I’m sitting here in chaos. Surrounded by jewelry (because I’m doing some marketing for my brother’s hand-made jewelry),boxes,things from my purse, random pens, mail etc.
I’ve decided that I’m not able to function tonight for that very reason. Clutter drives me absolutely insane. Which is funny, because I’m a very messy OCD person. I can work in chaos, but when I’m starting a project everything has to be nice, neat and orderly. Pretty much, at this point in time, I just want to kill myself. Or at least clean up my desk. I think that’s a more viable decision.
Amongst this chaos I got struck with the idea for a quick post for everyone out there who may conduct the majority of their work from home. I do work in an office, but often times my projects are so intertwined that my personal work space is really my “office” and my work office is just my “space where I spend the day doing work”. There is a difference.
What are some great ways to keep your desk organized and your home office more pleasant?
- Get something to hold your pens/pencils/crayons-This might seem like common sense and a really stupid tip, but believe it or not, up until a few years ago I had nothing on my desk to place my beloved writing utensils. Sometimes I used a cup, other times I just laid them around. Pens were everywhere…pen CAPS were everywhere… ahhh I’m freaking out just thinking about it. I’m pretty awesomely obsessed with pens and stationary (just ask Shane… I track him down when he takes my pens) and having an official organizer to keep track of them makes my life alot easier (and neater).
- Post-it notes galore- You may not be able to tell, but if you glance carefully into one of the little squares back there, you’ll see a gigantic stack of various post it notes. I’ve been pretty tame on defacing my desk with them lately (they’re all in my planner or at work at the moment) but really- I live off them. They are the tidiest mess you can make when trying to keep track of phone numbers, email addresses or any other info on the fly.
- Get a small white-board and dry erase calendar- These save my life….all though admittedly they are blank, white and lonely right now with no dry erase marker on them. I use a planner, yes, but there’s something about having dates and deadlines glaring at me that makes me pay attention. Not to mention, you can just erase them each month and start over. You’ll get your ass in gear if you see a mile long to-do list in bright red dry erase markers.
- Put things together like two peas in a pod- I keep all my new scientist magazines together in one square of my shelf, important books on another one (the rest are elsewhere), all my note taking things in one, my pens in another… you get the picture. Keeping “like” objects together will kill any intention you may have of leaving objects scared and alone on the other side of your desk, ultimately creating a mess.
- Use an external monitor– I have a macbook that I hook up to my external display. If you work alot on your desk at home you DON’T want to be staring at your laptop screen. It will drive you insane. You’ll get more real estate and you’ll have the ability to dual monitor your way to heaven if you so choose.
- Keep you desk ‘influence-free’-If you’re in the creative field, you don’t want what’s around you to subliminally influence you. Many people believe having tons of personal things around helps motivate them to create… but really it does just the opposite. It ties you in to the same mindset and restricts you from seeing around the wall you’ve created. In my opinion, true creativity gleams when you have a clean, blank canvas around you in which to work. Now, I have pictures in my shelves yes, but that’s because I share the home office with my boyfriend so I see him anyway. Having his pictures around motivate me, even though he’s generally in the office with me working as well :)
- Consolidate all your post-its weekly- Yes, I swear by post-its (of all colors…the brighter the better) but I also put all of them together on one page or in my planner at the end of the week. This lets me review what I need to complete (to shift to the white board) as well as help me put my information (phone numbers, emails etc) into the appropriate organized places.
Just a late night brainstorm when working in the crazy place that I call my desk. I hope these tips give you something to think about. Even though I believe there is order in chaos, I also believe sometimes chaos is just downright annoying.
What are some rules you implement into your daily office-life? What keeps you organized?