Now, first off guys, we’re going to talk about a clean desk, right. And what is the first thing that any clean desk has? Good cable management or no cables showing whatsoever. Now, this is tricky because what is front and center on a desk? The keyboard and mouse. So, yeah, go wireless. But what if you want your keyboard and mouse to do some cool things like this? With all those cool colors? I mean, we can all hold our hands up and say the wireless, the wireless mouse and the wireless keyboard has played a brilliant catch up game in the last two years. Logitech has brought out a wireless mouse which is almost indistinguishable to a wired mouse but if you’re like me and you prefer to have a proper wired connection to your mouse so that you don’t have to worry about charging it, then this is what you need to do. First of all, you need to decide whether your desk is always, throughout its life, going to have a keyboard and mouse sat on it.
If the answer to that is “yes,” go downstairs, grab your drill, grab a nice big drill bit that is the same size as the USB end of your keyboard or mouse and drill straight through your desk where the keyboard and mouse sits. To keep things clean, it’s always a good idea to put a few pieces of paper or a sheet on the floor so that you don’t have to clean up a load of dust afterward. And then, voila, push the keyboard and mouse cables through that single hole and you’re done. I think that the ability to have no wires going to your keyboard or mouse, either by doing this method, by drilling a hole, or by going wireless, is the first step to having a clean AF desk. So, let’s move on to number two, from the mouse and keyboard, just into general cable management. Now, if you can’t drill a hole in your desk, maybe you have a glass desk and you can’t do that, well, here is one, simple way to make it look as neat as possible.
Get rid of scraggly cables. Have everything going in a straight line and group as many cables together as you can. Make it symmetrical. What I have is a wooden desk and I think that wooden desks are the easiest to work with and this is my favorite way of cable management because it’s, it’s really strong and the cables are never going to fall down. So, if you have a wooden desk, get some cable tacks and tack them to the back of the desk but then, don’t tuck the cables in there. What you want to do is, is use a twist tie. Not a cable tie – a twist tie. The reason why we don’t use cable ties is because once you put your cables in there, and put it on the track and pull it like that and got all of your cables nice and tight, yes, it’s really easy, but what if you want to take out some cables in the near future? Or add some cables to that run in the future? You’re going to have to snip off that cable tie, put a whole new cable tie down, you may even cut one of your wires in the process.
Use a twist tie. If you want to add some cables, simply untwist it, add your cables and twist it back up again. Simple AF. If you don’t have a wooden desk, you can buy these little things from IKEA – they have a sticky back on them and a place to route through a twist tie. Sorted. Number three is a tricky one. Let’s tackle dust. WOMAN: Anybody? No? Dust. ALEX: Dust is something everybody goes through. Everybody that owns something nice knows how pesky dust is. Especially if you’re trying to keep a clean set up on top of your shiny black monitor and keyboard – you’ve got specks of dust. What’s the best way to remove it, Alex? Let me tell you, right. This is going to sound a bit strange, so take this with a grain of salt. Go out to the shop, ahem, and buy a pack of baby wipes. Honestly, you won’t regret it. OK – so, baby wipes. They’re brilliant, right. They’re slightly wet so they’re going to pick up any dust that comes across them and stick it to the actual wipe itself. Instead of just using a microfibre cloth – all you’re doing is just pushing the dust into the air and it’s just going to settle back down on the desk but with the baby wipe, the dust is going to stick to the cloth and then you put it in the bin.
The job was done. But it goes on from there too. The baby wipes are actually – they have some sort of chemical in them which really, really easily brings up stains, food spills – anything that’s on your desk, whatever it may be, it’s going to bring it up and get it off. They’re an absolutely brilliant cleaning agent as well as removing dust. Just have a pack of baby wipes in your drawer next to your desk – fish – once a week, you’ll be shiny. Really shiny. Like, too shiny. Moving on from that – what do our hands touch the most in the setup, right? The mouse and the keyboard.
Now, the mouse is an easy thing to clean – you just get a baby wipe and clean the thing. But, our hands are going everywhere throughout the day – you’re going out in the car, out into town, you’re going to work, you’re in the kitchen making food and then you’re coming up and getting your grubby hands, without washing them, all over your keyboard.
You’ve got food spilling in the keyboard gaps, you’ve got a little bit of crisp in there – whatever’s going down, it’s on the keyboard too, right. How do we clean it? Most keyboards come with a little mechanism that you can push the key and you can actually pull up the key caps. Most modern mechanical keyboards have this. So, what I like to do, is remove all of my keys once every other month, put them in a glass jar, put in that glass jar, a little bit of washing up liquid, fill it with lukewarm water and give it a shake. It’s going to clean all of your keys really, really well and then whilst your keyboard is there without any keys on it, you can go ahead and get a baby wipe and get rid of all of those crisps and all those hair molecules and all the dust that’s there and then put all the keys back on – it’s going to look brand new. And then for my fifth tip – add some LEDs.
This is going to make your setup look really, really clean. Subconsciously, though – let me explain. By adding LEDs to the setup of the monitors, behind the desk, it’s shining a very soft glow over the desk, right. The soft glow is appealing to the eyes. It lights up the desk and emphasizes the fact that, if you’ve just done the last four tips, your desk is really, really clean. And here’s a quick tip: If you’ve got more than one monitor, get a little bit of black electrical tape and put it between the monitors so if you have your LEDs behind the monitors, you’re not getting any light bleed through that gap between the two or three monitors or however many monitors you have. But that’s been my top five tips, guys, to keeping your desk looking clean AF.