The Home Office: Kickstart Your Cleaning

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Welcome to your office cleaning video. Feel free to play this and listen to my voice while you clean, listen and pause as you work through your tasks, or watch this video through and then clean. Whatever suits you best!

Working in a messy office can really mess up productivity; it is hard to focus and give your 100% to a task when there is clutter, piles or dust distracting your mind. While it might feel like a simple case of ‘organized chaos’, really, it’s only affecting the way you can function in there, not helping it. I used to use the organized chaos line too, and once I decided to drop it and clean my office for good, I became so much more productive in that space. I can get more done, I can find things quicker, I am not bothered by distracting thoughts pertaining to the mess. When there is stuff lying everywhere, my mind goes everywhere. Once you start working in a clean office space, you’ll see how quickly the fallacy of organized chaos will slip away. You’ll love being at a clean desk with your papers and folders organized. And it is much simpler than it sounds and certainly attainable.

In my office, the most challenging aspects to keeping tidy are papers, files, mail and keeping dust at bay – especially with all the electronics in there – things certainly get dusty! Those would be my MIAs – work surfaces and electronics. The good news is, that cleaning the office has so much to do with keeping these two things managed, and these are pretty simple tasks to carry out. Offices can be the place where clutter tends to build – paperwork, corporate swag, photos, books, collectibles, etcetra. It can be hard to clean a cluttered space, so the office is an area you might want to think about dedicating some time to decluttering before you clean. I can tell you, every time I do this, I ask myself why I hadn’t done it sooner. Plus, once you’ve done this and have a place for everything, you’ll have a much easier time managing mail, paperwork and office supplies. You’ll know exactly where everything needs to go!

Head over to your office now. Have a look around and think about your MIAs or most important areas in here. What makes you annoyed, stressed out, frustrated or irritated in terms of the mess in your room?
As you know, determining MIAs is the first step of the Maker Method and if you’ve got the book, visit page 7 to fill that MIA quiz out now – it’ll help you gain clarity on what you wish to focus on in this space. Now that you’ve done it, consider your office cleaning plan of action: What are you going to focus on? What are the products, tools, and techniques you need to use in this space? What are you going to schedule for another time? It makes a lot of sense that you’re doing this now, it saves you so much time in the long run!

Take a moment now to set your intention for the cleaning by visualizing what you want. Really take a moment here to focus on what you want your office space to look like – as you review your space mentally, setting your intention for what you want it to look like, you are helping your mind to prepare for these results. I find the office to be one of the easier spaces to clean, with most of the focus being on dust, electronics and papers. It just needs some dedicated time and TLC. Go stand in the middle of the office and close your eyes just for a moment and imagine what your space would look like ideally, if it were cleaned to your liking. Imagine the office – in your mind’s eye – very clearly – exactly how you want it to look. Having a clear picture of what your space looks like – only as clean as you want it to be – is half the work. Imagine what you want your desk, chair, bookcases, filing cabinets and storage area to look like. In your mind’s eye, look up, around the ceiling and corners, vent, light fixture, all the way down to the floors and baseboards. Remember, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Great. You’ve set your goal, and that’s what you’re going to work toward.

Now we’ll move onto the second step of the Maker Method, PTTs, or products, tools and techniques. Do you need to get any special vacuum attachments or dealing with dust? Check out page 37 to see exactly what tool you’ll need to do this vacuuming. Do you need any banker’s boxes to deal with paperwork? Yes – the office might require some time spent organizing paperwork and that’s totally fine. What about bookcases, do you need to spend any time on this area? Flip to page 179 to see how. When was the last time you cleaned your office chair? Perhaps incorporate this into your cleaning, check out page 179 for my method on how to do this. Yes, the office is simple to clean, but especially with the dust and electronics in there, take the time to organize your products and tools, and determine what techniques you are going to use before you get started with your cleaning. It’ll really help save you time. If you have a copy of the book, skim the office section before you get started, you can find that on page 169.

To get yourself in the mood, consider playing music or a podcast and lighting a candle or diffusing essential oils. Open a window if the weather permits. Make sure you’re dressed comfortably, have used the washroom, have a drink prepared and have everything distracting turned off. Don’t get distracted by the work you have in your office, this is time to FOCUS! Right before you begin, look at your office and just remind yourself that in about 20-30 minutes depending on how much work you’re going to put in, it is going to be a significantly cleaner, more organized space to work in. And your productivity and pride in your space will soar!

As always, head over to your starting point and begin your cleaning. I like to start with a good decluttering and sorting through papers, organizing as needed. This does take the most time when I clean the office and is a big part of wave 1 for this space. I tend to find a lot of utensils, plates and glasses in there since oftentimes, I’ll eat at my desk. I recommend learning how to clean the various electronics in your office properly – of course to keep then gunk and dust free, and to make sure you don’t damage them. You can see my instructions on how to clean a phone, monitor, keyboard, mouse, laptop and PC starting on page 180. Look at the areas under your desk and furniture. If you notice a lot of dust building up, spend a bit of extra time vacuuming here to get rid of it. Not only is it stuffy to breathe in, but it can be a potential fire hazard. Decide what needs attention – your bookcases, wall art, office chair? You decide by having a look and seeing what really screams ‘clean me’ at you. Anything that can wait, can wait! You’re the boss of the cleaning here. As you work through this space, ask yourself if you still use the office supplies you have, still like that artwork or décor item, or if there is something you can get rid of. Keeping the flow of items in your office moving will help it be a clear and productive space for you.

As you’re working, pause for a moment, and just remind yourself how proud you are for dedicating this time to cleaning your office. This time you’re spending helping your future self work better, more efficiently and in a higher state of mental clarity.

As you wind down cleaning this space, remove the items you’ve used to clean, replace any items you’ve removed and put the final finishes on your space; put furniture back where it belongs, make sure your desk has all of its items neatly back on its surface and ensure books and paperwork are where they need to be. The floors are the last to be done, and you can either vacuum, or vacuum then mop. Smile, ear-to-ear, pat yourself on the back, let out a little spirited cheer, or do a quick dance. Whatever you need to do, you deserve to congratulate yourself and ride the feel-good vibes of your efforts. Your office is ready for you to get to work in!

The office needs regular cleaning attention – but certainly less than most other spaces in the home. By keeping the flow of paperwork and garbage or plates going, which you can seamlessly incorporate into your daily routines – for example, when you get a piece of mail, deal with it and file immediately or schedule a time to do it – take all plates and cups out of the office as you leave, etcetera, a regular dust, vacuum and electronics cleaning is typically sufficient for a regular visit. I discuss daily routines on page 257 through 259 so you can figure out when and how to schedule things in. There are certainly bigger jobs that need doing and you can schedule those in less frequently which I really recommend doing, have a look at your MIAs and also at your scheduling chart on page 274 and see what you want to include in your monthly, quarterly and annual cleaning schedule for the office. Scheduling and routines is the third step of the Maker Method – what gets scheduled gets done.

You’ve done it! Now that you’ve finished working in your office, I guess you can….get back to work! I’m thrilled with your efforts, amazing job! Next up, we’re going to hallways and other passageways!

Please share your journey with me by using #KickstartCMS and tagging me on Instagram and Twitter using @CleanMySpace and @MelissaMaker, share your photos on Facebook, or send me an email to info {@} cleanmyspace.com . I’d love to know how this is helping you!

Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.

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