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I've been working from home for a few months now and my "office" area (aka. my dinning room) has seen better days. My dining room table has become a catch-all spot with stacks of who-knows-what, computer cords are taking over, there are crumbs on the rug and I'm pretty sure I've dropped guacamole on my keyboard more than once. It's time to take a break and clean my work space! I don't know about you, but I find big projects overwhelming, so I've broken this down into small manageable steps for you to follow along.
Step 1 - Make a List
I love checklists for two reasons: First, I have a road map to follow along making sure I don't miss anything. Second, checking finished items off is a wonderful sense of accomplishment and gives me motivation to keep going. Here's my list for this cleaning project.
Step 2 - Gather Supplies
Create a cleaning supplies tote to easily locate and grab items each time you clean. Here are some items to include. Make sure to also keep a broom, dustpan, and mop nearby as well.
Step 3 - Declutter & Clean Surfaces
OK, now it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Start by removing everything off the desk (or table) and surrounding surfaces. Don't just move your piles to another spot though, put everything away! Sort through items, pitch what you don't need, and find a home for everything else. Anything left should be specific for your work. Now that you've decluttered, temporarily clear off all remaining items so we can get cleaning.
First clean all surfaces on your table/desk and chair(s). What products to use depends on the material your cleaning. I personally love antibacterial wipes with ridges since they can be used on a variety of surfaces. Make sure to catch areas that collect dust such as unused chairs, table feet and baseboards. Next, focus on the floor. Start by sweeping and vacuuming up any crumbs, dirt, and hair. For smaller rugs, roll them up, take them outside and shake them out. Mop or wipe down un-carpeted floors with a wet paper towel.
Step 4 - Deep Clean as Needed
Now let's tackle some less common methods. First, let me share something I've learned first hand: area rugs can be a pain to get clean! I have had a both shag and a short pile rug and vacuuming never quite does the job, especially to pick up hair (every female knows the struggle of having hair everywhere!). So it starts to accumulate and then gets ground down as you walk over it. But area rugs are too large to just shake outside. Don't sweat it though! Grab a small broom and start going over the rug. The bristles will push loose hair and other particles into a convenient pile you can then pick up and toss. Now that you've brushed off the rug, grab some carpet cleaner to remove any stains and keep the colors vibrant and pretty! (Follow the instructions on the bottle).
Now turn your attention to your electronics. Even if you aren't eating Chipotle while working (who, me?), oils from your fingers and dust can build up on your computer and keyboard. Start by brushing everything with a duster or clean, dry cloth. Make sure to to get the back of your monitor where dust really builds up! Next, using screen cleaner and a microfiber cloth, wipe off those pesky finger prints from your screen(s). The last step is to clean the remaining surfaces using rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will help remove the dirt and grime, disinfect all areas, but also dries quickly so it is safer to use on electronics. Grab a cotton pad, add a small amount of alcohol and start rubbing over your keyboard, mouse and computer (other than the screen you've already cleaned). Make sure not to use too much alcohol at a time so it can still evaporate quickly; if you squeeze the cotton pad, it shouldn't drip out. Now dip a cotton swap in the alcohol and swipe in between they keys on your keyboard.
Step 5 - Re-Organize
Now for the fun part! Set your computer and accessories back up on your desk/table. Cords can easily get a bit crazy. Once everything's plugged in, corral them together and out of the way. Try using washi paper tape to bunch them together or against the table leg. Make sure to think about your cell phone charger; it needs to be easily accessible but also removable.
OK, last thing, I promise! It's time to organize your desktop. Grab all the items you set aside in step 3 and bring them back to your work area. Use colored file folder organizers to store notebooks, planners, and files. Then grab a matching 3-drawer tower to store pens, sticky notes and any other office supplies.
Whew, That Was A Lot!
Your work area is sparkling now, don't you feel proud?! We might be at home for a while, so why not make the space your own? Add a frame of your loved ones, a mini silk flower and vase, and hang up some of these free printable posters on the wall.
Shop the Look: Create a coordinated and stylish work area with the Slim 4-drawer Storage Unit, 3-tier Rolling Cart, Divided Bin, Desk Organizer, Wall Organizer, and Small Trash Can.
Chelsea McCulley is the Digital Asset Manager at mDesign
and an avid reader and Jane Austen fan.
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Aug 5, 2020