You may not realize how much a cluttered and untidy workspace can contribute to stress and lack of productivity.

Here are 40 ways to declutter, de-stress and transform your workspace into a space where you’ll enjoy spending time.

Clear It Out

  1. Start fresh. If you’ve got a mountain of clutter to deal with, set aside time to clear out everything, and then only add back items that you truly need and use.
  2. Get in the habit of putting everything in its place at the end of each day.
  3. Prevent clutter creep; do a “clean sweep” once a month to maintain your cleaned-up space.
  4. Use vertical storage options near and/or above your desk to increase your storage area and to keep things clearly visible. Think above-desk shelving, wall baskets, wall-mounted file folders and wall hooks.
  5. Schedule reminders for yourself to dust your computer monitor, printer and keyboard weekly.
  6. Keep disinfectant cleaning wipes on hand to regularly give your workspace surfaces a quick wipe-down.
  7. Organize unsightly computer/printer cables around your desk with DIY solutions or purchase a system.
  8. Store often-used items and files nearest to you and store less important stuff farther away. Pitch the things you never use.
  9. Keep smaller items in drawer compartments to keep everything from jumbling together.
  10. If you’re a “filer,” set up a simple filing system, then set aside time each day to file or toss.
  11. If you’re a “piler,” get paper holders or decorative boxes to contain only the important papers you want to keep in neat, easily-movable groups. Go through them periodically.
  12. Tame your reading material pile by quickly scan through magazines, tearing out what you want to read and recycling the rest.
  13. Cut down on paper clutter by filing electronically with this nifty app that turns your phone into a scanner.
  14. Enter business cards into your contact system immediately or scan them in, then toss; don’t throw them in a drawer to handle later.
  15. Ditch all the sticky notes; instead, keep track of deadlines, details and meetings with a virtual assistant app like
  16. Get “future projects” files off your desk. Create a “pending” email file and/or physical folder for any future projects; you’ll stay organized while containing information in one place away from your desk.
  17. Keep your virtual desktop as clutter-free as the rest of your space with apps like Dexpot.
  18. Resist saving files to your desktop, but if you must, make sure to resave them to their appropriate folders often to avoid confronting a sea of random files every time you boot up.
  19. Move photos and videos to the cloud using free options like Dropbox.
  20. Declutter your smartphone. Dump those apps you once thought were cool but you never use.

Declutter Your Inbox

  1. Unsubscribe to reoccurring email newsletters that you don’t read. This may take a few minutes, but in the long run it saves the time you’d waste looking at and deleting each one every time they arrive.
  2. Be discriminate about what new email newsletters you sign up for.
  3. Keep your personal and work emails separate.
  4. Create structured folders and apply filters to your emails to keep them organized.
  5. To keep your inbox clear and clutter-free, resist the urge to “flag” emails to handle later – handle now or move it to a “working” folder.
  6. Make it a goal to keep your inbox at zero at the end of each day, using it only as the parking lot for incoming, unread items.
  7. Archive your emails if you’re worried you may need them later.

De-stress Your World

  1. De-stress by applying some feng shui principles to your workspace, like arranging your desk for increased productivity (never have your back to the door).
  2. Fill your space with air purifying plants to calm stress and elevate your energy.
  3. When work stress builds up, remember to breathe. Need help? Try Breathe2Relax, an app that guides you through breathing exercises.
  4. Take a break and de-stress any time with the Happify app, which offers games and exercises to overcome negative thoughts, worry and stress.
  5. Give your eyes a break – look away from your computer screen often and rest your eyes on some artwork, a photograph or a plant.
  6. Make sure your desk, keyboard and chair are ergonomically-correct, since sitting in an uncomfortable or awkward position for hours each day can lead to muscle strain, pain and illness.

Make Your Clutter-Free, Clean Space Shine

  1. Cover bland cubicle surfaces and walls with colorful fabric, wallpaper or tapestries.
  2. Add a mirror or two to a small area, giving the illusion of space.
  3. Bring in a decorative pillow for your chair and a warm throw to cozy it up.
  4. Bring in your favorite coffee mug and a cool coaster to make coffee breaks special.
  5. Use your white board not only to keep organized, but also to write motivational messages and encouraging notes to yourself.
  6. Add some cool art to your newly de-cluttered computer desktop background.
  7. Let there be light! Add a lamp for a warmer ambiance or string holiday lights for a festive feel.

Do you have a favorite declutter or de-stress tip? Let us know what works for you.

businessman at messy desk