Not all of us are fortunate enough to have a designated room for an office, but we can still have a hub somewhere in our house where things like the computer, phone, mail, pens and notepads can be easily accessed.
Here are some tips to creating a simple and pleasant work space:
- If you have a choice, choose somewhere uncluttered and airy, preferably near a window.
- Try to invest in a good chair that is adjustable to suit the needs of everyone who will use it.
- Position yourself so that there is plenty of light on your work-space and you are not working in shadow.
- A decent desk lamp is worth the money. One that adjusts up and down and tilts can save a lot of eye strain.
Image courtesy of zirconicusso / freedigitalphotos.net
- Another good idea is a document holder. This holds your book or sheets of paper that you need to refer to or copy from when you’re typing. You can get free standing ones or better still, one that attaches to the side of your monitor so you’re not constantly looking up and down.
- A remote mouse is much easier to use and saves on extra cords.
- Ask at an office supply store or hardware store about ‘cord keepers’. These are inexpensive and help to keep power cords tidy and identifiable.
- It’s also worthwhile to invest in a good shredder. It’s all about peace of mind and keeping your personal information secure.
- A laptop is a wonderful thing for simplifying your work. It takes up so little room, and on cold days or lazy days, you can work at the breakfast bar, dining table or the couch. I achieve much more this way – but don’t let it detract from family time.
The trouble with work spaces – especially if you use them constantly as I do is that they can become a collection point for clutter. Here are some ways to overcome this:
Image courtesy of tsmoothcreations.com
- If you’re really pressed for space, consider attaching a shelf to the wall somewhere near your phone and power outlets. You can buy ‘floating’ shelves that are quite unobtrusive and if attached correctly, can hold a reasonable amount of weight.
- You can purchase trays that are made to fit under your landline phone or desktop computer monitor to add extra storage.
- Magazine boxes neatly store anything from phone-books to copy paper to Birthday cards and wrapping paper.
- Consider securing a pen with chain or string so it can’t be carried away.
- A whiteboard on the wall is a handy way to leave reminders or messages. (Side note: I know someone who writes reminder notes and shopping lists on the fridge door with a whiteboard marker).
- A cork pin board is helpful if used correctly but if you’re not careful it can become a place to stick things you don’t know where else to put. It’s great for prioritising tasks. Write them on notes and pin them on the board, moving them up or down as priority dictates (the task at the top being the most urgent.)
Image courtesy of spacesavers.com
- My desk has a file drawer but a good alternative is a portable file box, available from department stores and office supply shops. These can slip easily into a cupboard.
- A plastic cutlery tray is a good way to store pens, rulers, highlighters, etc.
- I also find a clear box with dividers (used for fishing tackle) is the best way to store paper clips, pins, eraser, sharpener, rubber bands – all those little things that get lost in the drawer. You can see everything at a glance.
- A letter holder (letter rack) is something that most families used to own but you don’t see them nearly as much now. With a new coat of paint, this can hang on the wall as ‘pigeonholes’ for the family’s mail or messages.