5 quick things you can do to spring-clean your office for maximum productivity

It’s officially the first day of spring!

Whether you’re already soaking up the sun on a park bench or still digging your home out from recent winter weather, warmer temperatures are around the corner— it’s time to lighten things up in your workspace. Here’s how.

The best office workspace is round and colorful

Colors can influence how you feel at work, so you might as well incorporate desk organization tools in colors and shapes that you like.

Colors have a notable effect on productivity, a study published in Science found. Red helps recall and attention to detail, while blue fuels creativity and imagination.

In fact, the exacting, focused power of red may be why The New York Times chose the color to accent its newsroom walls.

Another factor: choose desktop items that are cylindrical or round. A 2012 study published in Environment and Behavior found that rounded furniture could be more pleasing than pieces with straight edges.

The right colors and shapes just might do the trick to get you into the spring mood.

Clean your desk and get rid of clutter

We all know the trend started by organizational expert Marie Kondo: respectfully discard anything that doesn’t bring you joy.

The same principle is applicable to your desk and files: toss anything that doesn’t bring you productivity. That means, yes, set aside some time to clean out your email inbox: here’s our advice on how to do that.

Keep pleasant-smelling things on your desk

Certain scents can benefit your productivity and your health, so why not bring them to your desk? Aromatherapy, or using scents to heal, may be helpful for worries ranging from anxiety to insomnia. There are no human studies to show that aromatherapy is as effective as, say, pills, but in offices filled with recycled air, it can’t hurt to have something pleasant nearby.

For a way to bring your favorite scents to your work space, check out Good Housekeeping’s video on how to make your own essential oil diffusers.

Two things to watch out for: keep a tight lid on any scents, since colleagues may have allergies or sensitivities to certain scents. It should be something you can smell, but which won’t push your choices on the entire office.

Grab a bouquet

Take advantage of Mother Nature at this time of year. Since you probably won’t be able to work outside for a whole day, consider bringing a piece of the outdoors inside, like a bunch of your favorite flowers or a potted plant.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied found that plants can help workers. That happened by changing “lean” stripped and depersonalized office spaces ” into “green” ones with plants.

The study specifically found that “simply enriching a previously spartan space with plants served to increase productivity by 15%.”

A little bit of greenery can go a long way, however: a small plant is all you need, and it should be hardy enough to survive being left alone during three-day weekends. House Beautiful has a handy list of the best office plants.

Use attractive notepaper or stationery to jot down thoughts

Remember that side project you stopped working on when you started your new job? Carve out time to focus on it again and make a list of goals you want to accomplish this season.

Mark Banschick, M.D., told Greatist about how to get your creative juices flowing. He suggested “brain dumping” (also known as “free association”). It’s a method of brainstorming that involves writing down all your thoughts in the present moment (no matter what they are), and if you want, revisiting them later to cut out ideas you don’t need.

To make it more appealing, use attractive notepaper, or supplies that make you feel creative or powerful. Pinterest always has good ideas that may inspire you.

Spring is about renewal, so making gains toward something you haven’t made progress on in a while is sure to boost your sense of purpose, and help you take on other challenges you face at your day job.

Our workspaces could use a little spring cleaning after this past winter season.