Work With Intention
Time to Declutter, Organize, and Donate
Whether tucked in a corner of a spare bedroom or smack in the center of a bustling office, chances are your workspace is impacting your productivity, and most likely not for the better. Office supplies, electronics, knickknacks, and piles of paper clutter workspaces and limit intention. Working with intention requires spaces that have workflow that promotes productivity, décor that inspires motivation and storage that ensures efficiency. Ahead you’ll find amazing tips on how to uncover your intentional workspace, whether you work at an office or home.
Workflow is essential to your productivity. How you set up and maintain your workspace creates a workflow that will either promote or hinder your ability to get done what needs to be done. Have you found yourself maneuvering around office furniture, digging through cabinets and drawers or shuffling through massive stacks of files? All that effort can leave you exhausted before the real work even starts! Fortunately, it’s easy to make your space more workflow-friendly by removing barriers to productivity. Suggestions include:
A Place for Everything
Establish a place for everything on, in, and around your workspaces. For example, designate a place for all files instead of keeping them on your desk, in drawers, or on top of cabinets. Papers and files are two of the biggest office clutter culprits. Find time to round up all paper and files and relegate them to one area of your workspace.
Everything In Its Place
Label each workspace area to reinforce where items need to be. Labelling will help you develop the habit energy you need to put stuff back where it belongs. The time you take now labeling every nook, cranny, drawer, and shelf will save you literally hours in the future looking for that thing you need to do your job. It will also keep your spaces decluttered, and a decluttered workspace promotes a decluttered mind.
Take a look at your workspace and determine if your desk, cabinets, shelves, and electronic equipment are easily accessible. Feel free to move your furniture until you find your own sense of flow.
Flow does not necessarily mean that everything you need is at arm’s reach, which is good because office space experts say that clutter happens when we think we need everything at arm’s reach. Opening up the flow of your workspace means your needed items are easily accessible and locatable, even if they are a few steps away.
The traditional, desk-in-the-middle-of-an-office approach can impede workflow, which in turn will physically and psychologically impede productivity. Feeling hemmed into a desk has proven to lower energy levels, so feeling chained to your desk space is one of the biggest barriers to productivity. Think about moving your desk from the middle of your space to a wall space. This will open up the actual flow of your workspace and increase your energy level. Having an “open plan” work environment will encourage movement within your space and make organizing much easier.
Décor accumulates in our office spaces faster than used coffee cups! Take a look around at your travel memorabilia, well intentioned office gifts, and the stuff on the walls left over from the previous tenant. Clutter in workspaces not only impede physical flow, it also clogs your mind with needless input. When your décor becomes unintentional clutter, it is time to take action.
Here are some tips about what to keep and what to give away:
- Knickknacks are one of the many culprits that add to a messy and disorganized office space. Take inventory of your non-work essential items and determine if they serve a purpose or bring you joy. Once you have taken inventory, put the “yes” items in a box marked “keep” and the “no” items in a box marked “donate.” Set your keep box aside until you are ready to place them in areas that enhance your environment — there’s more about what to do with your donate box ahead.
- Colors affect moods, alertness, and motivation. Experts encourage using blues for creativity, greens for efficiency, and yellows for productivity. You can add in these colors by swapping out drab organizer bins, file folders and other office supplies; office supply stores offer a multitude of inspirational colors that will brighten your work day. Be sure and add the swapped out items to your “donate” box.
- Natural elements, such as plants or easy-to-maintain fish tanks, enhance workspaces by bringing the outside in. Research shows bringing nature into workspaces reduces anxiety and stress as well as increases cognitive functioning. Think about replacing non-essential work items, like knickknacks or unused books, with easy maintenance plants. Remember to use your donate box for items that no longer serve a useful purpose.
- Your own tastes should be incorporated into how you add the finishing touches to your workspace. If you’re a Joanna Gaines disciple, go ahead and add a DIY-wall hanging that doubles as a chalkboard for your to-dos, like you’d see on “Fixer Upper.” Or go the “Flea Market Flip” route and turn a second-hand cabinet into a stylish file cabinet – just let your creativity soar!
Organize, organize, then organize some more! Experts say that a well-organized workspace is an intentional workspace. We all start out with organized workspaces. But the nature of fast-paced work and small spaces means we all need to re-organize periodically.
Create a clean slate by purging all items that need to be shredded, thrown out, or donated. Put work on pause and take time to declutter all non-essential supplies, knickknacks, unused equipment, and supplies. Chances are your filing cabinets have old files that are not needed and are just taking up space. Cleaning out old, useless files is a great way to feel productive, and you will breathe easier when you are done! Use the box method described above to determine what you need to keep and what you want to donate. Now that your office space slate is clean you can start your organizing processes.
Storage boxes, bins and files will help you to neatly store away your essential work items-but only if they are clearly labeled. Label each storage unit prior to placing anything into it. And remember to use color to enhance you décor and energize your space. Did you know that old, Well-kept storage bins can be donated? It’s true. For more information, be sure to check our acceptable donations list before donating.
Desk spaces that are cleared of clutter and unruly paper clips allow for workflow and productivity. The best way to stay organized is with designated storage for pens, “Post Its,” paper clips and staplers. Remember the label rule! Label everything so that your brain remembers “A place for everything, and everything in its place.” If you have a colorful pen holder that is clearly labeled “PENS Here”, chances are you will put your pens back in place. Swap out old, well-kept desk organizers for bright blue, green, or yellow ones-you will be glad you did. Be sure to add your old ones to your donate box.
We spend many of our waking hours in our workspaces. Take a look at yours and ask yourself, “Is it time to declutter?” These ideas and tips will help you to be more productive and motivated; less stressed and hassled, and in the end you will work with more intention. Your “donate” boxes are truly needed and appreciated. If you want to donate office items, be sure to check our donation policies (and with your boss) first. Many offices have donation campaigns, which are a great way to increase morale while giving back to your community.
The Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is a great organization that would love your office space donations. Through your donations, the VVA provides much needed support to veterans and their families in your community. What do we take? Well-kept office supplies, storage containers, small electronics, small equipment, décor and more. Schedule a donation pickup for your unused items and help make a difference in the lives of our veterans. Our pickup service is professional, friendly, and FREE!