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Best tips for spring cleaning your desk (or whatever might need cleaning)

Tidying expert Justin Klosky gives his best advice for keeping your desk clean.

Justin Klosky is the author of 'Organize and Create Discipline' - a book he's made from his own experience with OCD.  Justin Klosky is the author of 'Organize and Create Discipline' - a book that draws on his own experience with OCD.

Justin Klosky – author of ‘Organize and Create Discipline’ - helps people organize their desks. But it is more than that really-- what he really does is help clients organize their whole lives. We got a taste of it recently when he swung by our office to show us how it's all done. See the results of his handiwork at the end of the article.

Keep asking questions


While you are cleaning, look at everything and ask: Will I ever use this? Apply this question to every object that’s on your desk. If you don’t have a good answer to the question, you should get rid of whatever it is.

Clean and disinfect


A lot of grease and filth can find its way to your keyboard and mouse, so make sure not only so clean them, but also remember to disinfect them with anti-bacterial wipes. Justin Klosky says it’s a good idea to disinfect your desk, keyboard and mouse at least once a month.

Stay organized


A good tip for staying organized is partnering up with a colleague for a weekly organizing appointment, Klosky advices. That way you can help each other decide what needs to stay and, more importantly, what needs to go. It might be easier for your colleague to throw out the things that are in your way.

Put it on file


Scan and file things into your computer is one of Justin Klosky’s most important tips. That way it won’t take up space at your desk or in your drawers. Justin Klosky goes as far as to scan in the birthday cards he receives so they don’t take up space in his home. First make a pile of the things you want to scan. When you realize it will take forever to scan everything, you will want to throw even more stuff out, Klosky tells us.

Do it now!


“Now is always the best time,“ Klosky says. The moment you see something on your desk (or in your home) that you need to deal with, deal with it then and there. If you decide to throw something out, just do it right away. Then you won’t have time to change your mind afterwards.

Make it office policy


It would be a good idea if a company e-mail was sent out saying: “Use the next 15-20 minutes for cleaning up your desk.” As Klosky points out, most people will not want to come in early to clean their desk, or stay longer to do it either.

No post-its on the screen


“Post-its will sometime lose their stick, and then they will fall down. They are also really distracting. When you are looking at your computer, you should be focused on the screen, not what is all around it,” says Klosky of the bad habit of sticking post-its all over your computer screen. So tear down the post-its from your screen, and write the things you need to remember in your notebook instead.

No piles


There should never be piles. The moment you start a pile is the moment you are creating more work for yourself. You eventually have to going to deal with the piles. Piles create dust, and dust creates bacteria and germs. That’s bad for you, because then you can get sick and unhealthy.

Our Health Editor Meredith Engel's desk before Justin Klosky paid us a visit. Our Health Editor Meredith Engel's desk before Justin Klosky paid us a visit. Let's be frank: It needed some organizing!

A happy Meredith Engel who now got a clean and tidy looking desk with the help of Justin Klosky. A happy Meredith Engel who now has a clean and tidy looking desk, thanks to the help of Justin Klosky. Everything now has it's own place, and Meredith knows exactly where to look for it.

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