Desk Organization, Locker Deodorizer & Clean A Travel Mug!


As the first day back gets closer, we’ve decided to share a few more back to school cleaning tips with all of you.

Desk Cleaning and Organization

Have you ever heard the saying ‘a cluttered space is the sign of a cluttered mind?’ If that’s the case, clear your mind by having a clean desk. Having a clean desk makes it substantially easier to get your homework done, unless you thrive on organized chaos, which is totally understandable.

One of my best friends is a teacher, and she told me a fabulous tip for keeping students’ desks organized.  You create a desk ‘map’ and have a place for everything, so that you always know where to place everything when you are done with it.  Pin it up on the wall so that you can refer to it.

 If your desk is cluttered, here’s what to do:

  1. Remove everything, yes, everything off the desk. If you need to, you can do this one half at a time (starting with the left, and then tackling the right).
  2. Clean your empty desktop, whether it is wood, laminate or another material, simply use an all-purpose cleaner and clean cloth to wipe it clean.
  3. Now, get to organizing it.  It may feel overwhelming, but if you take your time, you’ll get through everything and you’ll have no clutter.   What you can do for a basic organization is to have three areas or containers beside you, toss, keep, donate, and then sort through all items.  Do not move from your place until you’ve sorted everything, you’ll put everything away later.  That way you stay focussed.
  4. Now that the clutter is gone, you can map out where everything is going to go and replace it .  Remember to keep the desk itself very simple.  That’s the secret – don’t use you desk for storage – just use it as a work surface.  Have the things that you are working on around you – if you’re not working on anything – you should be able to see 80% of your desk.

Locker Deodorizer

Lockers are so awesome, I remember I could hardly wait to get mine!  And I was that kid that had an avalanche fall out of my locker each time I opened it.  You’d see a rotten sandwich fall out, an elephant would trumpet, my papers would go everywhere, it was rough times.  Oh how times have changed for little old me.  Anyway, lockers can get stinky after a while given what they house, namely old food and gym shoes. – Now this is cool – and to be honest, I wish I had thought of this back in my locker days.

You can change this up every 3 months or so, and you’ll be so happy you have one.

DIY Locker Deodorizer

  1. Find a clean, small container, I used a cheese shaker in the video
  2. fill it half way with baking soda
  3. add 10 drops of essential oil if you wish (I used lemon and rosemary)
  4. place cheesecloth on top and close the lid (side note: if you want to decorate this go right ahead)
  5. place this on the top shelf of your locker and you’re good to go!  Just remember to throw out your old lunches, kids.

How to Clean a Stainless Steel or Plastic Travel Mug

I love coffee so much that Chad knows whenever we are driving home, one must not simply drive home without stopping at Starbucks first (can you ever have too many Americanos?).  On that note, my trusted travel mug is super stained as a result.  This patina can turn some people off, and it won’t harm anything flavour-wise, but it does look unattractive.  I’ve also noticed that lids get pretty gross over time.  Since we’re not supposed to place these in the dishwasher, many students tote these around and I’ve been asked how to clean them out and remove stains.

How to clean a stainless steel travel mug:

  1. Make  a paste of cream of tartar and water
  2. with your finger or a cleaning toothbrush, scrub the inside of the cup clean
  3. rinse and you are done!

How to clean a plastic travel mug, thermos or lid:

  1. Make  a paste of baking soda and water
  2. with a cleaning toothbrush, scrub the inside of the cup or lid clean
  3. rinse and you are done!

Alright class, that wraps up our second of three posts and videos on back to school cleaning tips.  We’ve got one more video coming up and it’s all about getting inky, trust me, you’ll love what we have to say about pens, markers and crayons.  Your assignment?  Try these out and report back to me!

I’m curious, do you work better on a cluttered desk space AKA ‘organized chaos’ or a perfectly organized one?

Don’t forget to check out our playlist with some great back to school worthy videos.

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Melissa Maker is the host of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube, editor-at-large of, and founder of Clean My Space (a well-known Toronto-based cleaning service). She's been knee-deep in the cleaning game since 2006. Follow Melissa: @MelissaMaker on Instagram, SnapChat & Twitter!


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