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Clean Your Home Office in 5 Quick and Easy Steps

Someone using the Bissell Little Green vacuum on a carpet, the ODISTAR desktop vacuum in yellow, someone using ColorCoral cleaning gel on the back of a printer.

If you’re still working on your spring cleaning (or haven’t even started yet), your home office might be last on the list. If you work in there daily, your desk is probably badly in need of some disinfecting, not to mention all those crumbs in the keyboard. We’ll walk you through it, and before you know it, your home workspace will be gleaming again!

Whether your home office is a separate room or a desk in the corner of the kitchen, if you work there with any regularity, it’s going to collect a lot of germs. Cleaning, of course, takes time most of us don’t have. But if you can work in these five quick steps and a bit of routine maintenance, your home office will be shining in no time—and stay that way.

Step One: Vacuum Your Office Chair

A woman cleaning muddy paw stains out of a beige carpet with the Bissell Little Green Portable Vacuum.

You probably won’t forget to vacuum the floor of your home office. However, dust and debris can also settle into the upholstery of your chair. Use your vacuum’s brush attachment to take care of it. You can also use this same attachment to clean any curtains or lampshades.

You can also use a fabric cleaner to spot-treat any stains on your chair after you vacuum. Just check the upholstery tag; it should have instructions about how to clean your chair properly. You can disinfect any hard plastic parts, like the arms, legs, and wheels, with plain old dish soap and water.

If you’d rather have something more portable to use on furniture instead of dragging out your full-size vac, the Bissell Little Green Multipurpose Carpet and Upholstery Cleaner. Not only will it make short work of your chair or any other fabrics, it even stores upholstery cleaner so you can spritz it on stains.

It’s also perfect for car upholstery or to clean up pet messes on the carpet.

Step Two: Safely Clean Your Electronics

Someone wiping down a laptop keyboard with ColorCoral Universal Cleaning Gel.

You likely touch your keyboard more than anything else in your home office. Plus, if you regularly scarf down your lunch while working, there are probably lots of crumbs between the keys. (Ew!) Keyboard cleaner is the safest way to get all the food, dust, and dirt out from between those keys.

The rest of your electronics also need to go on your routine cleaning list. Invest in some screen cleaner to keep your computer monitor, laptop, tablet, and TV screens clear and free of fingerprints and debris.

Remember to also wipe down other accessories, like your printer, mouse, power strips, and cords. If you have a headset for phone calls, give that some special attention, as it can harbor lots of pathogens from your face and mouth. Endust Wipes are a convenient, super-fast way to clean all of the above. Just gently wipe everything down, and then let it all air-dry.

Step Three: Dust All Surfaces

A blue portable mini humidifier on a desk next to a laptop.

Dust loves to accumulate on all surfaces, including your desk, electronics, shelves, and tables. An office covered in dust isn’t the most inviting place to spend your days, especially if you have allergies.

Plus, 2/3 of the dust in your home typically comes from outside, which has the potential to bring in pathogens.

A damp microfiber cloth or paper towel is all you need to get rid of that top layer of dust on your desk, shelves, and other surfaces. Always work from top to bottom because, as you dust, it all floats downward.

Next, you can use some disinfectant wipes to get rid of any of those pathogens we mentioned earlier. Don’t forget the desk legs, light fixtures, picture frames, blinds, windowsills, and ceiling fan blades.

If you do suffer from allergies, you might want to invest in a small, portable humidifier, like this option from MOVTIP. It has two mist modes, and auto-shutoff, and at just over five inches tall, it won’t take up much space on your desk.

Step Four: Spruce Up Those Windows

A decorative window wall mirror hanging above a hall table.

If you’re lucky enough to have a window in your home office, keep that healthy, natural light flowing in. Just grab the glass cleaner, and a microfiber cloth or some paper towels, and start spritzing!

No windows in your home office? How about a mirror that looks like one? Actually, adding any mirror will make your space feel more open and a bit less claustrophobic—and you can clean it the same way you would a window.

If you want something even more realistic, bu far more affordable, pick yourself up a wall mural sticker of a window with a gorgeous view, like this faux seascape from Amtoodopin. The best part about this option is you don’t have to clean it—ever!

Step Five: Tackle That Floor

A Swiffer Two-in-One hanging on the door of a storage closet and someone sweeping under a couch with the Swiffer Two-in-One.

If your home office is carpeted, it’s now time to break out the vacuum and give that floor a good sweep. For hardwood, vinyl, or other flooring, grab your broom or stick vac.

If it’s been a while since the floor in your office has been cleaned, move everything you can into another room, so you can hit as much of the floor as possible. Pull all the furniture out from the walls if you can, and sweep behind it.

Grab your Swiffer or mop and bucket and give make it shine. Be sure to follow the directions for mopping your specific type of flooring. After this deep clean, try to vacuum your office weekly.

For maintenance on hardwoods, vinyl, and other types of hard-surface flooring, we highly recommend the Swiffer Sweeper Two-in-One. It’s a dust broom and a mop, so you can give your floor a quick sweep and/or shine weekly.

Maintenance Step 1: Declutter Daily

The ODISTAR mini desktop vacuum sitting on a desk where a young woman is working.

Regularly decluttering your desk and office will keep your workspace looking nice, which will, in turn, make it easier for you to focus. It’s also an important way to reduce your exposure to pathogens. Those Post-Its you no longer need, to-do lists that have been completed, and dirty coffee mugs cluttering up your desk can harbor bacteria.

Plus, removing all the clutter, especially from your desk, just makes it much easier to clean. Take a moment at the end of each day, or at least a few times a week, to trash any loose scraps of paper, wipe away food crumbs, and drop dirty coffee mugs off in the kitchen.

Better yet, save yourself some time by picking up this ingenious little desk vacuum. A quick swipe over the surface each day will sweep up all the crumbs, dust, and dirt that’s accumulated during your workday. It’ll also prevent it from finding its way to the floor.

If clutter is constantly crowding your desk, it might be time to re-evaluate your office organization. Consider getting some storage bins, a filing cabinet, and/or whatever else you might need to stash anything you don’t use often out of your way.

Maintenance Step Two: Disinfectant Daily

Along with decluttering, wiping down the most-used surfaces in your office daily with some disinfectant wipes is an excellent habit to get into. Not only will it prevent bacteria and pathogens from building up and, in turn, prevent you from getting sick, but you also won’t have to deep clean as often.

Make sure you also disinfect doorknobs, light switches, and anything else you touch throughout the day. These often-neglected surfaces can quickly transmit pathogens, and since viruses tend to remain active longer on hard surfaces, it’s especially important to clean them.

Your home office might be the last room on your list to clean, especially if you’re always in there working. Luckily, these easy steps and maintenance tips can help you breeze through this chore quickly, and keep your workspace cleaner, for longer.

Elyse Hauser Elyse Hauser
Elyse Hauser is a freelance and creative writer from the Pacific Northwest, and an MFA student at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop. She specializes in lifestyle writing and creative nonfiction. Read Full Bio »
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