More of us are working from home at the moment, and while there certainly are positives to not going into the office, keeping your work and living spaces separate can be a challenge. Especially when your home office happens to be where you eat, sleep, or try to keep other family members from making a mess around you.
As a result, your home office may be picking up dirt, debris and everyday messes that can make it harder to be productive. In this guide to home office cleaning, we’ll take you through essential tricks to keeping your space tidy, from desk organising ideas to how to clean a keyboard.
How to organise your desk
For a lot of people, the most daunting part of home office organising is the thought of clearing out the desk. To combat this, it’s best to break the task down into steps.
- Start by removing anything that clearly doesn’t “belong” from your desk, such as dirty mugs, leftover lunch and snack wrappers, and put any debris in the bin.
- Next, get rid of any strictly nonessential items. One handy trick to work out what to keep and throw away is to clear everything from your desk and put it in a box. Over the course of the week, take anything you need to use from the box, and put it back on your desk. Find a new home for any objects still in the box, such as a drawer or shelf.
- Dedicate a specific drawer for office supplies and accessories, making sure to go through all your pens and throw away any that don’t work.
- Time to tackle the paper work. Separate your papers into piles: one for things that need to be dealt with, another for papers which need to be kept or reviewed, and another for the recycling. Sort your remaining papers into separate trays.
- Electronics such as routers and chargers can be distracting. Keep blinking lights out of sight by hiding your electronics in a drawer or on the floor.
- Finally, ensure a clean desk by spritzing the surface with anti-bacterial spray, and wiping it down with a paper towel, making sure to remove any pen stains. If your desk is made from wood, have a look at our article on how to clean wooden furniture.
How to clean a laptop screen
Cleaning your laptop screen is one of those things that we all know we should do, but rarely get round to. Here’s how to clean a computer screen, laptop or monitor and finally get rid of those distracting marks.
- First, check the manual to see what’s OK to use on your equipment. If you have an LCD screen, avoid using general cleaners as the chemicals may damage the screen.
- Turn off the power and unplug your laptop, monitor or computer.
- Take a microfiber cloth and gently wipe it across the display to remove any dust and debris. Move the cloth in a single motion to avoid streaks.
- For any sticky stuff, stubborn dirt or grime, spray a safe cleaning spray onto the cloth or the soft side of a sponge, and gently clean the computer screen. Be sure never to spray water or cleaning fluid directly onto the display.
How to clean a keyboard
It’s likely that your keyboard may be one of the dirtiest things in your home office. A clean keyboard is an often overlooked essential when it comes to an organised home office, so it really is worth doing.
For a clean keyboard you will need:
- An old toothbrush or cotton bud
- A can of compressed air
- Isopropyl alcohol
- A Plenty paper towel
- Unplug the keyboard from your computer, or power down the laptop. Next, turn the keyboard upside down, and shake out all the crumbs and debris you can. If your keyboard has removable keycaps, take these off first.
- Run a toothbrush or cotton bud through the spaces between the keys. You can also use a can of compressed air to blow out dust and grime with very little effort.
- To clean your keys, dampen a paper towel with isopropyl alcohol and wipe it over the surface. Avoid scrubbing too hard, as alcohol can remove the print.
Once you’ve de-cluttered your office, organised your desk, and cleaned your laptop keyboard and screen, it’s time to make yourself a brew and finally get on with some work!
While it’s best to tidy regularly, we’d recommend giving your home office a thorough deep clean once or twice a month, including any carpets or skirting. For tips on maintaining your trusted coffee machine or kettle while working from home, visit our other articles.