Spring fever is in the air, and that means the urge to purge #allthethings is top of mind around here — bring on the spring cleaning!
Now is the perfect time to pour a little energy and time into your workspace for a spring clean desk refresh. Just like your kitchen drawers, bathroom cabinets, and overflowing closet, your workspace needs a little refresher every now and then to help clear the clutter and bring some fresh inspiration to your space. And friends, this refresh is doable on a zero-dollar budget. Let's get started!
1. Declutter your docs
Start internally on your computer, tablet, and phone by organizing your docs and apps. On your computer:
- Organize loose files into categorized folders
- Delete duplicate files taking up space
- Check out your computer storage and discover which apps/docs/etc are taking up the most space. Is there anything here you can permanently delete?
- If you have a Mac, I highly recommend using CleanMyMac — a simple app installed on your computer designed to clean up unnecessary hidden files that are taking up space.
- Once you've cleaned and purged everything you can, back it up! I personally use iDrive for easy backups and online cloud storage, but did you know you can back up your files to apps like Google Drive and Dropbox? There are lots of solutions out there for auto backups and cloud storage, and I highly recommend having a system that works for you to ensure peace of mind and to keep your computer and desktop as clean and clutter-free as possible.
On your tablet and phone:
- Take inventory of your currently-installed apps; is there anything off-hand you can delete due to low usage or priority?
- Do you leave apps running in the background? On an iPhone, you can double-tap the home button quickly to reveal all of the apps that are currently running. Go through and swipe up each app to close it and prevent it from taking up power in the background (sneaky apps). I personally do this about once a day and am always surprised at how many apps I had running in the background all day!
- Finally, categorize your apps! Keep the most important apps visible and accessible on the first screen, but move everything else to categorized folders on the second screen. Organize by your preference of function, usage, or even color to easily locate apps when you need them.
2. Update your backgrounds
This is a five-second refresh that always makes a huge difference for me — update your computer and phone backgrounds! I release free monthly wallpapers for those who love a minimal design with a calendar feature, but will often update my background to something reflecting my current mantra or goal.
Below are two FREE phone backgrounds I designed just for you! Simply click each image to open and save to your phone, then set as your wallpaper for new inspiration this month.
3. Purge your supplies
Ah, this is one of my favorite steps — go through your pens, pencils, markers, paper clips, post-its, all of the little supplies living in your drawers and on your desk, and purge, purge, purge! Make three piles:
- Anything that's simply broken, out of ink, deformed, etc.
- Anything that's partially used, but still has some life in it.
- Anything pretty much brand new.
Completely toss the broken and unusable pile. Make your partially used pile your first-priority supplies — instead of being wasteful and tossing these, make it your goal to use these items up first. (Unless they're a pain to use, in which case you could see if anyone else would be interested or toss them, if necessary.) Store the like-new items as second priority, so you have easy access to them when you're ready to upgrade to those supplies.
Notebooks are a different beast in this category. I like to go through the entire notebook and pull any pages that are irrelevant or useful — send these straight to recycling. With what's left of the notebook, you have a couple options:
- Transfer the notes to a digital format by scanning or typing them in.
- Organize the notebooks in a magazine holder, filing cabinet, or on a bookshelf so they're easily accessible without taking up priority space on your desk.
4. Wipe everything down
I recommend using a dry microfiber cloth for your electronics (one of those compressed air cans can do wonders for hard to reach spots!), a damp microfiber cloth for your desk, and screen cleaning wipes for your computer. Be cautious anytime you're using cleaning products around electronics. Read reviews, stick to products designed for electronics, and play it safe by testing a small area of your screen prior to cleaning the whole thing. The goal here is to remove dust, crumbs, stains, and anything else that has built up over the past weeks and months.
5. Get re-inspired
Seeing the same decor, accessories, artwork, etc. in our space day after day can lead to boredom and lack of inspiration over time. Keep it interesting and exciting by switching out some of these items for a new perspective. Some easy ways to do this are:
- Change out flower vases and plant pots. Take it up a notch by buying yourself a new desk-friendly arrangement or succulent!
- Update your space with fresh photos and artwork. Love the artwork already in place? Rearrange how the pieces live on your wall, or simply switch out the frame for a brand new look.
- Use stacked books for elevating your computer or decor? Switch these out, too! Pull from your existing library at home or grab a couple for low cost at the nearest thrift store.
- Quotes in your space that were once filled with inspiration? Replace these! I also update my mantra every couple weeks and replace the old one with a new mantra for new motivation.
- Used to keep your supplies tucked away in a drawer? Instead, try creating a mini station in your workspace where the most-used supplies live for easy access.
6. Renew your notes
Once your space has been decluttered, cleaned, and rearranged, I like to top it all off with a fresh notebook or notepad for taking notes and making lists. You might already have something on hand that you haven't started using yet, or maybe it's the perfect excuse to pick up a new favorite for yourself! There's seriously nothing like a brand new notebook or pad to bring a sense of renewal and a fresh start to your workspace.
Happy cleaning, friends! I can't wait for you to fall in love with your space again after this workspace refresh.