What to Clean First? Desk or Desktop?

What to Clean First? Desk or Desktop?

Mike Tyson
Aug 5, 2011

The weekend is almost here which typically means its time for us to give our office a good tidying. And the two main components of a working office are certainly the desk and the computer (desktop). And our method to cleaning has been the same for so long we're surprised to hear that anyone has done it different. So we pose the question: when it comes time to clean the office, which do you clean first? Your physical space or your digital realm?

In our experience it has always been easier to clear away the clutter of our desk and drawers before we start working on the computer. For some reason we need a blank slate on our desk before we can concentrate on cleaning up files and folders and whatnot on the computer. So our typical routine works out to something like this:


  1. Remove stray papers from desk, filing away the important stuff and trashing the rest.
  2. Wipe down desk making sure to get all the nooks and crannies for dust and cat hair.
  3. Organize "junk drawer" removing the true junk that has collected there and try to make sense of the rest, organizing things into containers.
  4. And on an adventurous day, we might take care of our desk chair while we're at it.


  1. Go through the desktop and remove everything by deleting it or filing away.
  2. Go to downloads folder and sort music, pictures, and anything else we've downloaded throughout the week.
  3. Transfer images off of our phone onto the computer and similarly sort them into our image folders. (We don't like to keep photos on our phone.)
  4. Clean up Things and Evernote lists.

Does your routine drastically differ from ours? Can you not possibly think of cleaning your desk before giving the computer a once-around? We'd be interested to hear how you approach your routine office cleansings.

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