National Clean Off Your Desk Day

A neatly organized desk with colorful stationery, a potted plant, and a motivational poster, featuring a person in casual attire, in a bright and airy office space..
National clean off your desk day illustration

It's time to tidy up, folks! Yes, there truly is a day for everything, and this one just might change your life (or at least your workspace). Let me introduce you to National Clean Off Your Desk Day, a nifty little holiday that serves as a much-needed intervention for those of us suffering from slight-to-severe desktop disasters.

When is Clean Off Your Desk Day?

It's national clean off your desk day on the 14th January.

A Brief History Of National Clean Off Your Desk Day

This humble holiday can trace its existence back to the age of Internet -which is pretty remarkable when you think about it. The National Clean Off Your Desk Day started appearing online and has been climbing the ranks of recognized offbeat national days ever since. According to our data, it garnered 5424 mentions online, with the most mentions on 14th January 2020, showing how rapidly this day has carved out a spot in our calendars.

Why we Celebrate the Day

Celebrating National Clean Off Your Desk Day is more than just getting rid of those discarded coffee cups (although, let's be honest, that's very important). It's about creating a space that fuels creativity and productivity. Clutter isn't just physically cramming our desks, it's cramping our focus too. So, a clean desk really can lead to a clean, mindful start to the year. And your co-workers will certainly thank you for it!

How to Celebrate the Day

The answer is pretty much in the name: clean off your desk! Grab some wipes, a vacuum, a bin bag, and get to work. While you're at it, why not organize those files, digital and physical, and zhush up the place a bit with a nice plant or a photo of your loved ones. Remember, a happy desk makes for a happy worker.

Spread the Word

Did we mention that this day also was the peak for friendly nudges and nags on office chat groups and emails? Yes, colleagues all around the world have found this a fantastic opportunity to drop subtle (and not so subtle) hints to their friends at work to clean their desks. So, let's continue the tradition and spread the word about National Clean Off Your Desk Day!

History behind the term 'Clean Off Your Desk'


Working in a cluttered environment

In the early 1900s, office environments were usually cluttered and disorganized. Workers often had piles of papers and files on their desks, making it difficult to find what they needed when they needed it.


The rise of efficiency and productivity

During the 1920s, the concept of efficiency and productivity began to gain prominence in the business world. Companies started implementing new management techniques and organizational systems to streamline operations.


The influence of Taylorism

Frederick Winslow Taylor, an American engineer and management consultant, developed the theory of scientific management, also known as Taylorism. This theory emphasized the importance of organizing and standardizing work processes, including keeping workspaces clean and tidy for maximum efficiency.


The impact of World War II

During World War II, office productivity became crucial due to the demanding war effort. The military adopted strict standards of cleanliness and organization to ensure smooth operations. These standards influenced office practices, including the need to keep desks clean and clear.


The rise of modern office culture

In the 1950s, modern office culture started to take shape. Companies began emphasizing the importance of professionalism and orderliness, both in appearance and work habits. Clean and organized desks became an expected norm in the corporate world.


The advent of personal computers

With the advent of personal computers in the 1970s, the physical clutter on desks reduced significantly. Most traditional paper-based files and documents were replaced by digital files stored electronically. The focus shifted towards organizing electronic files and maintaining a clean desktop on the computer.


The digital workspace

In the 2000s, as technology advanced further, the concept of 'clean off your desk' extended to the digital workspace. Organizing email inboxes, desktop icons, and digital files became essential for staying productive and efficient in the digital age.

Did you know?

National Clean Off Your Desk Day is not just confined to physical desks. Oh no, my friend! It extends to the virtual world too. So, those cluttered desktops overflowing with unused files and forgotten folders, better get a cleanup too!


awareness fun workspace productivity cleanliness

First identified

11th January 2016

Most mentioned on

14th January 2020

Total mentions


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