Starting this post with another note of thanks- thank you for all the love regarding our newest addition to our family. I am so touched by all the lovely comments and phone calls and texts.
Pregnancy absolutely gets me into big time organization mode- so for today's post I'm focusing on the office. Perhaps being more organized was on your list of resolutions for 2015- if so here are 5 things you can do TODAY to make an instant impact on the organization of your office- and your life!
1. CLEAR OFF YOUR WORKSPACE
I am a big believer in working in as clean of a space as possible. Meaning that the actual surface of your desk is as clear as possible save for the essential items like your computer, phone, pen, pad of paper, etc. I just think it allows your mind to be more clear when you are able to have a clear space tow ork on. This requires good shelving and filing systems of course, which I will elaborate on below, but take 15 minutes and physically remove non-essential items and see how it feels. I think you might be pleasantly surprised.
2. INVEST IN SHELVING CLOSE TO THE DESK
Experience has shown me that things need to be within arms reach for optimal productivity. Cause let's face it- laziness can kick in super fast and the extra step of having to get up to get something can become an excuse or a road block. Having things close at hand kinda eliminates this factor. So your printer, books / files you might need to access daily, stationary for thank you note writing, etc. should live in freestanding shelving either beside the desk or above the desk. When your space is small think vertically and use the wall space as much as possible.
3. FIGURE OUT FILING
I really struggle with this- paper overwhelms my house. But I must admit the binder at the front of the house has really helped control the paper clutter. In the office, it can be even more overwhelming. So figure out filing. I have some friends who are completely paperless in their office, using tools like Evernote to file literally everything. If you need to reference hard copies regularly, I prefer a binder to lateral hanging files (I just find it's a bit neater of a system). But whatever your preference, pick one and stick to it. Every single piece of paper needs a home, whether it is electronically, or in a designated folder or behind a tab.
4. PURIFY WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
I am no naturopath- and really no expert on this topic but my friend Sarah introduced me to essential oils and the wonderful things they can do for your health and your mood. Again no expert, but experience has shown me that certain oils applied topically or put in a diffuser absolutely impact my focus, concentration and overall mood elevator. My favourites include lavender, peppermint and frankincense. Apply them to wrists, back of neck or feet- random fact, your feet have the largest pores so the oil is absorbed there the most. A few drops in a diffuser honestly make the room smell amazing- and the smell lasts and lingers creating a wonderful environment for work.
5. TRAYS AND BASKETS
For the essential items and items that inevitably will migrate in and you can't figure out what to do with, I am such a believer in trays and baskets. A pretty tray on a desk will keep your essentials looking curated and organized. And baskets- I think I might be obsessed. Every room in my house now has a basket. They are just so darn practical and pretty! What I love about baskets is that in a pinch- when you just don't have the margin to clean and you really need to do something FAST to get some sanity back, putting it all in a pretty basket provides instant gratification. You've just got to promise to go through it at the end of the week and sort it out.
I know for myself, I can let cleaning become a BIG TIME procrastination enabler (said this designer too many times: but I can't do my expense report with my desk looking like this!) So the idea is if you have systems like some of the tips above that allow you to STAY organized and keep on top of it- you'll spend more time on great ideas and doing what you do best- rather than feeling stressed by mess and unable to operate efficiently.
Love to know your organization tips for your office in the comments below!
Side note: Big time congrats to my friends at the newly branded The Knot Group. They have just announced their new re-brand and services expansion and I was privileged to design their Toronto offices, featured in the images in this post. Come back later this week for a full tour of their space! Photos by the lovely Katherine Holland.