Wednesday, April 13, 2011

8 Ways Reorganizing Your Writing Space Benefits You

Sorry for my absence from posting here last week.  I was busy cleaning and reorganizing my office.  Yes, the office. It probably hasn't been cleaned and organized thoroughly.. .well ever.  I spent at least 15 hours last week emptying, sorting, purging, rearranging, sweeping, vacuuming, recycling and discovering things that have been missing for years.  And I haven't even BEGUN to deal with my Brazil-sized rain-forest-worth of paper yet...

Also, there needs to be some examination in the near future about WHY I decided to do this right now...
World’s Messiest Office Cubicle Discovered in Colorado
Not my desk, but this gives you the idea of what I'm dealing with
Here are 8 ways that reorganizing your writing workspace can benefit you:
  1. Change your perspective on your work -- For so long now, I've been limited by the way I set up my desk.  My monitor was smashed up against the wall and I was not able to position it as I would like, and it wasted a lot of space. The light was also poor in the area, not horribly so, but bad enough.  After turning the desk around 90 degrees, it freed up where I could place the monitor and allowed plenty of desk space to fit my laptop and the old 20" CRT monitor as well as some additional workspace. A better layout makes it more appealing to work there and probably will encourage me to spend more time there.
  2. Free up space -- I have this affliction.  I don't like to throw out things that are "still good." That is things that will be useful for someone at some point, not in a freaky Hoarder kind of way, just in a I hate to waste money kind of way.  Case in point, a sealed package of thank you cards for "my daughters baby shower gift."  My baby daughter just turned 16 and is driving.  I don't think I'll be sending them out anytime soon, but they took up space in my desk drawer because I saw them as being still useful.
  3. Limit choices -- I had a complete desk drawer full of pens, pencils, markers, dry-erase markers that was difficult to open it was so packed. I also had 4 pen/pencil holder cups on my desk. I never have to buy another writing instrument again... ever.  That is if I liked ball-point pens or pencils, (which I don't) so I kept a few of each type of instrument and packed the rest up to donate to the schools in the area.
  4. Make it easier to find stuff -- When you organize in piles, it is quite easy to lose important stuff under the gun.  When looking for one thing, I often pile other things on top of more things... which often results in other important stuff getting buried.
  5. Find untold caches of office supplies -- Buried in my desk drawers and in several other areas of the office were Post-It Notes and index cards of all sizes and colors.  When I have a hard time finding these things, I just bought more. Now I have enough Post-Its and index cards to last me for the next 3 years... 
  6. Get rid of stuff that's not relevant to your work -- Some organization tip I read stated to keep the items you use most frequently in the easiest to reach storage area in your work space. Here are some of the things that I pulled out of my upper left-hand desk drawer: two decks of playing cards, old customs forms that are no longer used by the post office, a broken Sony Digital camera (I've had 2 cameras since then), 3 AC adapters for unknown electronic devices, 5 plastic kid's meal toys that I kept on my desk for some reason at one point, a 160GB external hard drive (not currently in use) a large velour bag of dice from my Dungeons & Dragons role-playing days (I haven't played in almost 20 years), manuals from my bosses OfficeJet from 10 years ago (the printer died at least 4 years ago and was trashed), several Cleveland Indians Topps baseball cards from 1986 (none of them good players or memorable to anyone other than a Cleveland Indians fan), and the usual crap mentioned above: Post-Its in a rainbow of colors, pens, push pins (loose - OUCH!), binder clips, index cards, envelopes, etc.)  Just imagine what I pulled out of the bigger drawers!

    Also, my desk had a credenza which provided 3 more drawers of junk space, as well as additional square footage on the desktop.  The drawback: It wasn't working for me, the height of it was about 6 inches shorter than the desk which made the space hard to use (I had to bend over to write on it, so it just became more area to pile up more clutter). I removed it and consolidated all of the crap in those drawers into the 3 remaining drawers. Guess what? It has been almost a week and I don't miss any of it!  It wasn't relevant, so I removed it! 
  7. Provide plenty of goods  -- For the church youth mission trip indoor "yard sale" in May.
  8. Create a better view of the door -- Never sit with your back to a door. Ever.
Next: Stay tuned for my attack on "paper mountain."

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