5 steps to spring clean your office for a fresh start

Spring is in the air and I’m feeling motivated to get organized for the busy season ahead. It’s a good time of year to ensure that your workspace is an inviting, calm, and productive space for you to focus.

Whether you work from a home office like I do, or you’re in a more formal office space with coworkers, here are 5 easy steps to create a beautiful office space that actually inspires you to get to work!


Before you add pretty elements to any workspace, you have to clear the clutter. I went into full Marie Kondo mode this January after binging her Netflix series, and it feels SO good to have a place for every single thing in my home office. Make sure you’ve got drawers, folders, or boxes to store things in and keep everything out of sight and out of mind during the workday unless you’re actively using them.

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Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!

Gretchen Rubin’s newest book, Outer Order, Inner Calm, provides over 150 short, concrete, clutter-clearing ideas to bring peace of mind to your workspace. I’m a big fan of many of her former books, which I often find myself recommending on this blog, too. So if you’re looking for more ideas for kicking clutter to the curb, I highly recommend you check her new book out.

Go Green

Get yourself a plant baby, girl! Bringing a real, living plant into your workspace has been shown to significantly reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue, and hostility among coworkers.

As someone who personally had a black thumb for as long as I can remember, let me tell you: it’s worth figuring out how to keep a plant alive.

Plus, at this time of year home improvement stores are practically overflowing with great plant options that are easy to keep alive. If you have lots of natural light in your workspace, try a succulent or cactus, which only need a little bit of water once a week and thrive in lots of sun. Better yet, an air plant is even easier, and just requires a spritz of water once a week- not even soil!

Don’t have too much natural light in your office? Not to worry – there are plenty of low-light options that can work for your space, too. I’m a big fan of ivy since they’re hardy plants and also grow in a beautiful cascading vine. There are lots of ivy varieties, and my favorite are devil’s ivy or common ivy, both of which I have in my home.

Set yourself a weekly alarm to be sure you water them, and every other week, mix in a little plant food to keep them growing strong.

Let There Be light

There is nothing more depressing than an overhead fluorescent “office space” lighting. It’s no good for midday selfies, and it’s certainly not good for your mood, either. So think carefully about brightening up your lighting situation in your office.

I shared my new desk lamp I got at Target for only $24.99 and still absolutely love that thing. The brilliant move was shopping in the kid’s decor section, where lighting options were just as cute, but half the price from the grown-up office supplies section!

You might also look into incorporating string lights, fairy lights, or even a nice candle for your desk, where a little extra flicker can set a warm and inviting mood.

Word Art That Inspires

#BradTheBoo always teases me for my love of word art, but I don’t care if it makes me basic. I love a good inspiring quote, dang it! Especially when the inspiring phrase or wording is truly meaningful to you.

The Bossed Up Manifesto is always on display in my office, reminding me of the core values of this community, and motivating me to be the boss of my life and career.

Personal Photos

Adding a personal touch to your office through the use of photos is not cliche. Rather, photos can serve as a powerful reminder of why you’re working so hard each and every day and truly, what’s most important in life.

I recently arranged some of my favorite wedding photos – snapped by our guests themselves using the Fujifilm Instax camera we had out throughout our celebration – into a framed collage. I love looking at them and thinking back on what a fun, love-filled wedding we had and seeing so many beloved friends and family members in one frame together.


How might you spring clean your workspace this season?

I’d love to hear what strategies work best for you – or better yet, I’d love to see them! Tag me at @emiliearies or @bossedup.org on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram to show me your spring cleaning office inspiration now!

This article first appeared on BossedUp

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