Why You Should Keep Your Desk Clean
Daniella Okorobie
Why you should keep your desk clean

Cleaning can seem basic and boring, especially in your workspace at your office. You may think you’re immune to the effects of clutter and think you work just fine with it crowding your space.

Your desk is your personal space in your office and needs to be cleaned often, but it doesn’t have to be just because you’re told to. There are actually a lot of mental and physical health benefits that come from doing so. 

Here’s exactly why you should be keeping your desk clean – for yourself!

1. Less anxiety and stress

Research has shown that messy spaces are correlated with higher levels of cortisol, the hormones that your body produces when you’re stressed. This is because when your space is disorganized, cluttered, and unclean, you tend to have a general sense that you’re overwhelmed and unable to focus on one task at a time. 

Your brain, whether consciously or not, is focusing on all the different things it perceives. This is bad enough in your home, where you relax and have fun. In a workspace, it can be devastating to your productivity and ability to function as you need to. 

A clean space allows your brain to focus on what it should be focusing on, and helps you to feel calmer and less anxious. 

2. Mindfulness 

It’s a well known and well established fact that meditation works wonders for reducing anxiety and stress. Mindfulness is a form of meditation where you are present in the moment and focus on what you’re doing. 

You can turn cleaning into a mindfulness exercise so that you reap these benefits from it as well as enjoy it. Since cleaning is a hands-on activity, you get a break from work and can focus on its repetitive motions; dusting, wiping, tidying, or organizing. 

You can step away from stressors and grievances and just think about cleaning. And once your space is clean, you can enjoy the results which in itself can be a mindful experience as well. 

3. Better sleep

Cleaning your desk reduces your stress and anxiety levels and makes it easier for you to fall asleep at night. Sleep is one of the most important factors of your health and wellbeing. 

Sufficient sleep helps you to stay healthy, concentrate, think clearly, process memories, and function as best you can. When you’re well-rested, you won’t just feel better, you’ll also work better. 

4. Improved focus, concentration, and productivity 

As mentioned earlier, it’s been scientifically proven that clutter makes it difficult for you to focus. Your brain simply has too many things to think about. Not only will your focus suffer, but your punctuality will as well. Research also shows that clutter leads to procrastination. 

When you clean, you can give your brain a much easier time and enjoy improved concentration. You’ll likely find that because you aren’t so distracted, you’ll be much more productive and be able to meet your deadlines in a timely manner. 

Your workplace performance will greatly improve, enabling you to contribute more meaningfully to your team and organization. 

Interested in this topic? Check out our article on how to organize your day here, or another about how to organize your space for success here.

5. Improved confidence and happiness

The combination of all of these benefits as well as having a lovely, clean workspace can really boost your overall happiness and confidence. 

You feel good, you know that you’ve done something good, and you’re functioning well. It’s difficult to not feel more happy and confident! You also feel control because you’ve asserted power over some aspect of your life. 

These improved levels of happiness and confidence can lead to better workplace relationships, better work performance, increased overall life satisfaction, and better social relationships. 

6. Improved relationship with yourself

This reason may sound silly, but the reasoning is sound! Cleaning is one of those things that a lot of people can have a difficult relationship with. It could be because their parents always forced them to clean, or because they were never taught how to clean. 

Cleaning became a chore instead of a task that can actually be quite pleasant to do. What if you turned cleaning into a process that allowed you to have the space that you deserved? Because you do deserve a tidy, hygienic space.

If you don’t like cleaning or find it tough to get around to, try and turn it into something that’s enjoyable, or at the very least neutral. Find tools and methods that you like (or that you can stand) and do what you can to make the process easier for yourself. 

This could be by switching out using paper towels for microfiber cloths, using cleaning products that have a scent you like, and playing music, podcasts, shows, or movies that you like in the background. 

When you do these things, cleaning becomes easier. You do it for yourself and don’t hate it because you deserve nice things. 

7. Improved physical health

Cleaning has plenty of mental health benefits, but its physical health benefits are just as potent. Clutter and an unclean space will harbor tons of dust and harmful germs. Regular cleaning ensures that you keep your desk clean and prevent yourself from getting allergies and even illnesses. 

Cleaning is something good you can do for yourself

Cleaning your desk is a small but effective way to enjoy a lot of knock-on effects and health benefits. Whatever your hang-ups about cleaning or however  Take this opportunity to do something good for yourself and have some fun while doing it! 

The BetterYou app uses behavior science to improve digital health and make it stick.

Want to learn how?