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Your home office can start to feel cluttered and confining, especially when you’ve been so busy working in it that you haven’t paid much attention to your surroundings. It doesn’t have to stay that way, though. There are many things you can do to make your office more inviting, whether it’s a home office, or a commercial space. Here are seven of my recommendations for improving your office, making it more inviting as well as more organized and functional.
Standing desks have been all over the news in the last few years. Many health experts claim that prolonged sitting can lead to a variety of health problems. While whether or not a standing desk can prevent those issues is still up for debate, I have found that I like having the ability to vary the height of my workstation during the day. If you’re going to spring for a standing desk, I recommend a powered desk like this one from Amazon that allows you to easily adjust the height of your entire desk.
If you’re going to spend all day in the office, make sure you have a pleasing place to sit. If you hate your desk chair, you’re likely to find excuses to work somewhere other than the office. While traditional office chairs are often the obvious choice, there are many other ergonomic and comfortable alternatives. Find something that appeals to both your eyes and your body, and invites you to sit. My office includes a regular chair for when my desk is low, and a tall stool that I can perch on when the desk is at standing height.
Along with a standing desk, I am a huge fan of monitor stands. Whether you have one, two or three monitors, using a stand to get them up off your desk will make a huge difference. I started using this monitor stand a few years ago, and I can’t imagine going back. Not only am I able to adjust the height exactly, I have more desk space and don’t have to worry about bumping them or knocking them out of alignment.
Storage Cart or Cabinet
Free up your desk space by storing items you use regularly but not constantly in a storage cart or cabinet that you can park next to your desk. If space is limited or your office needs to do double duty, consider a rolling cart that can be tucked away in a closet when you’re not working. Don’t feel limited to a traditional file cabinet. There are options for every style and taste. You can often find carts, cabinets or other furniture that you can refurbish and customize at thrift, vintage or antique shops.
As you’re organizing your desk and new cabinet, it’s the perfect time for some purging. Don’t just shove those papers into a file cabinet. Take the time to go through and shred what you no longer need. Then, organize what remains in a system that works for you. Since figuring out which documents to keep (and for how long) and which to throw away are many people’s biggest organizing challenge, here’s a post that can help you with that.
Color Code Yourself
One easy way to organize is to color code. Whether you’re sorting by client, topic, or category, assigning specific colors can make it easy to find what you need. I personally use colored file folders and bright colored sticky notes to keep track of both clients and projects.
Use a Bulletin Board
Piles don’t work well for me. I hate digging through a pile of papers to find what I need. Bulletin boards are a great organizing alternative to the pile-on-the-desk method. Not only can you find pretty cork, fabric, or magnet boards for your walls, they keep those important notes off the desk and in a place where you can see them easily. If wall space is at a premium, consider placing a smaller cork or magnet board inside a cabinet or closet door. Or you might get lucky like me—my office closet doors are metal, and serve as a giant ready-made bulletin board.
Paint and Artwork
Finally, remember aesthetics. Not only should your office be comfortable to use, it should also be comfortable to be in. A fresh coat of paint, or some new artwork can both go a long way toward making your office more inviting. Just because it’s the place where you work, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find ways to make your office more inviting. Your office should be a place where you enjoy working and that inspires you to be creative and productive. So, what will you do that will make your office more inviting this year?