain sight helps you reach them more quickly,” says James Andrews, a sales consultant and speaker. So if your plan is to lease a new Lexus when you finally close than six-figure deal, why not put a framed photo of that Lexus on your desk now? The photo will likely be more motivating than, say, a stack of junk mail or outdated paperwork.

Conduct a Drawer Inventory. Chances are, 75 percent of the items you keep in your desk drawers are not items that you need to keep close at hand. In fact, much of the contents can likely be thrown away, especially if you have computer files or other back-up. “Really take stock here and keep only what you absolutely need,” Stobbe says. “If you haven’t looked at it in six months, you likely don’t need to keep it in your desk drawer.” Establish a plan for what goes in each drawer. For instance, one can be used for office suppliers, while another might include hard copies of current orders.

Clean Your Keyboard & Phone. Both get a lot of use, and both get dirty quickly, says Jane Cook, an organizational consultant. To clean your keyboard, her recommendation is to use a Post-It and run it between all of the spaces on your keyboard keys.  To clean your phone, unplug it before cleaning and use a soft cloth and a household cleaning product like Windex, Cook suggests.

Don’t Forget the Plants. Houseplants get dusty too, so don’t forget the office rhododendron, Cook says. One tip from Cook: Use a drop of hair conditioner and a soft cloth the clean large plant leaves.