To work from home or simply to take care of your mail and papers, an office space is often necessary. How can you make sure that it meets your needs perfectly?
First of all, clear out your office
First, it is essential to completely clear your desk, except for your computer equipment. Opt for a precise sorting: put on one side everything you don’t use anymore (or not on a daily basis), like used paper or material, or old files to be archived. On the other side, put everything that can still be used, or that you need every day. Finally, make a third pile with the “maybes”, which will require some thought before ending up in one of the first categories. This will prevent you from throwing away important notes scribbled on a piece of paper that you were ready to throw away.
Dedicate space on your desk for documents according to their status:
- To be read (your mail for example);
- To be processed (invoices, reminders, reimbursements, etc.);
- To be kept/archived (statements, notifications, rent receipts, etc.).
You can arrange boxes, compartmentalized and superimposed baskets. This is practical and allows you to save time and not forget to pay a bill. You can also install a wall-mounted magazine rack for business or personal brochures that you want to keep or consult later.
Invest in storage units
If your office doesn’t have built-in drawers, it’s still essential to have some within reach. They’re essential for storing paper clips, staplers, envelopes, stationery, blank paper and other supplies that you use on a regular basis and that are nice to have on hand. A rolling file cabinet that matches the style of your office will do the trick. Some have a hanging file drawer, which is very useful in terms of organization. By placing it next to your desk, you will also have an ideal space to put your printer. A closed cabinet can also be very practical for storing files and folders. If you don’t have one in the room where your office is located, a cabinet sized for this purpose will be a really smart purchase.
Install shelves above the desk
Think about it! Install some shelves right above your desk. You can put your technical documentation and books, files and folders that contain papers you need to keep on hand and consult quickly. You can also place a few items that are important to you. You will make your office a pleasant place to live and work. A digital frame with family photos or a small plant will also personalize your space.
Stock up on pens and pencils
Even in the computer age, it’s essential to have all the pens and pencils you need on hand. Sort through your old equipment and throw away what no longer works. Invest in some nice pencil jars and organize them: one jar for graphite pencils, one for pens, another for colored pencils if you use them, or for highlighters. Don’t forget to keep other essentials on hand, such as scissors, eraser, cutter, tape…
Don’t forget the light
To work efficiently, it is essential to have good lighting. Place your desk preferably facing a window, and if that is not possible, next to a window with the light coming from the left. If the window is behind your back, the light reflections may interfere with the vision of your screen. Don’t forget to choose an efficient desk lamp as well. You won’t always be working in daylight, so a suitable lamp will prevent eye strain.
Install a wastebasket and a paper shredder
Organizing your office well also means knowing how to throw things away! First of all, you need to have a trash can within reach, so that you can get rid of anything that is no longer useful. If you have enough space, you should also consider investing in a paper shredder. There is a lot of talk these days about identity theft. Being able to shred your important documents (confidential and bank papers in particular) in a few seconds gives you more peace of mind.
Choose a quality chair
If you spend many hours sitting at your desk, do not hesitate to invest in a good quality chair. The health of your back is fragile and depends on it! Avoid buying one on the internet; an office chair should be tested. There are comfortable and ergonomic chairs at all prices. Depending on the budget you can afford, you can choose a fabric or leather chair.
Organize the computer area
Now that your desk is tidy, your work surface impeccable and your papers sorted, it is time to think about organizing your computer area, i.e. your “computer desk”.
To find your electronic documents easily and quickly:
- Create folders by theme: clients, suppliers, photos, Word or Excel documents, personal folders, professional folders, etc.
- Delete files that are no longer useful to you as you did on your physical desktop.
- Back up your most important documents on an external hard drive or USB key.
- Empty your mailboxes of all messages that are no longer of interest and save those that should not be deleted.
Organize your work
Your desk is tidy, your computer is uncluttered? You’re ready to work! All you have to do is adopt good work habits. Organization, follow-up, management. Some basic tools to remember:
- Create an electronic calendar on your computer, which you will pair with your cell phone.
- Do the same for your phone book.
- Install a large calendar above your desk. It will allow you to immediately visualize your week.
- Don’t forget to place a panel for notes and post-it notes in your field of vision so that you don’t lose or forget them.