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What is National Clean Your Desk Day, what's the history of it and how is it recognized? Here's everything you need to know!

What is National Clean Your Desk Day?

National Clean Your Desk Day is a day to tidy up your office desk! After all, there's tons of research that working in a clean space is good for you.

"National Clean Your Desk Day’s all about preparing your workspace for the new year and beginning things on the right note," according to National Today. "The holiday falls on the second Monday in January. This year, it’s January 14. Remember, a messy desk is an invitation to chaos! A clean desk, on the other hand, helps you focus, be more productive and generally makes you feel good about your workspace. And when we say clean we don’t just mean physical clutter. That’s correct, your computer desktop counts, too. Drag those files into a nice, neat folder!"

When is National Clean Your Desk Day?

Again, National Clean Your Desk Day occurs on the second Monday in January every year. Here are the next five years for National Clean Your Desk Day, so you can go ahead and mark them on your calendars.
YearDay of the WeekDate
2019Monday
January 14
2020Monday
January 13
2021Monday
January 11
2022MondayJanuary 10
2023MondayJanuary 9

What is the history of National Clean Your Desk Day?

National Clean Your Desk Day is a relatively new national holiday, though the research behind the benefits of cleaning up your desk dates back.

"A cluttered home or workspace can overwhelm you, and when you’re overwhelmed, you can become fatigued and have a hard time focusing," according to Meritage Medical Network. "That means there’s a good chance you’re working slower than you could.If you organize all that clutter, it can’t overwhelm you anymore. This will allow you to get your work or household chores done faster, which will leave you with extra time at the end of the day. When you don’t have to spend an hour looking for your keys or that important document, you can spend more time relaxing or doing other things that matter."

Likewise, you'll have less stress. As people who live in cluttered homes, for example, tend to be more depressed than those who live in organized homes. They also tend to be more fatigued and have higher levels of cortisol, which is the body's stress hormone.

"It’s hard to feel restful and relaxed in a cluttered home; by keeping your space clean and organized, you can lower the level of cortisol in your body, and, the lower the cortisol, the less stress you feel," according to Meritage Medical Network. "As soon as that clutter is cleared out, you’ll start to feel more relaxed."

In fact, feeling decluttered can really help give you clarity in more ways than one. You'll have a clearer mind, too.

"It’s hard to make big decisions when your mind is distracted by dirty laundry on the couch or general clutter piled up in the mudroom; you might not even realize these things are distracting you until you organize your home," according to Meritage Medical Network. "When everything around you is neat and clean, you might find yourself with more clarity of mind. Living in a clean environment can give you a clean mind. This will help you focus on tasks at hand and make important decisions with more confidence."

Beyond just feeling organized and relaxed, however, studies show that cleaning up can have seriously beneficial psychological effects that can roll over to physical effects. Some studies suggest that people who are more organized, for example, are more likely to make healthier diet decisions. And, because being unorganized can make you lose sleep, which can affect how you treat your body (i.e. make poorer diet decisions, lose motivation, feel too fatigued to work out, etc.) being organized can help you sleep better and, in turn, help to improve your overall lifestyle.

How is National Clean Your Desk Day celebrated?

There are several ways to celebrate National Clean Your Desk Day. Here are three ways to do just that.

1. Organize and tidy up what's on top of your desk.

It's time to set aside a few minutes and actually get to cleaning up the mess that's cluttering the top of your desk. This means filing those papers, clearing junk mail and scrap paper from your workspace, ditching the Tupperware you've been meaning to take home and even organizing the sticky notes you have stuck everywhere.

Then take it up a notch and do yourself the favor of cleaning your actual desk. Wipe it down with some cleansing wipes, dust it, spray it down, etc. Do whatever you need to do to make sure that it's germ-free to keep you healthy and productive. Because, after all, no one wants to be working at a desk full of clutter and germs.

2. Tidy up what's inside your desk.

Chances are that the inside of your desk is a bit messy, too. Go through all of your drawers and start organizing them. Get rid of everything you don't need — from old pens that have dried up to papers that don't serve you anymore. It'll feel super refreshing to dump what you don't need. So when you go to organize the things you do need, you'll know where everything is, and it'll be kept safe because it'll be organized.

3. Clean up your computer, too!

Don't forget to also clean up your computer. And we don't just mean wiping it down. We mean going through the million folders you have with files you haven't touched in years. Clean out the clutter in your computer. This will not only save you valuable space on your device, but it'll also help you to find things when you do need them, so you're not spending so much time digging around. 

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.

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