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3 Things to Do Right Now to Have a Super-Clean Desk


We could argue all day long about whether a clean desk or a messy desk is best — and have — but even the most dedicated desk slob is forced to admit that sometimes, a quick tidy-up is necessary.

tidy desk 

(Photo Credit: Victor1558/Flickr)

In this and all other cleaning-related matters, the person to ask is Jolie Kerr, a professional clean person who has shared her wisdom with blogs like Jezebel and The Hairpin, among others. (She’s also the author of the awesomely titled, “My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha.”)

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Earlier this year, Kerr loaned her clean-person expertise to the staff of Time Out New York. All of it is priceless advice, but here a few of her tips, to get you started:

1. Purge. No, really. Purge.

“I hate to throw things away.” Everyone does. If you want a really clean desk, Kerr tells TONY, you have to get rid of stuff:

“Grab your wastepaper basket and start tossing out any trash that may have accumulated. Recycle or, if sensitive in nature, shred any papers that you no longer need, being sure to remove staples, Post-it notes or paper clips before you do so. This includes anything that you may have tacked to a bulletin board.”

2. Wipe down everything.

Use spray cleaner and paper towels or wipes, but wipe down everything. While you’re at it, wipe down your cellphone — it’s dirtier than a toilet seat.

3. Get your hands on some canned air.

Just about the only thing that wipes can’t clean is the inside of your keyboard — and it’s probably pretty filthy. In a Hairpin article on the same topic, Kerr says:

“Canned air! What a delight! Oh and there are more delights to come! Canned air comes with a wee little straw taped to the side that you’ll sort of shimmy out of its tape prison and insert into the nozzle. Don’t peel off the tape though! You’ll need to return the straw to its sticky overlord when you’re done. Once the straw is inserted into the nozzle, point it at your keyboard and press down on the lever to expel the air and prepare to be GROSSED OUT over the amount of crumbs and dust and glitter — glitter?? How the heck did glitter get up in that ?#@*$%??? — that comes shooting out of it.”

We’re sold.

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What are your favorite tidy-desk tips? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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