The Joy of Organizing Your Workspace: Home & Office Edition
January 6, 2021
Whether you work full time from the office, at home, or just spend a few days a week in between both - the importance of an organized work environment can not be underestimated. Having your own dedicated, organized space to focus solely on work will result in you being much more productive and feeling a lot less stressed by the end of each week.
A lot of us had a taste of working from home during most of the pandemic period in 2020. And many still do and will forever - just ask the teams over at Microsoft. According to the Institute of Directors (IoD) - 43% had embraced greater use of flexible working even after the pandemic, at an office base or at home. So, it’s essential to have an organized workspace to be able to stay productive, dynamic, and creative. And if you assume you’re not creative enough to think outside the box, remember, we all are - there’s no secret to it!
We’ve compiled 7 strategies of clever storage systems, creative optimizations, and straightforward organizational methods to help you out at home or in the office for max output and a healthier work lifestyle.
1. Identify your organizational priorities
Identifying the chaotic parts of your office or home office is priority № 1. By analyzing what needs to be put in check before it spirals out of control (or already has) will pinpoint the areas you need to address first before moving on to adding or modifying your workspace area. Start by asking yourself: What makes me stressed just by looking at it? Is it the stack of papers, bills, and books lying around the office desk or even cluttering the kitchen table? Is it the lack of an organized time schedule getting mixed up with family schedules and personal life? Or is the overwhelming amount of hoarding or lack of practical office equipment missing from your setup?
Once you’ve understood and honed in on the chaotic spots of your worklife - time to get spotless with two solutions:
- Psychological: Brainstorming timetables, developing a plan, and creating lists to set goals to keep your office and home in order and mentally zen.
- Physical: Practical solutions can help keep unnecessary clutter out of the way, such as using storage boxes and organizing shelves, allowing you to create space and freedom to help your mind stay productive.
2. Take control - Plan it out
Most people no longer keep a diary to catalog their daily lives, but it’s still a good idea to keep a daily planner in front of you for visual prompts and reminders every day. You can choose to give up calendars or notebooks for your smartphone - but, it’s always a good idea to back up your digital diary with a paper copy. By having a physical visual backup of your daily schedule, you will increase your memory recall by adding a desk planner or a wall planner. This will allow you to be less forgetful of important times, dates, and meetings - which is great to help mentally organize and put it into a daily motion of constant action.
3. Chaos control by de-cluttering
Clutter generates visual chaos, and that noise makes it difficult to concentrate or feel at ease in your working environment. Wherever there is clutter, a storage solution is always available to deal with it. The more versatile and cost-effective the storage solution is, the better! So invest in a few really useful boxes, shelf towers, or a filing cabinet. Make use of those storage areas to work out your organizational goals in your work area.
Here are some flexible ideas that may be of help to start you off:
- Small recyclable bins to keep your waste efficient.
- Dump your e-waste by tossing out your old tech responsibly.
- Color-coded boxes to keep things in their due places and order.
- Fill dead spaces or narrow corners with storage solutions like tower shelves.
- Occupy existing shelves and cubby spaces with your books, files, letters, and papers.
4. Keep it small or simple
After so many years in an office, you may think that a home office needs to be as big as your desk at work - that’s simply untrue! As the old wise proverb goes “keep it simple”.
You’ll find that creating a tight-knit working space is easier to maintain to eventually build the aesthetics of your workspace while keeping your creative juices flowing and a more stress-free environment. And for those who are back in the office, keep strategy #3 in mind to maintain your office space clear of the unnecessary and unuseful items that may have been occupying space while you were gone - a fresh set of eyes will surely see that less is more!
5. Aesthetics of your workspace
Having a beautiful and neat workspace has more benefits than meets the eye at first glance. And to keep it tidy is quite easy. The more you enjoy your office, the more you keep it safe and organized. It’s about making the dedication to keep a feng shui going. If you have a desk and accessories so beautiful that it should have its own Instagram account, you are much more likely to maintain it well-kept and a zen flow to your work productivity. After all, our place of work is where we will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime - roughly ⅓ of our lives. So take writer Annie Dillard’s words into consideration:
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
6. Posture and ergonomics
This post was not created to lecture you or anyone on how they should lead their lives or adjust their behaviors, but, it does have the intent to help you. To not come off as a “do this, do that” article - we suggest the following as sage advice:
- Support your back - to avoid future back pain.
- Adjust your chair - to prevent repetitive strain injuries to the back and legs.
- Place your screen at eye level and avoid reflection - to avoid neck and eye damage.
- Keep your mouse and keyboard at comfortable levels to rest your wrists and hands.
- Take regular breaks - frequent short breaks are better for your body than fewer long ones.
Giving your muscles and joints a chance to relax at regular intervals can greatly improve your overall health, avoid strains or damages, and keep the body running like a well-oiled machine of productivity while working. So be sure to organize some time to follow those tips to enhance your work life.
7. A sustainable approach
Finally, to our last point of order. Over the last decade, we’ve heard more and more about the importance of sustainability in our lives, workplace, and society. Being sustainable in our office, be at home, or in our shared office spaces, will generate a positive impact on your day-to-day and have a positive influence on those around you to do the same. So lead by example. Make sure to pack your own lunch, recycle, reuse, reduce, and shrink your carbon footprint in general while you grow professionally and substantially as a person of sound conscious decision - at your home office or shared workspaces.
These 7 strategies were thoughtfully put together to maximize your workload output in an organized workspace while also hitting that refresh button on your work environment. After all, we could all use a better, cleaner, healthier, more efficient space to work to feel proud of calling it our “home away from home”. So why not take care of that space you’ll be occupying to make your daily bread by revamping and reorganizing it? If you’re not already planning on doing so - you should start now.