By: DTM Skips

9 Steps To Cleaning A Messy Office & How To Declutter Your Work Space

Just like any other place that you spend several hours a day, we want to help you avoid working in a messy office.

Make your work environment a place that you can spend your time comfortably and be truly productive in.

However, where humans tend to go, waste tends to follow and accumulate.

Both real waste and mess, and the unused, unwanted items that tend to block up our desks, our storage rooms and even our walkways.

A clean, efficient work space is essential to the success, safety, and happiness of a workplace, employees and also a productive mindset.

So, let’s look at the extra efforts you can take to ensure that your messy office is a thing of the past and how to recycle at work.

#1 – Office spring cleaning checklist

If your messy office has gotten cluttered with junk to the extent that it’s spilling out onto walkways and simply unavoidable no matter where you go, then it’s time take drastic actions.

Let the whole team know that there’s going to be a day dedicated to cleaning the office out, set a date, and make sure that you hire a skip in advance.

It might genuinely take the whole day and cost you a lot of working hours.

However, when mess grows that ubiquitous in the office, it’s not going to be solved by everyone “chipping in” a little more often.

It needs a thorough, organised approach to get rid of all your trash.

Make sure you’re separating waste and recyclables as you do it, too.

While you should only need to do this once, you should organise the same process but on a smaller scale more regularly.

A seasonal big clean can stop a messy office or untidy desk getting out of control and avoid it from getting into the state that it once was.

However, the rest of tips will also ensure that doesn’t happen so keep reading.

#2. How to organise a messy office with a spring clean

You should go further than just getting rid of all your wasteful junk, as well.

Dirt, debris, dust, and the various other nebulous materials in the office will coat every surface over time, leaving stains, bad smells, and much worse.

After you’ve gotten rid of all the waste, then you have to get to work on the rest of the office.

Clean, dust, vacuum, wash, and soak every surface in there.

It doesn’t matter how innocuous or how out of reach it seems.

This kind of mess in the office isn’t only unsightly and distracting, it can become a health risk if it leads to issues such as mould or damp.

Much like the decluttering efforts of getting rid of all the waste, this clean should be maintained at least once or twice a year.

It should take nowhere near as much time as the first time you do it.

You can make it take up even less of your time and resources by hiring a cleaning agency once in awhile.

How to organise a messy office with a spring clean
How to organise a messy office with a spring clean

#3. Office organisation tips and tricks to declutter

As a rule, start ensuring that every member of the team considered whether or not they truly need that particular item or that particular resource.

We all have a little hoarding instinct in us, thinking to hold onto things in the hopes that they one day become useful.

Every week, ensure that everyone has five or ten minutes to better inspect their work station and to decide what they should keep and what they should go out.

This goes for larger items like furniture or electronics that are going underused.

Even small amounts of clutter shouldn’t be tolerated.

Clutter serves as a distraction and even contributes to stress.

A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.

Consider a more minimalist design through the office and everyone will be much happier for it.

#4. Organise your office supplies

But what about everything that couldn’t easily be called “clutter”?

What about the things that are truly useful or necessary, but still end up taking up too much space?

The answer is to better organise and make sure you actually have a space set aside for them.

All those pens, scissors, and such could do much better with a mug or container to keep them in.

Different trays and cork boards can make it easier to quickly organise papers you need to hold onto (though you should make efforts to reduce paper waste).

If you’re like most other offices, you use plenty of electronics with wires that, when left unchecked, can become a truly wild tangle, threatening to trip you up.

For those, a system of cable ties is essential and, once implemented, requires no further maintenance.

Organise your office supplies
Organise your office supplies

#5. Office clean up day ideas

You can follow the example of several other businesses and hire a cleaning team to more regularly make sure that all surfaces are kept up to standard.

However, they won’t touch any of the clutter on the desks throughout and they are an expense you could just as easily avoid.

Instead, set standards that every employee is in charge of keeping their desk clean.

Make it company policy that mess is no longer going to be tolerated and create an office organisation checklist.

Set a schedule and take turns cleaning the rest of the office, too, splitting the different tasks up amongst different members.

As they say, many hands make light work and if you keep it up consistently and often, it’s going to be even less work and less of an interruption.

#6. Offer more office storage and desk storage ideas

Sometimes, offering employees the means by which they can organise their own desks isn’t going to be enough.

If they have need of many resources and they have guidebooks or resources they need to print out often, their desks can become buried under a mess of papers.

Ask how many of these resources are specific to the job they’re doing, or whether or not they’re resources copied and used by the rest of the office. For any of those shared resources, you should also make more shared storage space.

A storage closet, easily accessible filing cabinets, and similar solutions are going to produce a lot more clutter that can end up swamping their desk.

Of course, if you don’t keep an eye on them, these storage closets and cabinets can just as easily become swamped and make a messy office space even worse.

Make sure that you’re regularly checking them for resources that you truly don’t need.

Also, ensure that you’re not using it to contain any old items, in particular, those that might take up floor space and make them much harder to use.

Offer more office storage and desk storage ideas
Offer more office storage and desk storage ideas

#7. Minimalist office desk and less work space waste

You’re going to end up with much less clutter both on individuals’ desks and in shared storage spaces if you’re careful to create less waste in general.

There are a lot of ways to do this.

For one, make sure that you only use one pen/stick of glue/printer ink cartridge at a time.

When these things go unused, they dry up a lot faster, meaning you have to throw more of them away.

If you’re using batteries, use the rechargeable kind.

For printer cartridges, make sure you get reusable and rechargeable varieties.

Try to use fewer wasteful products and avoid a messy office.

Instead of plastic cups, make sure everyone has their own mug, and instead of constantly using wipes and disposable napkins, use cloths you can easily wash.

Of course, the most widely wasted resource is paper.

Start making the switch to digital formats and share them via email and Cloud servers.

Just make sure you have at least one extra hard drive to keep everything backed up and safely stored in case those servers go down.

#8. Keep cleaning supplies at the ready to avoid a messy office

Whatever supplies you do use to clean your messy office should be made more widely available.

An individual at work might just be annoyed enough at the dust around their workstation to use the vacuum cleaner, only to find that it’s nowhere in sight or, even more inconvenient, locked in a storage closet.

Similarly, people are a lot happier to clean up a spill or a mess as soon as they make it instead of letting it get dry.

Whatever supplies you use to clean the messy office, check after every clean to make sure you’re still in stock and make sure you have them in a place that’s easy for the whole team to reach.

Keep cleaning supplies at the ready to avoid a messy office
Keep cleaning supplies at the ready to avoid a messy office

#9. Have a recycling bin or recycling station

It’s not always the important resources of the office that sit there and make up the clutter.

On plenty of occasions, you’ll find it’s old wrappers, wasted materials, and general trash littering up the place.

Why is it left to sit there?

Most often because the member of the team responsible is hard at work and not willing to trek to another room to find the right disposal receptacle for the trash in question.

Make sure that the bins and recycling stations are more thoroughly distributed throughout the office, with one for each room.

You can give the team a small waste basket for each desk, too, but make sure these are emptied out regularly or they can end up teeming and spilling out onto the floor.


The longer you procrastinate, the worse your messy office is going to get.

Set a date, get to work, and start making some real changes.

Make sure they transform from changes into habits and your office should never be truly messy again.

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