While some say a messy desk is a sign of creative genius, the truth is a clean organized workspace allows for more creativity and innovation. There’s a better flow of energy — a sort of feng shui effect when your desk is uncluttered and organized that will help you to maximize your time at work. Check out these 5 tips for keeping your workspace a clutter-free zone:

1. Organize Those Papers

Most of your workplace clutter is likely to be paper. Use stackable letter trays and label them Inbox, Outbox, and Current Projects. If any of the piles are monstrous, use an A to Z accordion file to organize items alphabetically, or you can stack them chronologically. Use a filing cabinet to store records, completed projects, and reference items. Review your Inbox daily and do your filing weekly.

2. When in Doubt, Recycle It

When you’re finished with a printout of any kind and you know you have a backup copy on your computer, recycle it. This goes for any other extraneous items as well; if you haven’t needed it in six months, it’s most likely just taking up space.

3. Just Say “No” to Sticky Notes

Post-its are handy, but they’re very unsightly. Stop plastering them on your desk and monitor. Instead, keep a notebook on your desk. Better yet, find a note-taking smartphone or tablet app.

4. Use Labels & Cut Down on Pens, Memorabilia, and Photos

Label your file folders, drawers, and any storage containers you use in your office area. Labeling allows you to create a system that’s easier to stick to. Seriously, how many pens do you need? One or two is probably sufficient! Try and minimize the souvenirs and trinkets on your desk as well. As for personal photos, if you’re displaying more than three, you’re probably overdoing it.

5. Use Time Clock Software

There are enough things to get done during the workday to be worrying about fill out a timesheet. Use time clock software to easily check-in and out!

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