• Tidy Once A Day: The true key to keeping a tidy space is to clean it once a day. To keep your desk and workspace clear from the landslide of dust and paperwork that seemingly piles up out of nowhere, a daily once over is a surefire way to stay on top of things. Our favorite way to make sure it gets done is to turn on a favorite song and clean through its duration. 3 minutes a day makes all the difference in the world!
• Everything Has Its Place: It's easy to keep a space clean that doesn't actually have anything in it, but what about "real" offices that are fill of pens and pencils, paperclips, calendars and toys (your office has toys too right?). As long as each one of the items on your desk has a place to return home to, it makes it easy to straighten things up. Even if you don't want to spend $100's of dollars on aesthetically pleasing organizational supplies, a cup from the kitchen does wonders to hold most things. If your desk is a magnet for clutter, try including a place for random things that you take care of once a week. That way, even the homeless items, still have landing place.
• Proper Lighting: It's easy to proclaim that your area is clean in poor lighting. It's also easy to be a little lackluster about getting your clean on in an area that is a bit dim. Most of us have some sort of task lamp on our desk, maybe it's time to reevaluate if it's bright enough to keep a keen eye on collecting dust bunnies.
• Wipe Things Down: It doesn't matter if you use a household cleaner on a rag to wipe down your space or stick to less moisture-laden ideas like a microfiber cloth, but wiping down your area every few days is a great way to keep yourself on track with daily cleaning. It's hard to wipe down a desk that isn't tidy, so bring in the towel next time you want to keep yourself in line!
• Clean Your Computer Desktop Too: Even though most of the clutter in your home office probably has to do with a stray bill, book or pile of paperwork, for some, clutter on our computer desktop can be just as nerve racking. It doesn't do any good to tidy up your physical space, if you don't take a few seconds each day to sort, file and save off any projects that might have ended up in the wrong space. If you make a habit of doing it once a day then it won't take quite as long. Make sure to go through bookmarks once a week for the same reason!
• Deal With Things Now!: The easiest way to make sure you keep a tidy space is to keep out foreign objects. It's easy to make your desk be the place things get thrown when you clear the table for dinner, or tell someone to put something for you to look at later. Deal with things upfront. Did you bring in the mail? Sort it, recycle it, file it away. If you leave it in a stack to go through later, things ultimately end up being buried and lost. Same goes for kids homework or permission slips, take care of things right when you see them to eliminate extra headache.
• Don't Eat At Your Desk: Yes, we're all guilty of it and some days we'd never get a bite in us if we didn't snack while we worked. Food debris can pile up fast, from dishes and napkins to crumbs and accidental spills or stains. Take a few seconds, stand up, rest your eyes a moment and eat away from the computer like a civilized human--yes, even if the only chance you have to watch LOST is on DVD during your lunch breaks, take a few minutes a day away!
Do you have a tip to add to the list? Have you developed a habit or two that makes your work space a clean and organized place to be? Share it in the comments below!