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Organize + Energize: 6 Ways to Give Your Office a Facelift

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


How does your office make you feel? How well do you function in your office? Depending on the type of job you have, you may be spending more than 8 hours a day at your desk. Don’t you want to feel comfortable in your office? You may find that once you make some changes, you will be more efficient and productive and you will have a better flow to your work day.

Don’t try to tackle this in one day.  Break this down, make a plan and put it into motion. Get rid of the mental clutter, grab a pen and paper and jot down everything you’re feeling about your office. What’s working and what’s not working?  Which areas need attention? I find that when you release the mental clutter, it reduces overwhelm.

Get rid of the clutter.   Stand in the entryway to your office. Stand there for a moment and take a look around. What do you see? Are there files on the floor that are accumulating dust? Are your bookshelves overflowing with items you never use? Is there so much clutter on your desk that you find yourself working on top of papers? It’s time to declutter and develop working organized systems so that you no longer end up in the mess you are in right now. Just focus on decluttering. Don’t worry about getting organized. You can tackle that another day. Make a plan to just take a few hours to declutter.  Stay focused and limit your distractions.

Organize.  You’ve had this on your to-do list for as long as you can remember. Now is the time to tackle this project. Take your business to the next level just by getting organized. Re-work your filing systems.  Physically organize your drawers, supplies, bookshelves, business cards, files, emails, bulletin boards, and anything else that is in your office.  Create a system, process and procedure for everything that enters your office. After you’re finished organizing yourself, make a plan to get your employees organized. There is nothing worse than walking into an office where the first person you see is disorganized.

Are you comfortable? Have you been for a massage in the past few months because you’ve had knots in your neck and shoulders? Do you think it may have something to do with the way you’re functioning at your desk? If you’re uncomfortable, do you think it’s affecting your productivity? There are many great office products that will help you function correctly at your workspace.  Angela Perry-Place, LCMT, PTA, a Cranston-based massage therapist, treats clients that have some common injuries relating to workspaces that aren’t ergonomically correct.  Angela states that if the desk, monitor, keyboard and chair are not at the correct height, people could end up with wrist, forearm, shoulder or neck issues.

How is the lighting in your office?  I remember when I used to work at Textron, my supervisor had her own office and the lights were always dimmed. She turned off her bright fluorescents and worked with table lamps. I loved the ambiance.  As soon as you walked in her office you were overcome with a sense of calm. Since then, every office I’ve ever had, I always had the overhead lighting turned off and used my own lighting. Think about the lighting in your office and make it work for you.

Find your flow. Maximize space in your office. Once the clutter is cleared and you are organized and refreshed, think about the space. Can you switch up the furniture or repurpose some items to make your office more comfortable? Make it work for you and your clients. Create a smooth flow to your office. Remember, less is more. Just because there is an empty space, doesn’t mean you need to fill it.

Use this article as a checklist as you move through your office and tackle these projects. Don’t use the excuse that you’re too busy to get organized and you don’t have the time.  If you keep putting it off, it’s never going to be the right time.

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 80 presentations throughout the state. Kristin has created a one-of-a-kind weekly planner. More info here.


Related Slideshow: 10 Areas You Find Most Challenging to Get Organized

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Paper in any form

This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.

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 To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.

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When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.

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This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.

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The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization.  Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.

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Office at work

Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.

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Kid’s rooms

If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.

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Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.

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Linen closets

When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.

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This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.


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