I was going to redecorate the office, but when my eldest daughter had a baby it was set up as a nursery for when my grand-daughter comes to stay, so I’ve had to set up a makeshift area to do my work. The house my family and I live in is nicely laid out design wise but the space is not huge and makes it difficult when you need to cram more furniture into an area that’s already low on space. The logical solution was to downsize the furniture and de-clutter so that I could use as little space as possible. The outcome was that I didn’t need as much floor space as I originally thought I needed. Creating a space in the living room, I ended up buying the malm occasional table from ikea, which is long and slim, and I’m using that for a desk.
I already had two of the vika amon shelves that I bought years ago so I slid those under the table for the extra support, which I might add was a good fit. The table was only slightly lifted off the floor by about a centimeter and if I had used one shelf I wouldn’t have been able to do it. It would’ve been just enough to be lopsided and unstable. The table needed the shelves under it for the support so that it didn’t sag in the middle. They are not what I’d call the sturdiest table, and when standing alone it moved quite easily but up against a wall it don’t go far. I wasn’t about to run out and spend heaps of money setting up a makeshift work area. And they make a great option as my kids have a tendency to use this space to do their coloring and crafting and you can wash their texta marks right off the desk.
The good news is that because I’ve had to incorporate my office into the living room, I’m challenged to keep it clear of clutter. If you’re like me, you like to keep your things looking as pretty as a picture.
So how do you organize your desk space? I’m going to share some suggestions with you, some of which I’ve learned over the years, some which are plain common sense, and some which I got scouring the internet for some good ideas.
I swear when I vacuum my floor the house looks ten times cleaner and that’s whether the house is messy or not. Somehow, if the floor is in need of a vacuum, the house looks awful. The desk is the same. If you walk away leaving your desk a mess, you only have a mess to come back to so you may as well sort it. A cluttered, untidy desk is distracting and doesn’t make for good creativity. Anything you clean makes you feel productive, in control, and preps you for success, whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. Although cleaning is good for burning a few calories, it has a great mental affect.
1. To de-clutter your desk, get rid of every unnecessary thing that adds no value to your productivity. File the documents that you need, shred the ones you don’t. If you’re a hoarder of office products (like me, especially if it’s pretty) because you plan on using it one day, and it’s literally sat there forever, donate it or sell it. Also, move or get rid of any unnecessary or unfixable furniture.
2. Think about what it is you use the most and make sure those things are close at hand. A phone, lamp, paper tray, and cup for your pens are absolute necessities, a magazine holder for your notebooks, journal or organizer. You may want your stapler, calculator, and sticky tape nearby also. Things you use daily should be within arms reach whereas things used occasionally should be put in the drawer.
You can find trays that look like this at containerstore.com, which ship internationally. Officeworks also offer a nice range of trays.
3. Don’t forget to utilize that space under the desk. You can store your printer, laminator, shredder, or even a drawer. If you don’t have a drawer, it might be worth your while investing in one.
4. If possible use some wall space to help with the organization of your office. If that’s not possible, then a hutch or cubby hole might be the better option. You could invest in a cork board, or my favorite, a pegboard which means you can hang all kinds of things of it.
Another great option is storage boxes. There is a lot of stuff that can be hidden in boxes. You can hide your paper, stationery, spare office supplies, and spare cables to name a few.
5. Set your drawers up so that everything you need is convenient and at hand. Scissors, paper clips, glue, pencils and pencil sharpener, erasers, tacks and most other stationery items go here. You can find some great plastic storage organizers to store your things in or alternatively you can use boxes or even baskets. And if it makes you feel better labelling everything so you know where it all goes, or even better, your work colleagues, partner or friends, then knock yourself out.
6. A shelving system never goes astray. Shelving isn’t just for books anymore. You can decorate your shelving these days with ornaments, photos, framed pictures, use it as a filing system. The best bookshelf I ever saw hid an entire room behind it, and I so want one. I don’t think I would even tell my kids about it. I would go and hide in there every once in awhile just to escape.
7. Now this one’s the hard one. I mentioned it in passing at the start but it really is a big one. Handling the paperwork as it comes in….it might be fine to leave it for a couple of days if you don’t get much and if you have a routine in place, but leave it and you’ll be sighing, or at worst pulling your own hair out, wishing you had have just dealt with it before it had babies and started running rings around you. You’ll start finding it everywhere. It’ll migrate to the kitchen bench, the console in the entry, the bedroom, and then you’ll be tempted to pile it all together and dump it somewhere to tend to it at a much later date. Please, for your own mental health handle your paperwork asap or risk rocking in a corner when it looks more like Everest.
8. As your computer or notebook is often an extension of your desk, you should often purge your technology of unwanted software, files or pictures. Make sure your files are separated into private, family and business or hobby files. There are some great wallpapers on the internet that help you to organize your desktop.
9. Last and most importantly, I like a little inspiration around me. I love quotes, candles and plants. I love quotes because they keep me inspired and motivated and when I feel overwhelmed by all the work I have to do, so I stop, I breathe, I read a quote, and then I think of all the things I’m grateful for. It also helps me focus on my current goals.
I have an Oceana candle by Peppermint Grove which smells like heaven to me and calms my senses. Scent plays an important role for me in that I find it therapeutic and centering. When the candle is used up, I use them as glasses and vases.
I also have a baby tears plant (that I named Henry) that sits on my desk which is quite hardy and difficult for me to kill which is perfect considering I kill a lot of plants. I love feeling a connected to nature for the times when I feel a little confined indoors. I oddly find myself talking to my plant on occasion, but I hear that that’s good for plants, so I refuse to accept that I talk to Henry based on the fact that I’m crazy.
Well I think that just about sums it up. I hope these organization tips help you out. If you have any great tips yourself, don’t forget to tell me about them in the comments. Till next time friends. In everything you do, strive to become the best you……