5 Inexpensive Ways to Maintain a Clean Workspace

It takes two to tango when it comes to maintaining a clean workspace.

For one, employers should provide the right cleaning materials that their employees can use. That way, it will be easier for everyone to wipe down food crumbs off of their office table, for example. This could also mean hiring a professional office cleaner, who can visit and clean the office regularly.

On the other hand, it is imperative for an employee to keep his work desk spick and span. That's because a messy working environment can hinder their productivity and put their health at risk.

Importance of a Clean Workspace

Whether you are an employee or an employer, it is imperative to keep your office's pristine condition. Otherwise, you cannot reap these benefits:

Employee Well-being

According to research by the University of Arizona, the average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than the toilet seat. These bacteria can cause illness and diseases. Hence, the best way to keep disease-causing bacteria from spreading is by keeping your workspace clean.

Boost in Morale and Performance

Here's the thing: No one would want to work in a dingy office. And keeping your employees perform in such a situation will not help them.

If you want your employees to always do their best, always keep the workspace clean.

Less Distraction

Research shows that clutter depletes our cognitive resources. This means the inability to focus and process information, hindering their productivity. To prevent that from happening, encourage your people to keep their desk clutter-free.

Reduced Stress

Aside from putting the employees' health at risk, mess and clutter can also lead to stress simply because people have to spend precious time combing through piles of paper to look for that one document.

The solution: An organized filing system.

How to Maintain a Clean Workspace

Now that you know why it is essential to have a clean workspace, here are six ways to achieve it:

Declutter Your Desk

There is nothing wrong with decorating your work desk unless it is distracting you from work.

As mentioned earlier, mess and clutter deplete our cognitive resources, hindering our productivity. Thus, we tell our clients at Maid Sailors Office Cleaning Companies NYC to spend at least an hour a week decluttering their desks.

Another tip would be spending five minutes cleaning your office table before or after working. Doing lets you get rid of possible distractions and ensure your workspace's cleanliness.

Use Proper Storage

If you are wondering what to do with stuff that you cannot throw away yet accumulate mess, it would be best to store them properly.

You can use a file magazine holder or a letter tray for papers that should be accessible to you. Meanwhile, documents with sensitive information should be placed in a folder or binder and locked in a filing cabinet.

Other than storage, it would be an excellent idea to have an organized filing system.

Suppose you are using a letter tray, the typical use to dedicate one tray for incoming documents and another for the outgoing ones. Incoming documents are any documents that you need to sign or file. Outgoing ones are those that you need to send elsewhere.

Another tip is to use the KonMari method. Marie Kondo suggests three categories when organizing your documents:

  1. Pending. These are files that you need to deal with, like documents you need to sign.
  2. Reference. These are documents that you would want to keep for future references, like your clients' list and their contact details.
  3. Save. These are files you need to keep indefinitely, like proof of transactions.

Discard any papers that do not fit these categories.

Eat in the Pantry

The common reason the work desk becomes a mess is that employees tend to use it as a dining table. What they do not know is that leftover food and crumbs can attract pests and vermins into the office.

This can lead to the spread of disease and destruction of your office equipment and supplies. Plus, cockroaches and rodents are primary sanitary issues in the office.

As much as possible, eat your lunch and have your coffee in the pantry. Doing so not only lets you enjoy your meal in peace, but it also gives you a reason to stand up and stay away from your computer for at least 15 minutes.

Keep the Trash Bin Accessible

We understand if you are peckish and would want to have some snacks in the middle of the day while working. After all, staying in the pantry to eat can be counterproductive.

That said, it would be best to have your personal cleaning tools. This can include a small brush that you can use to sweep off the food crumbs on your table.

It is also ideal to keep your trash bin within reach. That way, you do not have to spend a minute or two to throw your trash away.

Practice CLAYGO

It is pretty similar to spending time cleaning your desk before or after your work. However, the Clean as You Go method allows you to make cleaning part of your routine.

According to Hanna Spruce of High-Speed Training Hub, there are two types of cleaning using CLAYGO:

  1. Urgent Cleaning. It is cleaning anything that may cause immediate risk to health, safety, and hygiene. An excellent example would be spilled drinks.
  2. Non-urgent Cleaning. Anything cleaning tasks that you can do during your downtime like wiping the computer monitor and keyboard.

CLAYGO is instilling in your employees to take the initiative to clean whenever and wherever they can. This explains why HR consultants would suggest adding this practice to a company's onboarding.

However, it is also imperative that everyone in the office knows about the CLAYGO essentials. This includes cleaning materials, how to use them, and where it is stored.


It is undeniable that having a clean office is integral is reaping the following benefits:

  • Employee well-being
  • Boost in morale and productivity
  • Less distraction; and
  • Reduced stress

However, having a pristine office requires participation from both employers and employees. And you can achieve that by doing these tips:

  1. Declutter your desk
  2. Use proper storage
  3. Eat in the pantry
  4. Keep the trash bin accessible
  5. Practice CLAYGO

Doing so ensures everyone's physical and mental well-being. It also eliminates sanitary issues and boosts the company's productivity.

Additional resources: 

  • Beyond cleanliness, you should also review workspace safety says FVF Law

Kate Manning loves to write about personal finance and the world that circulates around it. She loves cheap Italian wine, sunshine, eating copious amounts of carbs, running, writing, and music.

Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.