Tidy desks make for clean and focused minds. When you have a clear work surface, without unnecessary documents, food, drink, dirt and grime invading your personal space you can concentrate on the task at hand and get more done in a shorter space of time.

A clean desk promotes productivity, and what better time to get your office looking ship shape than on Clean Off Your Desk Day.

Clean Off Your Desk Day is on Monday 9th January

We know it sounds like a bit of a fake holiday – but if it boosts motivation then why not?

Here are our top tips for clearing up your workspaces.

Sort out your papers

If your office is anything like Hilltop Products’, then papers like printed documents and hand-written notes will be among the worst offenders for desktop clutter.

The average desk has about 30 hours’ worth of work on it, so it should come as no surprise when it takes so long to find what you’re looking for.

Split your papers into three piles – keep, throw and archive. Be strict with yourself and you’ll soon see your mountain of paper reduced to a more manageable mound.

Go digital

If you want to go a step further and get rid of all your office’s paper, then you need to start making things digital.

You probably already have a lot of processes and paperwork that’s done on the computer anyway, the challenge now is to see what’s still being done on paper and find out how to make it digital.

If it’s little paper notes and to-do lists that clutter up your office,

If you keep paper notes and to do lists, then try switching to an online system like Evernote or Microsoft Outlook.

In many ways, these kinds of systems work better because you can access the information from lots of different devices and they are searchable.

Clean out your keyboard

Cleaning your desk is also about making a healthier and more hygienic workplace. Desks that aren’t cleaned very often can harbour 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

Your computer keyboard is one of the biggest offenders. Keyboards are one of the most germ contaminated areas of an office. They’re usually more contaminated than the shared office microwave (and we know how filthy that can get).

Cleaning your electronics is an important part of office hygiene. The bits of electronic equipment that you touch regularly like your mouse, your keyboard and your telephone should be regularly wiped down and disinfected.

Your keyboard can become particularly filthy, especially underneath all the keys. Turn your keyboard over and give it a shake and you will see some of the debris that falls out. To clean these areas, you can use a special air duster in between the keys, but for a more thorough job you may want to remove the keys and do a proper disinfecting job.

Organise your cables

Do you have wires strewn across your desk? Is there a big tangle of wires around your server? Never sure which socket to unplug?

Tangled cables look unprofessional and they can slow you down. We think that they ruin an office’s Feng Shui as well. If you believe in office balance and harmony, then you should follow our tips for organising your cables.

Hide hovering cables with a cable tidy unit. If your office has an extension cord problem and its ruining your chic office vibe, then these fashionable looking units could be right for you.

Cover up cross-room wires. If you have wires trailing from one side of a room to another it can present a trip hazard at the same time as looking messy. You can cover up these cables and make them safer with floor cable covers or wall-mounted cable trunking.

Identify and wrap up any chargers and other plugs that are regularly moved around. If you have lots of plugs that are moved around regularly then it will save time if you label them and wrap up their cords to make them look neater.