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Regardless if your office is outside the home or within it, these 11 effective office spring cleaning chores can help guide you through the process of clearing out or controlling the clutter in order to achieve the ideal work environment.
The result? Having a cleaner, more organized office environment can promote productivity or proactiveness, better efficiency, more confidence, overall peace of mind, and even increased focus.
In this post…
In this post, we cover some of the following topics:
Note: Some parts of this post allow you to expand or collapse sections to control how much content you read. If you’d like to read more information or tips, you can expand. Collapse to read less.
Office Spring Cleaning Checklist
Because each office environment and situation may vary, we recommend moving at your own pace and doing these chores in whichever order works best for you.
However, you may find it easier to work in an order that will help you avoid extra steps, such as dusting and cleaning from top to bottom, moving around the room in a counterclockwise or clockwise fashion to reduce missing spots, and even dusting before you vacuum.
Customize and Motivate Yourself
Some of these office-related spring cleaning tasks may take longer or be more in-depth than others. Take your time and break things up if you need to.
If you find that you’re low on motivation, consider adding activities you enjoy to the mix, like listening to music or a podcast or enjoying a good audiobook.
You can also use a timer as a challenge to yourself for a set amount of time to focus on cleaning the room or on an individual chore. Setting a timer will help you stay on task, which can mean faster cleaning times. Best of all, you’ll learn how long things might take you in the future, which may actually take less time than you think.
1. Declutter the area.
You can make a tremendous amount of improvement in your office area and overall productivity by decluttering the space. After all, a cluttered space can cause visual over-stimulation and stress, even on a subconscious level.
Doing a thorough decluttering is also highly beneficial when done prior to cleaning rather than during. It can help you focus and speed up the cleaning process, whether for regularly day-to-day cleaning or deep seasonal cleaning.
Some Decluttering Tips
If you feel that you struggle with getting rid of or donating items that you may not need anymore while spring cleaning your office, we highly recommend checking out The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. She has some pretty awesome decluttering and folding methods, among other household issues.
Make Decluttering Accessible Year-Round
Try keeping compact and collapsible baskets or hampers in areas that often need decluttering or where people leave items that don’t necessarily belong in that particular space. I love to use a mix of woven fabric baskets and our strong and sturdy Clevermade Collapsible Hampers, which you can find a review on here.
The baskets are great for holding things such as throw blankets and extra pillows, and I sometimes like to use those same items to hide items that I need to take someplace else later on, such as the bedroom, or items that I want to keep in that particular room but may not belong out in the open.
That way the room’s always tidy looking and they provide storage as well as a decorative element to the area. Baskets are also great to use as hampers, and they often can be collapsed somewhat and hidden away when not in use. I really love using this basket in particular.
We also love stashing the Clevermade laundry baskets behind or underneath furniture, in drawers, etc. Because they’re easy to grab, I can quickly declutter or grab them whenever I decide I need to clean the room.
2. Clean your desk.
Take some time to clean up your desk space. This includes the drawers and any shelves, cabinets, or that make up for your workstation.
This is also the time to clean and dust around the desk itself, making sure to move it so you can get the floor beneath it as well as the trim and walls around it.
Tips for Cleaning Your Desk
Helpful Habit #1
Try to only keep items out that you need to use regularly or that bring you joy or a sense of inspiration or motivation. This won’t just help you stay focused and more productive, but it will also inspire you and help you keep the area cleaner for longer.
Helpful Habit #2
Try to get into the habit of cleaning your desk, inside and out, on a regular basis and not just when doing office spring cleaning tasks. If you feel this might be an area where you struggle, work in baby steps to get started and then work your way up in frequency.
For instance, you can set a reminder on your device’s app to clean out your desk on a specific day, whether that’s once a month to start, every other week, weekly, or daily. The more often you clean it, the tidier it will always be and a whole lot easier to clean in general. And the cleaner and more visually appealing your office area looks, the more productive and proactive you’ll feel. Win-win.
Helpful Habit #3
As incentive to keep things decluttered, consider making it a rule that you have to routinely dust and/or clean whatever is sitting out, including decor and office supplies, pictures, etc. This is a good rule of thumb for any particularly house item you might thinking of and while you want to keep things to a reasonable minimum.
Also, don’t be afraid to use vertical space for things such as shelves and cabinets if you need stuff nearby or want a place for a few decor elements but want a cleaner-looking desk space.
PS — I love the Tresanti Standing Desk and almost two years later. We actually have two in our house, with one black and mine in white/light gray. Review coming soon!
3. Clean the room.
This step is more about cleaning the actual room (i.e., walls, baseboards, doors, furniture, switches and other points of contact, the floor, etc.). And since we’re working on office spring cleaning chores or seasonal cleaning, it’s a good idea to make sure that you get around and underneath furniture too, especially if it’s been a while.
The next steps are taken from our other spring cleaning post, 14 Spring Cleaning Chores for Your Entryway or Hallway in 5 Minutes (new tab). Feel free to check it out if you want more ideas for cleaning your office or other parts of the house.
1. Dust ceiling, vents, walls, wall decor, and light fixtures.
If you haven’t already, take a few moments to dust your walls. You don’t have to be super meticulous, so you should be able to get it done fairly quickly with the right tools and if you hustle. If you’re unable to reach the ceiling or need a ladder, you can skip that part of the step or try again later.
Dusting the walls and ceiling can be done with a regular duster, such as a microfiber duster or Swiffer 360, which has been my everyday go-to for ages. It’s not the greatest for ceilings but works well when dusting walls.
Either way, try to use something extendable or that comes with a long handle, if possible, and that will obviously reach where you need it to.
On most occasions, I prefer to use a floor dust mop to dust my walls, such as this one by E-Cloth or another favorite product of mine, the 6ft extendable Swiffer, which I’ll be reviewing in the coming weeks. They’re good to use for easy reaching, work great on ceilings, and cover a lot of space in one go, which speeds up the entire process. Love it! They’re also great for getting at one of our next steps: baseboards.
To avoid wet lint issues, it can be beneficial to dust the walls first and then clean in the next step. But feel free to use a lightly damp microfiber cloth or cleaning towel on certain items if you think it might be easier, such as your light fixtures and any wall decor, which will also help provide a deeper clean.
Helpful Habit #1
Give it the good ole one-two: It’s a good idea to dust any ceiling and wall fixtures, such as lighting and fans, once a week—or, at the very least, once a month. That also goes for wall decor, including ornate pieces or pictures.
Dusting them more regularly will make it a lot easier to clean since dust and dirt won’t stick to the surface due to humidity and other factors. A quick wipe down with a barely damp cloth usually works well for cleaning, takes seconds, and can probably be done less frequently with consistent dusting.
And don’t worry about removing sconce-like or fixed lights from the ceiling to get at the interior each time you plan to dust. Doing a quick once-over over the exterior will help you avoid dust buildup and should keep dreaded dust bunnies from launching a full-on assault, dropping from the ceiling like sneaky paratroopers.
You can get the inside of hard-to-clean lights a few times out of the year. For instance, during spring cleaning chores, whether in the hallway or entryway or elsewhere in the home.
Helpful Habit #2
Brand spanking new: Believe it or not, dusting your walls and ceiling a few times a year can help keep your paint looking cleaner and newer year-round. Best of all, it takes just a few minutes.
2. Dust and clean wood trim, such as baseboards.
Spring cleaning time is always a good time to clean your trim and baseboards if you haven’t already. Consistently keeping up on them several times throughout the year can make them easier and faster to clean, too, since dust and dirt have less chance to stick to surfaces. Plus, it can make a massive impact on the look and feel of your home.
Drop that base: If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned your baseboards or trim, we recommend giving them a detailed cleaning by hand. After which, you can work towards maintenance cleaning, such as by making sure to dust them at least once a month so that they stay cleaner for longer.
To speed up the process, use a good-quality microfiber cloth with a little bit of water. Make sure to wring it out—you only want a small amount of water to allow the microfiber to attract dirt and dust, but not so much that the water clogs up the fibers before any dust or dirt can attach to them.
When in doubt, cheat: Just as with walls, you can use a lightly damp mop on baseboards to speed things up—especially if you dust and/or clean them consistently throughout the year. We love this trick for maintenance cleaning, but if you haven’t cleaned your baseboards in a while, we recommend starting by hand to clean them more thoroughly first.
This is an excellent method for people with bad backs and hips and those who struggle to kneel on the floor. It’s also super quick! We so far love using my O-Cedar Spin Mop on baseboards, but I’m still on the lookout for other options. But play around with what you have to see what works first, but do at your own risk.
3. Dust and clean furniture.
Spend a few minutes dusting your furniture to help remove any debris, loose dirt, and lint before cleaning. Afterward, try to clean your furniture within the same timed session, start a new one back-to-back, or do it at a later time.
Some folks like to do this with furniture polishing products, such as Pledge or Endust. I prefer to use a barely-damp microfiber cloth since it’s residue- and chemical-free and because our furniture tends to stay dust-free longer when I just use water. However, do what’s best for the type of furniture you have or what suits your preference.
Clean any decor items in the order you feel is best, whether back-to-back or later on, if you have a lot of stuff to work on.
4. Dust and clean any knickknacks or decor.
Use a lightly damp cloth to wet dust any knickknacks in the room (when safe to do so), including any books. How long it will take can depend on how many things you have as well as how long it’s been since you’ve last cleaned.
Once again, take as much time as you need while doing this or other office spring cleaning chores, and feel comfortable doing it in one day. Or work at it in 5- to 10-minute increments and as you have spare time.
Wet dusting: Dry dusting is great for upkeep and can make quick work of dusting in general—especially if you stay on top of it. However, it’s good to wet dust ever so often since it’s a little more effective.
We love to use an E-Cloth and their polishing cloths as a faster, more efficient, and chemical-free method. They manage to get most items around the house looking ultra sparkly, from baseboards to our crystal lamps and mirrors. Above all, they speed up the overall process. And, as mentioned earlier, because there’s a lack of residue left behind, things seem to stay dust-free longer.
Less stuff = less work and less stress: While many people love their knickknacks and decor pieces, having too many items in a room can visually overstimulate us and become a distraction.
Because of the visual stimulation and distractions, too much clutter may potentially increase stress levels while giving us even more work to do when it’s time to clean—sometimes without us even being consciously aware of it.
And if dusting takes you a long time and feels like a huge hassle, it may be because you have too many items and might benefit from decluttering.
Decluttering speeds up the amount of time it takes to dust and clean. It can also help to make a room feel more comfortable and look better. Lack of clutter is often why model homes, hotels, homes in magazines or TV shows look fantastic and relaxing. They don’t have a lot of stuff sitting out.
You can also try rotating decorations when you feel you might have too much sitting out and aren’t ready or willing to get rid of certain items.
5. Clean interior-side of windows and doors.
Clean the inside portion of your windows—especially if it’s been a while since they’ve been cleaned. Feel free to get the outside, too, or put the windows into their own separate category.
Make sure to clean:
- Window sills
- Trim, including locking mechanisms
- The interior-side of the screen, whether by hosing off entirely outside or using an old microfiber cloth that you don’t care if it might get stained.
Cheaters occasionally prosper: Hate hosing off the screen and waiting for them to dry? Try wiping them off with an old, somewhat damp microfiber cloth instead.
However, if they’re really filthy, we recommend hosing them off and giving them a good cleaning first, using microfiber as maintenance cleaning. It’s also advisable to only use a microfiber cloth that you don’t care about since staining can sometimes occur.
6. Clean points of contact.
Make sure to clean any points of contact in the room if you haven’t already. These often include high-traffic areas and items that we frequently touch regularly, many of which get their fair share of bacteria, grime, grease, and other unmentionables over time.
Common points of contact in the dining room:
Don’t forget to clean around areas such as doorknobs and light switches. Whether we can see it or not, they get a little bit of abuse and gradually get dirtier over time. It might not be as noticeable until things start looking pretty filthy from a distance.
7. Clean area rugs and doormats.
Don’t forget to clean any washable doormats or rugs according to their care instructions for your entryway or hallway spring cleaning chores.
Some types may need to be professionally cleaned or done with a non-commercial carpet cleaner, such as our Bissel Pet Revolution 2x, which I hope to do a review on soon. Other, often smaller rugs can sometimes be machine washed or, depending on the material, hosed off outside.
Suck it up: Thoroughly vacuum rugs or carpeting before carpet cleaning, whether you do it yourself using a carpet cleaner or choose to have them done professionally.
Don’t get bogged down: If you plan to carpet clean on your own, avoid oversaturating the carpet or rug. This can create issues with mold.
It’s also essential to use a machine that provides adequate suction and agitation, which we plan to soon. Either way, make sure you get most of the water back into the machine instead of it being left on the carpet.
Dirt magnet: If you clean your carpets with a machine, we recommend doing at least a single pass afterward using water only to rinse the soap away. Otherwise, the soap can attract more dirt later and also cause the carpet to gunk up. It’s also recommended to do a final dry pass to ensure as much moisture is sucked up as possible.
8. Wash textiles or fabric items.
Take a little time while working on your hallway or entryway spring cleaning chores to clean any washable, textile-type items if you have any that might need some tidying up. This is also a great time to go through clutter that you don’t use or need or that might belong someplace else, such as shoes, coats, toys, and even pet trinkets.
When doing office spring cleaning chores, we also like to include wiping down any wipeable surfaces, such as faux plants or baskets that can be cleaned by hand or according to the manufacturer’s care instructions.
Completing this step(s) can vary on how large your office area is and the number of items within it. How long since it’s been since you’ve last deeply cleaned the space may also factor into the timing.
Either way, clean at whatever pace works for you, even if it takes a few days, but try not to take so long that you lose momentum or have to start over. If necessary, consider timing yourself and, if you haven’t done so already, make sure to declutter the room or spot first.
Examples of textiles or washable items that can be cleaned:
To wash or not to wash: If you enjoy artificial plants, always consider how hard or easy they’ll be to clean before purchasing them.
Some varieties can be more fragile than others, such as silk. Other, often less expensive types can be wiped down with a microfiber cloth or ran under the tap, with any excess water shaken off and left to air dry afterward.
I call this “watering” my plants. The more often you do it, the easier they are to clean. So don’t let the grime buildup. Places like HomeGoods, Target, and Amazon have great and affordable artificial plants. Plus, they’re usually a breeze to clean regularly. HomeGoods is always my favorite!
8. Clean the floor.
Take a little time to clean the floor, making sure to sweep or vacuum first if it’s a hard floor, followed by mopping. If you have rugs or carpeting, take your time to vacuum deeply since most people tend to rush when doing the average vacuum job and may not get everything that’s trapped in the carpet fibers.
4. Clean and tidy any computer or other devices and peripherals.
Clean and tidy up your computer and other devices by carefully dusting and wiping them off with a lightly damp cloth or even disinfecting wipe if that’s your preference. This is more so the case with mouses, keyboards, monitors, and other items that have collected dust or go through a lot of hands-on contact.
Some people may find it helpful to use cleaning products specifically meant for computer-related devices, while others find that a lightly damp microfiber works great. Compressed air can work great for keyboards and other devices with tight or hard-to-reach areas.
It may also be useful to corral your cords and cables as much as possible, which can also help reduce the appearance of clutter and improve the look and feel of your office area.
5. Empty any hole puncher, shredder, sharpener, recycling, and trash.
Take the time to clean and empty things that require emptying ever so often. This often includes anything from your trash and recycling bins to hole punchers and more. Wipe clean once emptied.
6. Clean inside any storage units, shelves, drawers, or cabinets.
If you have any storage furniture, cabinets, drawers, or other office furniture, try to take a few moments to ensure that they’re cleaned from top to bottom as well as inside and out.
This is also a good time to declutter and organize any items within or on the unit if you haven’t done so already. If you find that your supplies and other small office items tend to get messed up often, it may be due to needing to confine them into a smaller space.
For instance, people often use bins, storage boxes, drawers, or shelf organizers to contain small clutter or essentials. You can find these at many stores, online and offline, and even at your local dollar store or donation place.
7. Check and/or restock supplies.
While working on your office spring cleaning chores, check your office supplies to see if there’s anything you might need to restock or reorder.
Common Office Items to Restock
8. Go through and sort any unopened mail.
If you have mail building up, take some time to work on decluttering and sorting through it. We’ve also listed a few helpful tips to help you out, both now and after the fact.
Just make sure not to procrastinate too much or move too slowly; otherwise, the mess will just pile up again, and you may find yourself starting at Stage One again.
Break things up as you need to and move at a comfortable pace, especially if you have a lot of mail to go through. Again, try not to take too long, but rather move at a reasonable and comfortable pace.
Junk and Temp Mail
When you’re ready, pitch the things you don’t need, such as supplements and junk mail. Make a date and schedule a block of time to look through items you plan to throw away but want to look at first. Try to get rid of the temp mail as soon as possible though.
Set aside action mail to process accordingly. This often includes bills that you need to look at, file, pay, and/or enter into your records.
Action mail may also include items that you or someone else in your home may need to fill out, return, and/or need to respond back to, such as government documents or old-school snail mail from a friend or relative.
If you behind on your mail often, set a specific day each week where you address the task, whether if it involves billing or responding to a loved one’s card.
If there’s a substantial amount of mail to go through and multiple household members to contend with, you can divide things up by placing them into categories, such as by recipient, type (i.e., bills, work, subscriptions, etc.), mail to take action on, and to-be-filed.
You can then place them where they belong or are likely to be processed. If they belong to another person, give it to them to deal with.
Helpful Habit #1: The Great Purgefest
Make it a habit to sort mail while standing next to the trash or recycling bin and as soon as it enters the house. Immediately try to throw away or recycle mail that you know you don’t need or won’t use.
This includes supplements that you may or may not purchase from but want to “look through first.” Take a second or two to at least flip through it to see if there’s genuinely anything of interest. If not, pitch it.
Helpful Habit #2: Opening it is half the battle.
It may also help you to open any action mail while you’re already standing there. You can throw out the envelopes and any unnecessary items that came with it and in the recycling bin, keeping only the items you need, such as items to be filed or paid later and any return envelopes you may need to keep.
Helpful Habit #3: Set yourself up.
It’s also helpful to sort mail on the spot as soon as you enter the house and set it on whatever table or counter you normally use. Set aside mail for others and let them deal with it or put it in their designated spot or room.
If there are bills to pay or look at, put them wherever you pay the bills and catalogs or magazines wherever you look at those.
Helpful Habit #4: Two birds, one spiffy stone.
Place a calendar or to-do list next to wherever you keep your action mail. Try to mark your calendar with any dates where mailed items need to be paid or dealt with accordingly. This might include bills or things that need to be sent by a specific deadline.
You can also add these to your weekly or monthly to-do list, should you happen to have one. Or enter the information onto your phone or home assistant hub as you open the mail.
9. Get rid of redundant paperwork and files.
Taken from our post, 22 Effective Ways on How to Spring Clean Your Personal Life
It’s good to go through your filing, paperwork, and documentation ever so often to make sure everything is in order.
This is also a great time to update any records and gather any documentation or records that you might have lost, need to update, or handle otherwise.
Know What to Keep and for How Long
Some records or documentation should be held onto for a certain period of time, if not indefinitely. In contrast, others may only need to be held onto for a year to three years, depending on what it is.
Examples of Permanent Records to Keep:
Examples of Records to Keep for a Certain Period of Time:
Some records, such as certain tax records, may need to be held onto for a specific amount of time, often anywhere from 3 to 7 years, whereas credit card statements are usually kept for up to a year. Items such as warranties can be held onto until they expire and receipts up to 90 days or so, depending on if they’re personal or for business.
It’s Good to Know
Make sure to research what you should or shouldn’t keep, even just for the sake of future reference. You can find plenty of information online, such as with this great article by Huffpost (new tab).
If you run a business, check with your accountant first and research business-related recordkeeping since you may want to consider other things like contracts, invoices, etc. I took a course on this for college, and it was pretty intensive and surprising to see what showed up.
10. Update software on the computer.
Taken from our post, 22 Effective Ways on How to Spring Clean Your Personal Life
It’s important to make sure that your computer is tidied up and updated whenever possible. However, if you have a tendency to forget, you can spend a little spring-cleaning time making sure it gets done by doing some of the following:
11. Update software for any office-related devices, such as printers, scanners, peripherals, etc.
While you spring clean your office and computer, it’s a good time to think about making sure that any drivers for devices and peripherals, like printers and scanners, are up to date.
New computers often update these for you, particularly with built-in devices. However, it’s still good to check—especially if your computer or items are a little outdated and happen to be external.
In this post, we covered 11 office spring cleaning chores for the home, which can also be used inside a professional work environment or office.
Tips and Habits
We also provided plenty of tips and helpful habits to incorporate into your routine to make the cleaning process easier and more efficient.
We hope you found this post useful. Feel free to check out some of the related topics down below, and stay tuned for next week’s post, where we tackle spring cleaning for the great outdoors! Hey, no crying now! Just think of all the barbeques! And no one will ever wonder the last time the grill was cleaned. You’re a professional!