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Organize Your Office and Improve Your Office Design

Part 1: 12 Steps to An Office Design That’s Both Pleasing and Functional

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Businessman studying plans on workstation table
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The most important feature of good office design is functionality. But too often our offices are crammed with so many office machines, equipment, supplies and pieces of paper that our small or home offices are completely dysfunctional.

Do you have to move things out of the way before you can sit down and work? Are there so many papers on your desk that they’re spilling onto the floor? Do you need to contact a search and rescue team to find whatever it is you’re looking for? Then it’s definitely time to roll up your sleeves and organize your office.

You can have the most attractive, up-to-date office design available and still not be able to accomplish what you need to do unless you organize your office.

These steps for an office makeover will show you how to organize your desk and your office space so that you have an office design you can both appreciate and work in.

1) Clear the pathways.

A friend had a coffee table in the middle of his office – which made moving from the desk to the filing cabinet a shin-cracking task for anyone without the agility and balance of a trained acrobat. As he never entertained clients in his office, the coffee table was only used when he set things on it. Moving the coffee table out gave him a clear walkway – and saved him a lot of potential shin damage!

Are there furniture obstacles in your office design? Move them or move them out entirely. You need to be able to walk around.

2) Clear your desktop.

There now. Doesn’t that look nice? An office design showpiece! Now the hard part. Begin to organize your office by looking at your office desk and decide what has to be there. Your computer, obviously. Put it back. Your phone, definitely. Put it back, too. But what else?

Look at all the other stuff you’ve taken off your desk and ask yourself, “Does it have to be on my office desk?” If it’s not something that you use every day to make your work easier, it doesn’t and it’s time to find another place for it.

The stack of papers you’ve been meaning to deal with? Deal with them and file them. The half eaten doughnut from last week. Ugh! You know what to do with that...

3) Get and use caddys and trays to organize your desk and your drawers.

Office supply stores and chain retailers have all kinds of plastic trays and caddies, including those that are designed to fit perfectly into a desk drawer. Use them to get your office supplies organized. Now all those loose pens, paper clips and thumb tacks have a place to go – and when you want one, you’ll be able to find it.

To further organize your desk, stacking trays are ideal for your “inbox” and “outbox”. They’ll help you keep your office desktop neat and save space.

4) Update your equipment.

What office machines are slowing you down or cluttering up your office design? Does your computer need a memory or hard drive upgrade? Maybe it’s time to get rid of your old printer, fax machine and scanner and invest in a multifunction printer. Or time to upgrade the primitive touch tone phone to a speaker phone. Increase the functionality of your office design and make some more work space available.

5) Get it off your desk.

Clear even more work space and organize your office by giving some of your office essentials their own separate space. For instance, your printer or multifunction copier shouldn’t be on your desk. Investing in a printer stand will keep it within a usable distance, free more of that valuable desk real estate, and give you some more shelf storage space for accessories such as printer paper.

Have a small desk and need even more room? An occasional table placed next to your desk will add an elegant touch to your office design and serve as an additional working area. (Be sure to select one of the correct height so you can work at it without having to hunch over.)

Is your desk cluttered with books or manuals? Invest in a book shelf, either freestanding or built-in. You’ll be amazed at how much more space you have to work in when you just move a few books off your desk.

There are seven more tips to help organize your office and improve your office design on the next page. Click to continue reading.

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