Gather all the non-electronic desk accessories together and get rid of anything that's broken or not being used. This includes anything from the stapler, to the tape dispenser, to your pens and whatever vessel is holding them. If you don't have a pen holder, and are just tossing writing implements around your desk, go ahead and get one. Pare down your collection while you're at it -- five to 10 pens, pencils, markers, highlighters, etc. should be more than enough. Once you know what you'll be keeping, cluster them together.
Generally speaking, it's a good idea to keep your stapler, tape dispenser, pen and pencil holder, and a small pad for taking notes near the telephone, so you can easily find and grab them. Less frequently used items like staples, rubber bands, spare sticky notes, and the like should be stored in an easily accessible top drawer.
Next turn your attention to your electronics -- computer, keyboard, telephone, chargers, etc. Start by de-crumbing the keyboard using canned air; it's important to do that first, because debris will blow about and make a mess of areas you've already wiped down. Then, using tech wipes or isopropyl alcohol applied to a soft cloth (never use paper products of any sort, no matter how soft, to clean electronics as the paper can cause scratching), wipe down the computer screen, keyboard, mouse, and the telephone receiver and keypad. Untangle any cables and charger cords.
By now the desk should be looking significantly tidier! The final step is wipe the desk surface down with all-purpose spray and paper towels, or with a pre-moistened wipe. If you've got a stone or marble desk, use a cleaning product designed for that material; avoid acidic-based cleansers, like lemon and vinegar, which can cause pitting. While you're at it, go ahead and wipe down the arms of your desk chair too.
Create a cleaning toolkit: Who among us hasn't spilled coffee on our shirt in the middle of the work day? A good go-to remover for fresh stains is something that most offices have right on hand: dish soap. It's not a bad idea to keep a small bottle of your own in a desk drawer, along with a quick-drying sponge that can be used to tamp at the stain.
With that in mind, a good office cleaning toolkit might include:
• A tube of pre-moistened wipes
• Canned air
• Isopropyl alcohol
• A chamois or other soft cloth for cleaning electronics
• A small bottle of dish soap and a quick-dry sponge for cleaning up spills on clothing, upholstery or carpet
Calendar reminders to tidy things up: If you're a habitually messy person when it comes to your workspace, it's not a bad idea to create a recurring calendar entry every two to four weeks. Taking 15 minutes a month can go a long way to ensuring that your workspace remains tidy and in order.