My Workspace – keeping it organized…

My workspace is open for all to see – and judge.  A lot of people would consider this a pain in that any clutter is always on display.  I don’t.  I consider it motivation to keep it all cleaned up and organized all of the time.  I like having a reason to keep the space uncluttered and clean.

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One of the things I really like about my work area is that it is pretty small at 6 feet deep X 6.5 feet wide.  I once had an office at work that was about 4 feet wide by 8 feet deep.  I loved that office and it’s lack of space.  Plus, it had a huge window overlooking downtown Denver.  When we moved to a new building, I had an office that was about 4 or 5 times larger, but no window.  It was downright dreary.  I quit the place within 3 months of moving to that office.  I won’t say it was because of the windowless office, but that space certainly didn’t help me want to stay.  The point is that the additional space didn’t make up for the lack of window and natural light.

I am willing to trade a huge room for a tiny corner as long as it has sunshine streaming in and an outside view.  I have that at home – as you might already know – as my office is in our sunroom.  With that said though, I have had to exercise some discipline in keeping my stuff contained and minimal because it is all open and out there.  This can be difficult.  I like to stockpile office supplies as much as the next person.  I am still a work in progress when it comes to being efficient, but I feel like I am getting there and my small space has actually helped me get there.

I already talked about my desk.  It occupies a third of my allocated workspace and was custom made to specifically fit my work area.  I have been using the desk for a while now and I really like the shape – long and skinny.  My desktop has room for pen/sharpie/highlighter storage, a task light, a phone, my laptop, a spot to set a glass of tea, and a little room to spread out some papers when needed.

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My storage cabinet contains all the ugly stuff I don’t want to look at every day.  A big work printer (that I hope to someday get rid of), office supplies (envelopes, paper clips, stapler, staples, a hand punch), a small stock of greeting cards, my handy labeler,  and accessories for the computer and camera.

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I used to be a “piler”.  I used to organize my To Do stuff in piles.  While that method works well for getting stuff done, it is messy in appearance.  I transitioned to putting my piles into folders and/or binders instead.  Folders and binders work just as well (maybe better) and it cuts the clutter.  So, I will keep the new folder/binder system. These 2 binders contain all my work at home stuff.  Everything else is electronic.  It is great that I don’t need to dedicate an entire room for work stuff.  At the end of the day, I fold up the binder and put it away.  Out of sight, out of mind.

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I’ve currently got 2 large file drawers.  One drawer is for personal paperwork – 7 years of income tax paperwork, house project stuff, receipts for big ticket items/appliances, and a few miscellaneous things.  I also have a folder that I store current receipts in – until I rectify my checking account – at least monthly – so they aren’t thrown around the house randomly…

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The other drawer is for business paperwork.  There is very little actual paper work in this drawer as you might be able to see.  I do, however, have an abudance of legal pads for my list making.

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Both drawers get cleaned out once per year – around tax season.  I don’t want to become one of those people surrounded by file cabinets and drowning in paperwork.  So, in general, I try not to keep a lot of paperwork.  In fact, I think I could whittle the contents of my two drawers down to a single drawer or two smaller drawers.  The vast majority of what occupies these drawers is empty file folders and filing supplies I don’t use or need anymore.  I think I have just talked myself into a challenge.

Some day, I hope to get a storage cabinet that is the same height as my desk top, fits in the corner perfectly – creating an L type configuration, has smaller file drawers, and can accommodate a printer.  I have been looking but no luck yet.  I am thinking a custom designed/made cabinet may be in order.

I am also now thinking – if I can whittle the contents of my storage cabinet down to only what I truly need and want to store, then maybe that custom cabinet could be my reward…

It’s on!