Creating a Stress-Free Workspace at Home

Recently feeling overwhelmed with work projects has led me to a New Year's resolution of becoming stress-free in my workspace at home.  As much as we all try to stick to those annual resolutions every year, they somehow get lost in the busyness of everyday life.

Somewhere in between the holiday season, I took a good look at my home workspace.  I was disgusted at the view.  Here I am a designer creating beautiful spaces for clients and my own had looked like a hurricane had come through the room and destroyed my desk area and surrounding space.  I made a point to take some much needed time to invest in creating a stress-free workspace at home.

Becoming clutter free and embracing work digitalization was the first step. With my daughter home for an extended holiday stay, I received a lecture on becoming more organized by embracing digitalization.  Already juggling multi projects how was there time to become digitalized? She suggested that if I created files in my Dropbox for each client for all notes and floorplans instead of just project photos, time would be saved and life would be easier without rushing back and forth to the office every time a file was needed.

Facing a desk feathered with floor plans waiting to be designed as well as my favorite shelter magazines and unused electronics, it was time to get organized before 2017.  Becoming more organized would allow a flow of working more efficiently from one file to the next with enjoyment and without the feeling of being overwhelmed.  Here are some easy tips to organized your desk at home.

Remove everything off the desk.  Just as in a room redesign, beginning with a clean slate.  This allows the clutter-free process to begin.  All books, business cards and other loose notes and papers should be removed for sorting, shredding and throwing away. This task would be done after a clean workspace is created.  The process becomes more effective as the shredder and basket can be placed at your feet while sifting through each piece.  This method also eliminates the need of wanting to hold on to something for later while sitting at your desk trying to sort.

Lighten up the pencil holder. A container for holding these instruments is necessary, however, 10 of each is a bit much.  If additional outlets are needed for electrical cords, consider a power strip charging station.  Business cards collected from trade shows and networking groups seem to accumulate on the desktop.  I’ve begun to utilize the TurboScan app on my phone and categorize items for easy access in Dropbox.

Storage baskets are a must.  Additional space under the desk can be used for reference guides, magazines, and go-to material.  Setting the printer on a nostalgic stand that fits under the desk also frees up work space. 

Finish the look.  Add a nice smelling candle and a live potted plant.  Add an area rug to ground this space.

Tips for decluttering you home office workspace:

Remove unused or unnecessary electronics.

·       Old outdated laptop

·       The external hard drive

·       Phone chargers

·       Charging cords

·       Utilize interesting baskets for storage of books and magazines

·       Rid of excess pens and pencils

·       Store paperclips and elastics in an attractive box