I spend a lot of time in my office, so it is important to me to have it a place where I want to be. I work with clients who have offices that they hate to enter. When office work needs to be done, they pull out what they need and work elsewhere in the house.
How can a person make their office into a place they love?
1. Remove all visible clutter. Clutter is stressful and reminds us of all that we have not taken care of. Clutter on the floor, on the desk, on the filing cabinet, on the bookcase are all distractions and keep you from being productive. Tackle one area at a time – I like to start with the floor. Decide where everything should go. Is it now trash? Does it need shredding? Does it need filing? Does it just need to go to another room? Make those decisions and then act on them.
2. Zone out your office. Start with your desk. Only have in or on your desk the things you use daily or at least weekly. This is your prime real-estate so don’t clog it up with rarely used items. Furniture nearby like bookcases and cabinets is where you keep items you use monthly. This might be books that you reference or files that are used monthly. This might be where you keep your project boxes. Depending on the size of your office, storage of extra supplies or items that you use once or twice a year could be stored in another room or closet. Archival papers can be stored in the top of a closet or in the attic. Keep your active workspace clear.
3. Invest in good lighting. I work in my office at various times of the day, so lighting is important to me. Several years ago, I got rid of my desk light to give me more workspace and put in overhead spotlights. I am also lucky to have a window. Find the right light for you and don’t make do with poor lighting.
4. Decorate with things you love. Meaningful art on your wall can inspire you and invite you to settle into your office. You might even have a meaningful picture or remembrance on your desk. Have a few things that make you smile. However, don’t overdecorate to the point that you have visual clutter.
5. Bring in some nature. Bringing in plants or cut flowers can reduce your stress and increase your productivity. I not only have plants and flowers, but I also have space for a small fountain. Being lucky enough to have a window, I can also look out and see a couple of my birdfeeders.
6. Keep your office clean. Not only do you want your office clear of clutter, but you also want to keep your entire office clean. Set up a maintenance schedule for dusting and sweeping as well as clearing your desk. Once a year schedule a deep clean where you also clean windows, vents, wipe down walls, etc.
It doesn’t matter if your office space is a complete disaster or just needs a little tweaking, develop a plan now to make it into the perfect workplace for you. You will notice that your productivity increases and your stress decreases with an environment that is tidy and welcoming.
If you want help in setting up your office or just some accountability in completing a project, organizing a space in your home, or managing your time join Diane Quintana and me on our Clear Space For You clutter support group.
Jonda S. Beattie, Professional Organizer owner of Time Space Organization, and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize. She is based in the Metro-Atlanta area. As presenter, award-winning author, as well as a retired special education teacher she uses her listening skills, problem solving skills, knowledge of different learning techniques, ADHD specialty, and paper management skills to help clients tackle the toughest organizational issues. Jonda does hands on organizing and virtual organizing. For more of Jonda’s tips connect with her on Facebook.