Right now, for most of us, we’re at home (tremendously thankful for all frontline people working so very hard to keep us safe and managing), and our home space now includes some type of office area that is only secondary to our kitchen. Be it a dining room table, propped up pillows on your bed, or a designated l room in your house—it’s your command station, the place where you stay organized and on top of all the day to day necessities to attempt order out of chaos.
Like all good plans, sometimes our space can become overlooked and, dare I say…gasp, disorganized.
Truth be told, keeping our office space clean, functional, and aesthetically pleasing is a true feat worthy of applause especially since it really impacts how we work and more importantly how we feel.
With that in mind, let’s get our office spaces to be Pinterest goals! A tidy space = a clear mind right?
DEFINE YOUR SPACE/HOME OFFICE
This is a step that often gets overlooked and that’s okay because not everyone has a full room they can dedicate for office purposes only. Instead, most folks’ rooms are playing double, eventriple, duty. Heck, your office may be a small nook in an already cramped bedroom, kitchen or living room! Either way, a little delineation will do the mind some good.
First, set some limits if you’re fortunate enough to be working with a large space. But please, don’t try to add extra furniture and things simply to fill it up. Instead, define your zones and make a quick space plan and/or take stock of what your needs are and what you already have. If you’re working in a very small space, be even more intentional about functionality and creating multi-use spaces as well as defined areas.
Surround yourself with things that ‘spark joy’. Sound familiar? Draw some inspiration from Marie Kondo and add things that excite and hold meaning for you.
A fan of flowers? Place a small vase on your desk. Not enough room for one? Try a mini shelf that can hold a mini pot. Flowers not only add color, but can ground us since they require our care and attention.
Does art evoke a barrage of positive emotion? Hang a piece on the wall or place a frame on your desk. Think it’s not in your budget? A little paint, crayons, glue, and some basic copy paper or art boards is all you need to go abstract or Picaso. Art not only can add some pizzazz to a rather bland space, but it can also have inspirational effects; calming, jovial, insightful, just plain ole’ good vibes!
COLOR WITH CARE
If there’s anything I’ve learned from binging HGTV it’s that color is powerful! It can make or break a space, while also evoking moods and feelings.
Thinking about how we want to use a space and what moods we’d like to inspire can be the perfect template for helping to make those difficult decisions about color.
IT’S TIME TO PURGE
Before we can get to our actual office goals, we definitely need to take some time out to clean out the… junk drawers, stacks of papers, and the ‘i dunno’s’!
Make purposeful piles—1)keep, 2)throw out, 3)shred—to streamline the process. Anything worth keeping should find a new home in a labeled storage spot. This could be a bin, hat box, filing cabinet, shelf, whatever fits your needs.
Oh my, oh my, the container store is calling my name! I’m OBSESSED with storage, but more importantly, finding the right storage pieces. After you’ve taken stock of your office and what you have versus what you actually need, then it’s time to map out how much storage you need to buy. And it’s okay if your calculation is a tad off. Remember, improvisation is your friend.
From boxes, to bins, to baskets— woven or rattan—cabinets to shelving, the possibilities are endless for you to give your items a dedicated place to live in the chicest way!
LABELS OVER HERE, COLORS OVER THERE
I’ll admit, if you didn’t pick it up, I’m a tinsy bit extreme when it comes to organizing, color coding, and labeling. You’ve met me, that person who highlights, color codes, tabs, organizes anything that isn’t moving. Yeah…..
But there’s a method to my madness, and it’s actually been proven! Experts suggest color coding and lots of labels are both effective ways of organizing. Labeling will not only help keep things in place long after your initial organizing day, and color coding is not only helpful but can add some color (pun intended) to otherwise bland items.
CONQUER THE DESK ACCESSORIES
Function is what we’re going for, so keeping your space clear but stylish is the goal.
Try keeping essentials within reach while also grouping similar items together. Grouping similar sized items together may work for you or organizing together by usage may be another option. Either way, store them where they can be easily reached and moved.
If you’re still getting stumped, look for items in discount stores that can serve double duty. A three-tier kitchen cabinet shelf can double as a paper sorter. A clear lucite makeup caddy can easily be used to store decorative pins, a letter opener, paperclips, etc.
TAME THE CORDS
I hate cords! I know they’re necessary but oh my gosh, I seriously hate seeing them. Plus there’s nothing worse than having a beautiful desktop and a nice little jumble of cords jutting here, there and everywhere.
Using a cord wrap or cable tie for those wires helps prevent them from taking over your desk. Best yet, it provides clear visual space which allows you to focus on important things you want to accomplish rather than the clutter. Want an even better idea? Where ever possible, opt for cordless.
BRING OUT THE INSPIRATION
If you don’t have a lovely view, then create one! Display items that make you smile and inspire you to be your most productive. Whether it’s family photos, inspirational quotes, beautiful images, travel destinations, or even job-specific goals, having these things out is an easy shift in focus that will make even the smallest office area feel uplifting, personalized, and majorly charming!
MAKE IT WORK!
Living the life by making sacrifices you know will pay off one day? Do your office and eat-in-kitchen happen to also be your bed? As tempting as it is to work where you sleep, please please try and carve out another spot. It’s so important that your mind has a place to go where it can totally relax and not absorb the energy that comes from doing work where you get lulled into a calming state of REM (rapid eye movement /deep sleep) Without it, we tend to feel agitated, have low energy, or difficulty focusing.
Plastic or even wood crate boxes with the opening facing your knees can also be a super clever way to create a mini-work space at the foot of your bed. Add a piece of plywood, think a Homedepot run, a clip light…instant mini workspace! Not an option, a bed tray (think the ones used in hospitals) that can swing over your bed, then fold away is another great home office cheat. Most start at $25 and can go up to $100 or more depending on your taste and budget.
If you have wall space, consider a wall shelf desk. They create that cool floating desk look. You’d have your surface area for work, but also the comfort of knowing it hasn’t fully taken over your sleep zone.
All in all, it’s not the size of the space but what you put into making it functional, productive, and calming that will have you leaving your workspace ready to tackle what’s next on your home living list!