Unless you are a hoarder, working amid clutter — whether at home or in the office — can be distracting. In an effort to get organized for 2010, I've started a handy Savvy Resolutions series, offering up tips for creating a home work space and organizing our papers and files. I recently learned that 38 percent of SavvySugar readers work in a cubicle, while 62 percent either work in a shared workspace or their own office. No matter your desk arrangement, take some time in January to clean things up, add a little personality to your area, and make it feel like home. The number one rule is to be genuinely unhappy when you sit down at your desk, so do what you can to make the space more inviting. Here are some simple tips to get you started:
- Clear out the paper — Recycle old papers and file away those you want to keep. Try to eliminate piles of paperwork, books, and boxes, and unpack them into drawers and bookshelves. Clearing away the clutter will cut distractions and make you instantly feel more directed when you sit down.
- Keep your tools hidden — You really only need one pen at all times. Keep your pens, calculators, tools, and tricks of the trade in your drawers unless you are using them. If you use certain tools daily, get a little box for them all and put them away at the end of the day so you return in the morning to a clean workspace.
For the rest of my tips,
- Add a touch of home — Make your space more homey by adding a favorite mug, picture of your family or pet, or a favorite print in a frame.
- Spruce up the place — Can't afford to join a flower of the month club? Pick up a small vase and buy three or four single flowers at the farmers market or grocery store. Better yet, buy a potted plant for less than $10 at Ikea or the drug store and test your green thumb at your desk.