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Cleaning Workspace

Have you ever noticed that working in clean, uncluttered surroundings feels less stressful?

If you prefer an organized workspace, you're not alone. In fact, research points to connections between cluttered spaces and feelings of anxiety.

Why? Put simply, when you look at a mess, your brain gets distracted and isn't as good at processing information. But as much as we all may long for an organized workspace oasis, actually achieving it may feel out of reach.

Person wiping down their computer keyboard.

Pare Down

Start by getting rid of what you don't need. Conduct an audit of your workspace with the goal of weeding out all of that stuff ‒ from papers to office supplies ‒ that doesn't contribute to productivity. Categorize items into things you use every day, things you use once in a while, and things you don't use.

Donate or dispose of the items you don't use. There's no need to keep them around if they don't have a purpose. Apply this organizing mindset to your digital workspace, as well. It's a great time to go through your emails, digital files, and apps and get rid of any you don't need.

Organizing Your Keep Pile

Now that you've pared down, move on to the stuff that you do use. Your goal? Creating a home for each item, paper, or file so you can find it easily when you need it.

Start by rethinking how you treat the top of your desk. It's not a storage space; rather, think of it as the staging ground where you complete important tasks. Keep only the items you use and reach for all the time on your desk.

Everything else should go somewhere else. Use organizing tools, such as drawer dividers, to corral smaller items. Installing shelving or a filing system will help you organize the rest.

Effective Cleaning

Keeping your workspace clean ‒ truly clean ‒is more important than ever. Regular disinfection helps keep germs and viruses at bay.

Telephones, computers, and any frequently touched surfaces need regular disinfection. Use cleaners that won't damage office equipment, but that are rated to kill germs and viruses.

Make your own cleaning solution by mixing 1 tablespoon of chlorine bleach to a quart of water. Apply to surfaces and let stand for three to five minutes. Then rinse or wipe with clean water.

Organizing a Home Workspace

Keeping a home workspace organized can be tricky, especially if the space is multipurpose (for instance, you use your dining room table as a work surface). You can still keep it tidy by stashing your office supplies in a large bin, and storing it all out of sight at the end of every workday.

No matter which part of your home serves as your home office, you can keep it clean by establishing a tidying up routine:

  • Provide each item with a home
  • Put items away immediately after use or, at least, at the end of every workday
  • Keep small items, such as paper clips or pens, in containers and out of sight if possible
  • Tuck away electronic cords
  • Avoid eating at your desk
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly
  • Perform a deep clean once a week

Over time, staying organized will start to feel like part of your daily routine. No matter where you work, keeping your workspace clean will help you reduce your stress level and be more productive.

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