Is there anything more satisfying than a clear desk? National Clean Your Desk Day is a chance to get organized and engage in some serious decluttering.
Most people are guilty of amassing piles of paper and letting clutter gather on their desks. We all know that a tidy desk makes for a tidy mind, and National Clean Your Desk Day is a chance to come together to conquer mess and pave the way for clear thinking and clean workspaces.
A celebration of all things organized, this is a day that can be marked by employees based anywhere. From large-scale corporate offices and trendy shared workspaces to home offices, this is a chance to preempt the start of spring cleaning and get your stuff in order.
History of National Clean Your Desk Day
National Clean Your Desk Day is designed to herald the arrival of warmer climes and the beginning of spring, a time of year that many of us associate with cleaning, decluttering, and saying sayonara to stuff we don’t want or need.
This is a day to ensure you start the New Year with a clear head and a clean, tidy desk. If there’s junk everywhere and stacks of papers overflowing, it’s not only more difficult to find what you need, but there’s also a risk of important things getting misplaced. Tidying is an excellent habit to get into, and National Clean Your Desk Day could be the start of a brand new attitude to cleaning, filing, and conquering clutter.
Stress is a common ailment in today’s society, and working in a clean, bright, open space is proven to promote serenity and calm. What could be better than turning up to work on a gloomy Monday morning to find a pristine workstation with not a scrap of junk or a pile of paperwork in sight?
But what are the origins of the modern desk? And why does it matter?
The word desk actually comes from the Latin word desca, meaning “a table you write on,” and was first coined in the middle of the 14th century. During the middle ages, people hardly referred to “desks” at all, since the vast majority of the population worked the land. The only people who could write were legal professionals and the clergy.
By the turn of the eighteenth century, however, the term desk was finding common currency. Not only was it a feature in more and more places of work, but it was also making an appearance in the home. The head of the household would use their desk as a place to do administrative work, such as preparing accounts or writing letters.
Desks, however, didn’t have a single origin. Some manufacturers made writing tables called scriptors, which featured a panel that folded down to provide the writing surface. Others were more like cabinets – what we might call today a French bureau.
By the start of the 19th century, however, all these items were virtually the same thing, with relatively few people distinguishing between them. Some had drawers underneath for storing papers, while others stood on legs, providing the user with space to put their feet.
As the needs of enterprise and commerce became more complicated, desk management issues came to the fore. People needed office spaces that afforded the organization they needed but didn’t harm their productivity. Coming up with solutions that worked was difficult. Until the rise of the PC, the best that manufacturers could do was offer people extra drawers.
National Clean Your Desk Day ties in nicely with today’s workplace culture. Research shows that people get more done and feel less stressed when their desks are clean and tidy. It helps support wellbeing and makes long days in the office more bearable.
How to celebrate National Clean Your Desk Day
National Clean Your Desk Day is all about mucking in and knuckling down to rid your office of clutter and create a cleaner, tidier workspace. Is your desk covered in papers? Has your workstation been taken over by junk? Are you drowning in stuff you don’t even need?
Now is the time to chuck anything you don’t want in the trash, to recycle, and to get organized. Getting your desk in check will create a more pleasant and productive working environment, and save you time when your boss requests a file or you need a pen or a stapler urgently.
This a day to celebrate with others, so don’t be afraid to get your colleagues involved, and make the occasion fun. Tidying may seem like a rather dull chore, but if everyone is on board, there’s no reason why you can’t inject a bit of excitement and enjoyment along the way.
Why not spice things up with a playlist to get you motivated or organize games to encourage speedier tidying? Those who work in schools and colleges could also celebrate by getting the students involved and participating in a giant declutter.
If you are of a more intellectual mindset, you can use the day to educate yourself on the benefits of keeping your office space as tidy as possible. You can learn about how it impacts worker wellbeing and increases overall productivity at your enterprise. You could even take the opportunity to write an internal memo on the matter or post images of your colleagues’ clean and tidy desks on social media.
National Clean Your Desk Day is also an opportunity for everyone who works from home to clean up their home office and introduce new ways to enhance their performance. Start by taking the clutter off your desk and making a list of things, like family photos that you want to keep. Then move onto incorporating other elements that will help keep everything neat and tidy in the weeks and months that follow. Install new cabinets, fit new drawers, or even go paperless.
Do you wish you had a cleaner desk and felt less stressed? If so, then National Clean Your Desk Day could be the perfect opportunity for you to make a difference in your setup.