Love Your Workspace: 8 Tips for Organization and Inspiration

Posted by on Jul 8, 2011 in Career Advice | 8 comments

Creating an organized workspace is about more than just organization- you can create a space that inspires, engages and energizes you in the work you do every day.

Do you want a workspace that boosts your mood, productivity and creativity? Organizing your workspace can improve the quality of your work-life and add a little fun to your work day. Here are 8 tips for organization and inspiration!

1. Get rid of anything that doesn’t work for you.
If an item in your workspace isn’t working for you, get rid of it.

Do you have pens that don’t work and pencils that are unsharpened? Do you like the feel, color and point of your pens? Is your pen cup big enough for your favorite writing utencils? Does your stapler function smoothly and is the fit comfortable in your hand?

Trying to work with an item that isn’t working for you is draining your energy and minimizing your efficiency. Ask yourself if the items on and around your desk are working for you. Give away, recycle or trash unwanted items that are adding clutter and fuss to your workday.

Declutter your space

2. Invest in the right tools.
Shop around for desk organizers, file organizers and other items that will suit your individual needs.

If you don’t have desk drawers, you may need a desktop organizer with drawers or divided cups to separate the supplies you use regularly. Make it easy to reach for and find the things you need without rooting around or sorting through miscellaneous supplies thrown together in a drawer or box.

Consider wall files and incline desktop sorters that store files and papers vertically instead of desk trays which stack papers on top of each other. Use printable file folder labels and stagger the tabs so you can quickly and easily find the file you’re looking for.

Don’t underestimate the value of adjustable monitor stands that not only raise your monitor to eye level, but can also free up desk space for supply storage.

Invest in the tools you need; it’s worth spending a little extra to get something that is going to make your work-life easier every day.

3. Keep what you need close at hand.
Keep files and supplies you use daily within easy reach. Remove any items from your immediate reach that you don’t use regularly to declutter and clear your space for productive work.

Keeping the items you use often in reach may require investing in the right organizational tools so you can have paperclips, tape, or whatever supplies you use regularly at your fingertips. Don’t put something in a drawer that you have to use over and over each day- keep it on your desk where you can grab it without changing your position.

Organize your desk

4. Create a reference binder.
Use a 3-ring binder to keep reference materials organized and easily accessed.

My reference binder has a one-page-per year calendar with holidays and closures circled in red, a phone list, an account list, key policies and procedures, a list of desk stretches, tips for minimizing stress, and a whole lot more!

Think about the information you need to reference often and information that is important to easily access when you’re under a deadline, on the phone, or under stress and include it in your reference binder.

Consider slipping your reference papers into plastic page covers so you can put view them back-to-back and handle them frequently without tearing or soiling the pages.

5. Make it ergonomic!
Raise your monitor to eye level. Use wrist rests for your keyboard and mouse. Adjust your chair height or invest in a footrest. Take care of your body and it will take care of you! You’ll feel better and experience less mental stress if your body isn’t stressed all day long.

6. Use color!
Color-coding your files can help you quickly and easily find the documents you’re looking for and help you return items to the appropriate file so you always know where to find it next time.

In addition to color-coding, using color in your organization and decoration can boost your mood. Choose colors that calm and soothe you, like blues and greens, or choose colors that excite and energize you, like reds and pinks.

Color can add style and personality to your workspace in addition to organization and help you create a space you love.

7. Show your style.
In addition to color, use textures, artwork and designs that inspire and engage you.

Make your workspace personalized not only with personal photos, consider adding personality with your office decoration. Display art on your walls, and use artistic office supplies that come in a variety of colors, styles and designs. You can find a designer mouse, notebooks, file folders and so much more!

8. Have fun with a digital photo frame.
Use a digital photo frame to display photos, quotes and images that make you laugh, make you smile and fill you with happiness. A digital photo frame allows you to easily add or change the images and doesn’t clutter your desk or wall with multiple photos, frames and notes.

My digital photo frame has pictures of family and friends, vacation photos, and LOLcats!

Creating a workspace you love will encourage productivity, focus and increase happiness in the workplace. Don’t just organize your workspace- let it inspire you! Think of ways your workspace can engage you and help you do your best work every day.

What do you love about your workspace? What organizational tips work for you?

8 Comments

  1. Your message…I’m joining this conversation late, but I recently overhauled my office. I did a lot of #1 and will be using many more of your suggestions as well.

    My office had been in a constant state of disarray. Now, I’m spending a few minutes at the end of each day to organize and clean my workspace.

    Thanks for sharing this great list!

    • Welcome and thanks for commenting, Brendan!

      I know disarray seems to work for some people- I am not one of those people! Spending a few minutes each day to organize and clean my workspace helps me stay focused and energized. I know my boss appreciates it, too, and he seems to think it indicates I’m on top of things. :)

      I hope some of my organization tips help you. I’d love to hear how it’s working out for you after a few weeks!

      Have a wonderful day!

      Chrysta

  2. Hi Chrysta,

    I am new to your site.

    These are great tips that really works. I have tried some of them and my table is so clean now. At least now, I can find my things easily.

    BTW, one great tip for inspiration on me: I paste success cards all over my desk to remind me of the great things we are capable of. Success cards are something I created. Basically they are 4x3in size motivation posters. Great as book marks as well.

    • Thanks for your comment, Jimmy!

      I love your tip for posting “success cards” all around you- excellent idea! Thank you for sharing that tip.

      Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

  3. Chrysta, aloha. Actually, I was with you on everything except the digital photo frame. Though I do not have one of those, I do have pictures, art, quotes and plants that make me smile. One of the greatest treasures on my desk is my calendar with its daily affirmation. Today I started my day by reading:

    “I follow my inner star. I am a shining example of love and light.”

    When you start the day like that, how can it be anything except fantastic?!

    Chrysta, I keep my office very open because I like the feeling of expansiveness. Also, I have two good sized windows next to me so as I am typing this I am looking out the window at pastures covered in green velvet with Mauna Kea in the distance. Magnificent!

    My office is always clean and organized because I have found I work best that way. When things are cluttered or messy, I find that I do not think as clearly and get distracted by the mess.

    Best wishes for a terrific weekend, my friend. Aloha. Janet

    • Janet, thank you for sharing the beautiful and inspiring quote from your calendar today! It is truly a wonderful affirmation.

      I am fortunate to have big windows next to my desk at work, though I will find a way to create a workspace that is organized and peaceful in almost any environment!

      I, too, get easily distracted by clutter and mess. I also notice I am not as effective when I can’t find the things I need quickly and easily and I enjoy taking steps to make my life function smoothly and peacefully.

      Many thanks to you for your thoughtful comments, and your friendship!

      Namaste,
      Chrysta

  4. The way you organize speaks your mind. When your mind is cluttered, your things are. Organization is simple. Clear your mind and you will clear your stuff and surroundings easily . A concentrated and dedicated mind is powerfully equipped with perfect organization capabilities.

    • I can’t think straight when my environment is a mess, and organization is very important to my quality of life and the quality of my work.

      I agree that clutter and mess can be in our minds as well as our space. Just as I recommend getting rid of items that aren’t functional in your workspace, I also recommend letting go of attitudes and thoughts that aren’t functional in your mind.

      Thanks for your comment!

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